Today, the sun was shining and everyone on our street was outside raking leaves. It was a beautiful fall day. The kind of day that makes you wish that fall would last for most of the year. Clean, crisp, chilly. The kind of day that when you come inside you want something hearty and warm. A day you appreciate that "stick to your ribs" character of stew. I'm not talking about those days that are so cold the snot inside your nose freezes and you need chili, heavy on the jalapenos, to start to feel human again. Just a nice warming stew in fall.
Being that I've already shared my favorite fall stew here, I decided to try a new stew. This is Moroccan-Style Braised Beef with Carrots and Couscous from Cooking Light. After a week of Ice Cream Terrine and decadent Chocolate Cranberry Cupcakes, I'm really good with something from Cooking Light. I did think it would be more interesting with more vegetables in it and there definitely wasn't enough couscous for the amount of stew. But, the stew itself was good and I even liked the gravy. Normally I'm not such a fan of gravy, but this gravy is rich and thick and has some darn tasty undertones.
Moroccan-Style Braised Beef with Carrots and Couscous
2 tsp olive oil
1 pound lean beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
3 medium onions thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground turmeric
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground ginger
2 (14oz) cans less sodium beef broth
1/4 cup packed dried apricots
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
4 large carrots, peeled and cut on the diagonal
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1/3 cup less sodium beef broth
1/3 cup water
2/3 cup uncooked whole wheat couscous
1/4 chopped green onions
1/4 cup fresh parsley, divided
To prepare beef, heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Sprinkle beef with 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Add beef to pan, and cook 4 minutes or until beef is browned on all sides, turning occasionally. Transfer beef to a bowl.
Add onions to pan; cook 10 minutes longer or until tender, stirring frequently. Add garlic cloves and next 4 ingredients (through ginger); cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add broth; bring to a boil. Add apricots; reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Cover and cook over medium-low heat 30 minutes. Using an immersion blender in pan, puree onion mixture. Stir in 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.
Return beef to onion mixture; cook over medium-low heat 1 hour or until beef is tender. Add carrot to pan; cover and cook 15 minutes or until carrot is tender. Stir in 1/4 cup chopped parsley.
While beef cooks, prepare couscous. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add crushed garlic clove, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon turmeric. Stir in 1/3 cup broth and 1/3 cup water; bring to a boil. Gradually stir in couscous. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand 5 minutes; fluff with a fork. Stir in green onions.
Spoon couscous onto plates. Top evenly with beef stew, and sprinkle each serving with parsley.