Original Joy of Cooking Recipe
As with most basic native dishes, variations of this North African specialty abound. The following version comes from friends in Libya.
Soak overnight and cook the following day until half tender:
1 cup chick peasDrain them. Cut into about 10 pieces:
2 lbs lamb, mutton or beefBrown lightly in:
1 tablespoon olive oilWhile browning slowly for about 10 minutes, add:
3/4 cup minced onionWhen the onion is translucent, add:
2 teaspoons saltReduce heat and barely simmer this thick mixture for about 10 minutes more. Place in a heavy pot with:
2 knuckle bonesand enough:
water to coverSimmer covered until the meat can be pierced with a fork, but still offers slight resistance. Add:
3 cups potatoes, cut Parisienneand the drained cooked chick peas. Add, if necessary:
stockSimmer covered until the meat and vegetables are tender, about 3/4 of an hour longer. Remove from heat and reserve this meat and vegetable mixture. When the fat rises to the top, skim and reserve 2 tablespoons of it. Rinse briefly and place in the top of a perforated steamer or a couscous pot:
1 lb. semolina, cracked millet, cracked wheat or kashaSteam the cereal uncovered for 15 minutes, timing after you see steam rising from the top. Meanwhile reheat the meat and vegetable mixture. Drain the liquid and reserve it. Now working quickly so everything stays warm, remove the cereal from the steamer and add:
2 tablespoons orange flower waterToss the seasoned couscous lightly in the 2 tablespoons of fat reserved from the meat mixture, and put it in a serving dish. Pour over it 1 cup of the drained liquid. Put the meat, vegetables and chick peas on top of the couscous. Use the remaining liquid as a separate sauce. Serve at once.