Beef, stews, Moroccan beef and vegetable stew with couscous 1 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

2 acorn squash, halved and seeded

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 cup chopped celery including some of the leaves

2 onions, chopped

2 pounds boneless beef chuck, cut into 2 inch pieces

1 stick (½ cup) unsalted butter

3 parsley sprigs

3 coriander sprigs

a 3 inch cinnamon stick

1/8 teaspoon cayenne

a pinch of saffron threads, crumbled

a 35 ounce can plum tomatoes, including juice

6 carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces

4 small turnips, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces

¾ cup raisins

2 red bell peppers, seeded and cut into 1 inch pieces

a 19 ounce can chick peas, drained, rinsed and, if desired, skins removed

4 small zucchini, cut crosswise into ¼ inch pieces

3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves

3 tablespoons minced fresh coriander leaves

2-½ cups couscous

Moroccan-style hot oil to accompany

  1. In a shallow roasting pan arrange the acorn squash cut side up, drizzle it with the vegetable oil and sprinkle it with salt and pepper. Bake the squash in a preheated 400* oven for 40 minutes, or until it is just tender, and let it cool. Quarter the squash, discard the skin and reserve the squash, covered and chilled.
  2. In a kettle cook the celery, onions and the chuck in the butter with salt and pepper to taste over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Tie together the parsley sprigs, coriander sprigs, cinnamon stick and add the spice bundle to the kettle with the cayenne and saffron, and cook the mixture, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes with their juice and 4 cups water, bring the liquid to a boil and simmer the mixture, covered, skimming the froth, for 1 hour. Add the carrots and turnips and simmer the mixture, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes, or until the chuck is very tender. (The stew mixture may be prepared up to this point and kept covered and chilled for up to 3 days.)
  3. Bring the mixture to a boil and skim off 1-¾ cups of the cooking liquid, reserving it for cooking the couscous. Stir in the raisins and bell peppers and simmer the mixture for 5 minutes. Stir in the chick peas and zucchini and simmer the mixture for 5 minutes. Stir in the minced parsley, coriander and acorn squash, simmer the stew until the squash is heated through, and discard the spice bundle.
  4. In a large saucepan bring the reserved cooking liquid to a boil, stir in the couscous and remove the pan from the heat. Let the couscous stand for 4 minutes and fluff it with a fork. Serve the couscous with the stew and drizzle the spiced oil over each serving if desired.

from The Best of Gourmet, 1986

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