For those days you feel like something special, yet don’t really feel up to making a lot of effort in the kitchen, I present to you this magnificent dish!
It is a favourite of mine for a few reasons: it’s elegant, yet pretty easy to make. Plus, it’s one of the dishes my loving other half can make VERY well (he’s fabulous at making any cut of meat taste amazing!).
There may be a lot of ingredients; but like I said, it is a very easy dish to make.
- Some of the ingredients might not be in your pantry all the time (e.g. pomegranate, sumac, preserved lemons etc.). But you can easily find them in most supermarkets (and if not, definitely in the Middleastern food shops).
- Instead of preserved lemons, you could use juice & zest of half a lemon. Having said that, it is one of those ingredients that makes all the difference to the taste of this dish. Beldi preserved lemons are a different variety than our usual lemons; much smaller and far more aromatic for that matter. If you buy a jar of the stuff, I promise you’d be using them; they go well with chicken, meat, salads, etc. So I highly recommend sourcing the stuff. They will last longer than fresh lemons too!
- I use turmeric for more vibrant colour on the couscous. That is optional too!
- Use of sumac and pomegranate is optional as they might be harder to source at certain times of the year (especially the pomegranate). Sumac is a spice that goes very well with grilled meat dishes. It is a bit tart in taste and quite satisfying at that! Don’t worry if you haven’t got it though, it’s not traditional for Moroccan dishes, it’s just my Middle-Eastern twist ^_^
- 20g butter or ghee i.e. clarified butter (or 1 tbs vegetable oil if you prefer)
- 4 lamb steaks (I use boneless like this)
- 200g couscous
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/4 tsp ground turmeric (optional)
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg (optional – freshly ground even better!)
- 1 preserved lemon, finely chopped (or juice and zest of half a lemon)
- Fresh mint, chopped
- Dried apricots, chopped
- Flaked almonds, lightly toasted
- Pomegranate seeds (optional)
- Sumac (optional)
- For the couscous: pour the couscous in a large, heat-resistent bowl. Mix in the seasoning and spices. Then cover with 200 ml of boiling water from the kettel. Cover with a plate or lid. Set aside for 15 minutes.
- For the lamb: Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Melt the butter (or warm up the oil). When sizzling hot, put the steaks in. Turn every minute for 3-4 minutes depending on the tickness of the steak (this way it should come out medium). If your prefer yours well-done, add a minute or two.
- When ready to serve, fluff up the couscous with a fork. Add the apricot pieces and lemon. Mix well. Plate in a dish, top with mint, pomegrate and almonds. Place the steak on top, a pinch of seasoning and sumac (if using) on the steak. and voila!