Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Slow Cooker Moroccan Beef Chili

Last night I made Slow Cooker Moroccan Beef Chili.  I found this recipe in the October 2015 issue of Family Circle Magazine.  The recipe was very simple with the exception of locating one ingredient.    The item I was unable to locate at my local grocery store was Harissa Paste.  Harissa Paste is is a North African hot chili pepper paste, the main ingredients of which are roasted red peppers, serrano peppers and other hot chili peppers and spices and herbs such as garlic paste, coriander seed, or caraway as well as some vegetable or olive oil for preservation.  I discovered that for every tablespoon of this fiery flavor, you can substitute a tablespoon of berbere, chile paste, or tabil (Tunisian spice paste). For a little less heat, you can always use hot sauce.  I used Sambal Oelek Ground Fresh Chili Paste in my recipe.  You will want to add the chili paste to taste as you would with salt and pepper.

I served our Chili over Tri-Colored Pearl Couscous also known as Israeli Couscous.  Couscous pearls are small balls of toasted semolina flour.  You would use them as an alternative to pasta or rice.  This dish is also served with a dollop of hummus and you can sprinkle chopped parsley over the top if desired.

Moroccan Beef Chili
  • 2 pounds beef chuck, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 3 medium carrots, sliced on the diagonal into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon harissa paste (see notes above)
  • 6 cups cooked pearl couscous
  • 1/2 cup plain hummus
  • Chopped parsley (optional)
  1. Toss beef with salt and allspice. Place in slow cooker with carrots, onion and garlic. In a bowl, whisk tomatoes and harissa. Pour over beef. Cook on HIGH for 5 hours or LOW for 7 hours. 
  2. To serve, scoop 3/4 cup couscous into each bowl. Spoon stew on top; garnish with 1 tbsp hummus and, if using, parsley.

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