Monday, January 24, 2011

Moroccan Pot Roast with Couscous

I really can’t remember why I thought I needed an American copy of Cottage Living magazine in Barcelona for the airplane trip home.  It seems a bit incongruous to me, and I almost never buy that magazine. Maybe I was a bit nostalgic to get back home after a long trip in Europe. During our travels, we’d been on a short stop to Morocco, which was a major highlight of the trip.

Here I am at a beautiful fountain in a Moroccan inner courtyard

It was so exotic going through the casbah markets and seeing the big bags of spices everywhere. Flipping through the magazine on the long flight I happened across this recipe for Moroccan pot roast.  It was a way to bring a little of the smells and warmth of the trip home and I had to make it!  It was an instant hit with my family, and an exotic change to a comfort classic.

I will admit there are many family members who will complain about dried fruit cooked into dishes.  I happen to love dried fruit, in anything and everything, but I do try to appeal to my audience.  This dried fruit works because you add it at the end, and it doesn’t get all slimy and puffy.  Try it, I think you’ll like it. A 2 lb pot roast should serve 4-6 people

1 ½ Tbsp. Olive Oil
2 lb Beef Pot Roast
½ tsp. sea salt
½ tsp. black pepper
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
1 tsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp. paprika
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 cups beef broth
1 -15oz. cans of garbanzo beans,
     rinsed & drained.
¼ cup chopped dried apricots
¼ cup golden raisins
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 Tbsp chopped fresh mint

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Heat Olive Oil in a large heavy duty pan preferably with a lid, large enough to brown the meet, plus add the extra ingredients and broth. If you don’t have one with a lid, you can use foil during the cooking time.

Season the meat with Salt & Pepper and then sear the meat, about 4 minutes per side.

Remove & set aside. Add onion and carrots to the pan and cook for 3 minutes.

Add garlic, paprika, cumin and cinnamon, cook about 2 more minutes, stirring constantly. 

Add broth, and return roast to the pan.

Cover with lid (or foil) and bake 3-3 ½ hours. Remove the beef to platter, tent with foil to keep warm.  Add garbanzos to the liquid and place over medium heat, until they are warm. Stir in the remaining ingredients, apricots, golden raisins, cilantro and mint.

Slice, or shred the pot roast and spoon the sauce over the top.  It’s terrific served with couscous.

This is an easy recipe to double for a big group.

Side Dish Inspirations
This is a full meal on it’s own, you probably only need a salad and maybe some bread:
  • Green Salad
  • Moroccan salad- grated radishes and orange sections.  This is one of my favorites, I will need to post this to the blog soon.
  • French bread

Round Two cooking… make more and use it for:
Here's some ideas:
  • Great for a group, I made 3 pot roasts once for a crowd, but you’ll need a large pan!
  • It’s great to have the leftovers, but I don’t think you’ll have many.
What else would this technique work on???
You could easily use this technique on:
  • Chicken thighs!  I think you could brown chicken thighs and complete the same steps, you would just need to reduce the cooking time to 45 minutes or so.
Adapted from Cottage Living September 2007

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