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Carol and Barb
Moroccan Short Ribs and Spiced Couscous
You donʼt have to leave home to experience exotic, unusually spiced food.
An easy recipe to slow cook, the Moroccan spices enhance the simmered short ribs.  Ras el hanout is a blend of many different spices. (The name can be loosely translated to "top of the shop".) The rich stew paired with the spiced and citrus couscous produces a party in the mouth!

couscous


3 T ras el hanout
1 T sweet paprika
1 t. salt
1 t freshly ground pepper
3 lb. short ribs, cut into serving pieces, external fat trimmed to 1/4"
2 T olive oil
1/2 large yellow onion, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 c cubed peeled butternut squash
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 c red wine
1 c canned diced tomatoes
1/2 c beef or chicken broth
1 T honey (optional)

For the spiced couscous:
2 c couscous
2 T olive oil
1/2 t ground tumeric
1/2 t kosher salt
1/4 c dried currants
1 t. finely grated orange zest
2 T fresh lemon juice
Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Directions:
  1. In a small bowl, stir together the ras el hanout, paprika, the 1 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. pepper. Rub the mixture over the short ribs, coating them evenly. Let stand at room temperature for 30 to 60 minutes.
  2. Preheat an oven to 350F.
  3. Heat a large, heavy fry pan over medium heat. Pour in the olive oil and heat until the surface shimmers. Add the short ribs and brown on all sides, about 8 minutes total. Transfer to a plate.
  4. Pour off all but 2 T of the fat in the pan. Add the onion, carrots, squash and garlic and cook, stirring, until the onion begins to brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the wine, stirring to scrape up the browned bits.
  5. Add the tomatoes and the 1/2 cup stock.
  6. Add the short ribs, pushing them down into the vegetables. Cover the tagine, transfer to the oven and bake until the meat is very tender, about 2 1/2 hours.
    7.Prepare the Moroccan couscous according to the directions on the packaging. Gently fold in the currants, orange zest and lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper. Cover with aluminum foil and let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
    8. Transfer the short ribs to a plate and cover with aluminum foil. Let the sauce cool for 5 minutes, then skim the fat off the surface. If the sauce is too thick, stir in more stock, 2 Tbs. at a time. Stir in the honey, and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper.
    9. Divide the spiced couscous among warmed bowls. Top with the short ribs and sauce and serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6.

    Adapted from a recipe by Williams-Sonoma.


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