My Culinary Adventure: Prologue

Total Time:  2-3 hours Active Time:  20-30 minutes Number Serves:  5-6 Equipment:  Cheese cloth, butchers twine or string


2 lbs Lamb (Lamb Stew Meat, Lamb Loin, etc.), dice 1-2 in
3 tbsp Neutral Oil (Canola, Peanut, Vegetable, etc.)
2 Carrots, peeled and diced
1 Onion, peeled and diced
2 clove Garlic, very fine dice
1 1/2 pt Dark Stock (Lamb, Beef, Veal, etc.)
2 tbsp Tomato Paste
3 tbsp All Purpose Flour
2 Bayleaf
2 sprig Thyme
2 sprig Parsley
2 Roma Tomatoes, peeled, seeded, diced
2 Lemons, juiced, zest
2 tbsp Butter
Green Olives (optional)
salt and pepper
2 cups Couscous
2 cups Water
1 Orange, juiced, zest
2 tbsp Olive Oil


Mise en Place (Prep):
1) Peel the carrots and and dice into 1/4 inch squares, do the same with the onion
2) Peel the cloves of garlic and dice into 1/8 inch squares
3) If you bought the lamb stew meat, you do not have to do this step. However, if you have a boneless slab of meat, cut into 1-2 inch thickness. The larger the size, the longer it takes to cook
4) Now you could peel the tomatoes using a vegetable peeler, but that takes forever! So instead you should concasser it. Heat a pot of water to a high simmer. While it is heating up, take the stems out with a paring knife and make a small incision. This will make it easy to peel off the skin. Place the tomatoes in the water for 15 seconds, then take them out and blanch in an ice bath. The skin should come off easy. Quarter them, remove the seeds, and cut into 1/4 inch size
5) Zest the lemons and set it aside, squeeze the juice in with the tomatoes. If you what you can add the supremes, which is the fleshy part of the lemon
6) Zest and juice the orange and set aside
7) Now you need to make a sachet, which consists of the parsley, bayleaf, and thyme. Place those on a cheesecloth and wrap them up and tie it with the string. You should do this so you don't have to go searching for them when you have to take it out

1) In a pan, heat the oil on high heat. Place the lamb meat in a bowl and generously season each piece with salt and pepper. Once the oil is hot, and the lamb meat into the pan. You should hear a sizzle, if not, it's not hot enough. Also, do not overcrowd the pan, you might have to do it in two batches. All we are doing is browning the lamb, NOT fully cooking it. It usually takes 2 minutes each side, but it depends on the strength of the stove. Just watch it and look for a dark, brown crust
2) Take out the lamb and set it aside. Add the carrots, onions, and garlic and cook on med high heat. You want to carmelize, or brown, all of the veggies. Don't add oil because you have the leftover oil from the lamb. Season the veggies with salt and pepper so the moisture draws out.
3) Once the veggies are carmelized, add the tomato paste and flour. When you sprinkle flour into it like this, its called singer, sprinkling flour into a mix. You want to stir it around until it kind of clumps together
4) Now add the lamb back in and add the sachet of thyme, bayleaf, and parsley. Also, add the stock into the pot. Make sure the stock is hot so it doesn't slow down the cooking process. Add more salt and pepper
5) Cook until it reaches a light boil, cover, and put it in a 375 degree oven for 2-3 hours. You want the meat to be tender and almost fall apart. Be patient, it is definitely worth the wait
6) While it is cooking, get your couscous out of the way. Add the couscous into a large bowl. When it cooks it swells to twice the original size, so give ample space. Heat up the water on the stove and add the orange zest and juice with an exceptional amount of salt. Heat to a boil and add it to the pasta (couscous is a pasta). Add the olive oil and cover quickly with foil. It should only take 5-6 minutes to cook
7) After that amount of time, take off the cover and fluff with a fork to take out all clumps. I like to cool it down because I like the contrast of the cold couscous with the hot braised lamb
8) Take out the lamb after the allotted time, and put the lemon and diced tomatoes in it and store. Also, take the sachet out of the pot. Put it on the stove on low heat and incorporate the butter at this time. You should be left with a liquid that is of a sauce consistency, this is not a stew it is a braise. A lot of people don't like green olives, but if you want add them at this time as well
9) Now the food is done and you can serve it anyway you like!


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