When you think of preparing a stew, do you say to yourself, “No way. That’ll take hours to make.” There are some stews that fit that description, and then, there’s one of my favorites, Moroccan Beef Stew with Couscous. If I were to give it a new twist, I’d call it “stew lite,” except it’s replete with vitamins and the health benefits of spices cinnamon and cumin. And it’s satisfying, too. Aren’t there days when we all need to lighten our load a bit? For sure, and yet, we all feel so much happier when we’re well fed. This recipe freezes well, too. Double it and stick in the freezer for those days when you’re really at wit’s end and you want your microwave to cook dinner for you.
Moroccan Beef Stew with Couscous Recipe
3 T olive oil, divided
1 3/4 lbs beef sirloin, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 large onion, chopped
4 carrots, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 T paprika
2 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 cups low salt beef stock
1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives, halved
1/2 cup golden raisins
1 15 oz can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 1/2 inch strips lemon peel
salt and pepper to taste
Heat 2 T oil in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat.
Add beef to pan and brown on all sides. Remove to clean bowl.
Add remaining oil to pan, along with onion, carrots and garlic. Cook until vegetables are softened, approximately 10 minutes. Add paprika, cumin, and cinnamon and stir for 1 minute. Add broth, olives, raisins, beans and cilantro. Bring to boil.
Simmer until juices thicken, about 10 minutes. Add beef and any juices collected in bowl, and lemon peel. Continue to simmer until beef is tender.
Serve over couscous or nestled up to mashed potatoes.
Note: You may have noticed that I add a starch to this dish. The reason is that it lessens the amount of stew, allowing you to freeze several nights’ worth of meals, more so if you’ve doubled the recipe. Couscous is the quickest pasta to prepare, requiring only 5 minutes. I always have a stash of mashed potatoes on hand in the refrigerator so that’s an option as well.
Stephanie Davis, CWE from Winacea, specializes in wine education, and thinks that a trusty Malbec is a sure fit for this stew. Grab your favorite Malbec, or try Alamos Malbec from Argentina, made by the famous Catena family.
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Award-winning author Emily Kemme writes about human nature, because living brings its own humor, angst and heroism. Follow her on her blog, Feeding the Famished, or https://www.facebook.com/EmilyKemme where she hopes you’ll find illumination of the everyday in a way that highlights its brilliance. Vodka and recipes optional.