Why Lamb and Couscous?
Generally I am not a fan of couscous, having horrible memories of eating it on school camping trips and remembering that it tasted like nothing, except maybe the earth and leaves that had fallen into it while cooking. To this day it remains a food that I am more than happy to pass on. However a while ago a friend convinced me to try a larger form of couscous - known as pearl or Israeli- and to my surprise I absolutely loved it.
I think the larger the size of the couscous helped make it more appealing as it resembles pasta. The other thing that I love about pearl couscous is that it is ever so simple to cook, and the things that you can mix with your couscous are only limited by your imagination.
For me couscous is an ingredient to help carry other flavours. Generally couscous will be served at my house when I feel like having a hearty meal full of taste, but the only ingredients I have laying around somehow seem all a bit odd on there own. Couscous just helps to bring everything together.
I am not a 100% sure if the recipe below is in fact a recipe as every time I cook it I use different ingredients. I think it is more or less a guide to letting your imagination run free and sharing my love of pearl couscous.
8 Lamb Cutlets
1 packet of Pearl couscous (the grains will look 2 mm big but will double or triple in size when cooked)
2 corncobs, kernels cut off
1 bunch asparagus, cut into 2 inch batons
2 carrots grated
1 bunch parsley roughly chopped
1 Jar Spiced Eggplant relish, or dip (I use a Christine Manfield one)
2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
1 tablespoon olive oil
Plain yoghurt to serve
Salt and Pepper
Place the lamb cutlets in a shallow bowl and allow to marinate in the pomegranate molasses.
In the mean time cook your couscous according to the instructions on the pack. Generally you need to cook it for 8 minutes of so. In the last 2 minutes of cooking add the peas and corn. Drain and add the carrot, eggplant relish and olive oil. Toss until all the pearls are coated. (If you cant find spiced eggplant relish, use a Moroccan dip such as harissa or capsicum relish.) Season with salt and pepper.
Heat a griddle pan until smoking hot. Cook the asparagus1 minute per side and toss with the couscous. Continue by brushing the griddle with oil (don’t worry if it gets very smoky once the lamb goes on the smoke will stop) and cook the lamb cutlets 1-2 minutes per side.
To serve place the couscous on a plate, lay the lamb cutlets on top and sprinkle with parsley and a spoonful of yoghurt.