Beef Tagine with Date and Dried Cranberry Couscous

Cooking With Rania - "Recipes for the New Year"
KDKA Pittsburgh Today Live 1/04/2012

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Beef Tagine with Date and Dried Cranberry Couscous

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 pounds stewing beef, cut into 1-1/2 inch cubes

2 teaspoons paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 pinch saffron
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 teaspoon ground coriander

2 medium onions, cut into 1-inch cubes
5 carrots, peeled and cut into coins (about 3/4 inch thick)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1 lemon, zested
2 cups rich chicken broth
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 tablespoons honey

Place beef chunks in a bowl, toss with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, and set aside. In a large resealable bag, toss together the paprika, turmeric, cumin, cayenne, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, salt, ginger, saffron, garlic powder, and coriander; mix well. Add the beef to the bag, and toss around to coat well. Refrigerate at least 8 hours, preferably overnight.

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a tagine pot over medium-high heat. Add 1/3 of the beef, and brown well. Remove to a plate, and repeat with remaining beef. Add onions and carrots to the pot and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and ginger; continue cooking for an additional 5 minutes. Return the beef to the pot and stir in the lemon zest, chicken broth, tomato paste, and honey. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 1-1/2 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until the meat is tender.

Date and Dried Cranberry Couscous:
1 cup couscous
1-1/2 cups warm water
10 dried dates
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup whole pecans, toasted
2 green onions, green parts only
2 handfuls fresh mint leaves
1/2 lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Put the couscous in a medium bowl; pour the water over it, stir with a fork to combine. Cover and let sit for 10 to 15 minutes, then uncover and fluff with a fork. Put the dates, cranberries, pecans, green onions and mint on a cutting board and coarsely chop everything up; add this to the couscous. Add lemon juice, drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Toss gently to combine.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

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