Lamb & Vegetable Couscous

A Sephardic party platter

(Contributed by Garry Vroegh, <>)

Ingredients Directions
  • 2 pounds lamb shoulder, trimmed of fat and cut into 1½-inch cubes
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 2 onions, quartered
  • ½ teaspoon ginger
  • ½ teaspoon saffron threads
  • 1 pound carrots, sliced cross-wise into 2-inch pieces and then each piece cut in half length-wise
  • 3 small turnips, peeled and quartered
  • 1½ teaspoon of salt (to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 pound butternut squash, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • ½ pound small yellow squash, cut in half length-wise
  • ½ pound zucchini, cut in half cross-wise and each half quartered length-wise
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced
  • 1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup slivered almonds
  • 2/3 cup raisins, steamed for 10 minutes
  • 6-8 pitted prunes, steamed for 10 minutes
  • 6-8 dried apricots, steamed for 10 mintues
  • 2 10-ounce boxes instant couscous, such as Near East brand. May be steamed in a traditional couscousière, or follow the package directions. Keep warm or reheat before serving.
  • 2 Tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons sugar

Place the lamb, sliced onions, ginger and saffron in a Dutch pot. Cover and cook over low heat 1½ hours. Add the carrots, quartered onions, turnips, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer another 10-15 minutes. Add squashes, celery and chickpeas. Cover and simmer approximately 10 minutes longer. Watch the vegetables carefully to make sure they do not lose their color or get too soft. Remove them as they are cooked: the zucchini will finish ahead of the butternut squash, etc.

Heat oil in a small skillet and cook the slivered almonds 1 minute over a low heat, stirring continuously. Add the raisins, prunes and apricots (these can be optional if you don't want the sweet Sephardic taste.). Cook, stirring for another 1-2 minutes, then cook 5-8 minutes over a low heat.

Place the couscous in a mound on a large serving platter. If the couscous seems dry, moisten with about 1/3 cup of the stewing liquid, and mix lightly. Arrange the lamb and vegetables on top. Sprinkle with cilantro. Scatter the almond and dried fruits over the top and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.

Return to Sheep's Creek Farm Lamb Recipes page.

© 1998 Ronald Florence
Last modified: Sun Sep 20 12:10:35 EDT 1998