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May '08

Moroccan Charbroiled Lamb & Fennel Stew with 7 Seed Couscous

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Below is Doug DuCap’s recipe for Moroccan Charbroiled Lamb & Fennel Stew with Seven-Seed Couscous which made it to the Semi-Finals of the 2008 Redwood Creek Campfire Classic, held at the Food and Wine Festival at National Harbor.

Below is a photo of the Moroccan Charbroiled Lamb & Fennel Stew which can either be cooked outdoors over a campfire, on a grill, or in your home kitchen.


For the Grilled Lamb:

1-1/2 Tbsp Sweet Paprika (or a combination of Sweet and Smoked Paprika)
1 tsp Ground Cumin
1 tsp Ground Coriander Seed
1/2 tsp Coarse Ground Black Pepper
1/2 tsp Salt
1-1/2 lbs lean Lamb, cut into small (3/4″) cubes
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Lemon Juice

For the Stew:

1/4 cup Almonds, slivered or chopped
1/4 cup Pistachio kernels, whole
1 tsp Cumin Seeds
3 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 cup diced Yellow Onion (about 1 medium onion or 1/2 large)
3 large cloves Garlic, minced
1 medium bulb Fennel (fronds, stems, and core removed), cut in 1/2 inch pieces
Spice Mix (see below)
12 Dried Apricots, cut in half
8 Dried Mission Figs, cut in half
1/4 cup Golden Raisins
1 - 15oz can Garbanzo Beans (drained and rinsed)
1 - 15oz can Chopped Tomatoes, drained
1 - 15oz can Chicken Broth
3/4 cup Water
2 small Summer Squash, cut in 1/2 inch rounds
1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
1/4 cup (lightly packed) Cilantro Leaves, chopped
Fennel fronds for garnish (optional)

Spice Mix: (Note: can be packed in advance)
1 tsp each Ground Coriander Seed, Ground Ginger
1/2 tsp each of Ground Cinnamon, Coarse Ground Black Pepper, Salt
1/4 tsp each of Ground Nutmeg, Ground Allspice, Cayenne Pepper

For the Couscous:

2 Tbsp Olive Oil
Seed Mix (see below)
2-1/2 cups Water
1/2 tsp Salt
1-10oz pkg Plain Couscous (approx. 1-2/3 cups)
1 tsp (or more, to taste) Lemon Zest (optional)

Seed Mix: (Note: can be packed in advance)
2 Tbsp Sunflower Seed kernels
1 Tbsp Sesame Seeds
1 tsp Cumin Seeds
1 tsp Coriander Seeds, lightly crushed
1/2 tsp each Caraway Seeds, Fennel Seeds, Anise Seeds


Note: In addition to the Spice Mix and Seed Mix, the fruits, the nuts, and the vegetables can be prepped and packed ahead of time in resealable plastic bags. The lamb can either be marinated a day in advance, or the dry ingredients can be packed in a large resealable plastic bag and the lamb marinated on site.

For the Grilled Lamb:

In a large resealable plastic bag, mix the dry ingredients, then add the lamb, olive oil, and lemon juice. Mix by hand or seal and shake thoroughly to coat all pieces. Let marinate at least 20 minutes. Thread the marinated lamb onto skewers and grill over hot coals a few minutes per side until the lamb develops a nice crust and color, and is slightly charred on the high spots (does not need to be cooked through at this time.) Set aside.

For the Stew:

In a skillet or Dutch oven, toast the nuts and 1 tsp cumin seeds over medium coals, stirring frequently, until the seeds are fragrant and the nuts begin to color. Add the olive oil, onions, and garlic, and saute until the onions soften a bit (about 5 - 7 minutes.) Add the fennel, spices, fruits, garbanzos, tomatoes, chicken broth and water; mix thoroughly. Bring just to a boil, add the lamb, then cover and simmer over low coals for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the squash, return cover, and simmer for 20 minutes; uncover and cook an additional 10 minutes to thicken the sauce slightly, stirring occasionally throughout. Remove from the heat, add the lemon juice and half of the cilantro. Stir gently and adjust salt, if necessary.

For the Couscous:

Remove stew to bowl and keep warm. Wipe out pan and saute seeds in olive oil over medium coals until fragrant (about 1 - 3 minutes.) Add water and salt and bring to boil. Stir in couscous, cover, and remove from heat. After 5 minutes, uncover, add lemon zest (if desired), and fluff couscous with a fork.


Make a ring of couscous (either in the pot or on individual plates) and mound the stew in the center. Sprinkle the stew with the remaining cilantro and decorate the couscous with a few small fennel fronds. Serves 4 - 6

Estimated Cook Time: 75 minutes
Marinating Time: 20 minutes


You Can Read More of Doug’s Recipe Corner Here.

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