Create a dish from another land – it’s fun

Creating a savory dish from another land, this is what I do, I usually do it without traveling there and you can too! The research for a recipe is only a Google away. First, I select a region that I want to work with and this recipe started with Morocco.

I Googled the spices indigenous to the Moroccan region and it took off from there. I create my own garam masala, an aromatic mixture of spices used mainly in Northern India and South Asian countries.

Garam refers to hot or intensity and masala means mixture, I have the ingredients below for my custom garam masala that works well for this dish but please alter the Garam Masala to suit your taste, I certainly create spice blends is to accommodate my personal taste. Spice Islands has a nice Garam Masala if you want to make this a little quicker. Next, I checked out the agriculture in Northern Africa and for my purposes I needed to be sure that bison is used there. Finaly, I found the pasta that was most appropriate for North African cuisine which is couscous and what you have here is my happiest recipe achievement to date.

I created this dish for the World Food Championship in Las Vegas 2013. After earning seventh in my category with my Indonesian pasta dish and the next challenge was to create a pasta dish using bison and this is what I came up with. The recipe you have here is what took me to 6th place overall in my category.

Bison is more expensive than beef as it costs more to produce but if you can swing it, do it as the fat and calorie content are lower and bison is still being raised without hormones and antibiotics. With the low fat content bison cooks faster than beef and can get tough, at least that’s what I hear, I’ve never had tough bison yet. In this recipe it becomes very tender and I have also grilled many steaks and haven’t had a tough one yet. Marquette Meats has a nice selection of bison, roasts, steaks and ground bison.

African cooking tops my foodie list so this was a natural direction for me. Having not been to Morocco this is what I envision as a comfort dish, I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Moroccan Bison and Vegetables on Couscous

Ingredients:

1# Bison roast, cut into 1″ cubes or smaller

1/2c flour

2t salt, divided

1t pepper

2t Brenda’s Garam Masala

Brenda’s Garam Masala:

2t ground ginger

2t turmeric

3t cinnamon

2t ground coriander

1t ground cloves

1/2t ground cumin

1/2t cardamom

4T olive oil, divided

4 Large carrots, sliced to ” thickness

1 large onion, coarsely chopped

1 yellow pepper, coarsely chopped

2t Brenda’s Garam Masala

2t salt

1t pepper

1/2c chopped celery leaves

1/2c chopped parsley

2# skinned and seeded chopped fresh tomatoes

16 oz can Chick peas, drained

6 oz beef broth

Juice of 1 lemon

2T butter

Couscous:

10 oz Couscous

2c chicken broth

1 1/2t salt

1T olive oil

1t Brenda’s Garam Masala

Zest of 1 lemon

1/2c golden raisins

Handful of parsley

1. In a wide bottom pot, saute carrots in 2T olive oil on high heat until they begin to brown slightly

2. Add the onions and saute until transparent, then add the 2t Brenda’s Garam Masala. Add the yellow pepper, celery and parsley and saute for another minute or two

3. Before cutting the meat, rub with 1t salt and use the tenderizing tool on one side

4. In a bag mix the flour, 1t salt, pepper, seasoning mix at the top of the list and add the bison to the bag and shake

5. Remove the vegetables from the pot and set aside

6. While the pot is still on high heat add 2T olive oil and add the Bison, shaking off the extra flour. Fry until bison begins to brown.

7. Return the carrots and onions to the pan along with the chopped tomatoes, juice, beef broth and chick peas. Add salt and pepper

8. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat to medium, add the juice of a lemon, 2T butter cover and let simmer for hour.

9. While simmering make the couscous

10. Bring 2c broth to a boil with salt, olive oil, and 1t of Brenda’s Garam Masala. Add 10 oz of couscous, bring back to a boil, reduce heat, cover and let sit.

11. Before plating add lemon zest and raisins to the couscous and fluff with a fork.

12. Plate the couscous and stew side by side and sprinkle with parsley.

This recipe serves 4