Braised Lamb with Green Olives, Peppers, and Couscous
¼ cup olive oil
4 pounds boneless lamb shoulder, cut into 2 inch chunks
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 onions, coarsely chopped
4 celery ribs, coarsely chopped
3 carrots, coarsely chopped
¼ cup tomato paste
1 cup dry red wine
10 cups water
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
¾ cup pitted green olives, sliced
¾ cup red bell peppers, sliced
2 tablespoons tarragon, chopped
2 cups Israeli couscous
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a large enameled Dutch oven, heat the oil until shimmering. Season the lamb with salt and pepper and add it to the casserole. Cook over medium high heat, turning the lamb pieces, until deeply browned. Transfer lamb to a platter. Add the onions, celery, and carrots to the pan. Cook for 3-4 minutes then add the tomato paste. Cook another 2-3 minutes then add the wine, scraping the brown bits that developed on the bottom of the pan. Add the lamb to the pan along with the water. Cover and braise in the oven for about 2 ½ hours or until tender.
2. Transfer the lamb to a platter and coarsely shred the meat. Strain the broth and discard the solids. Skim the fat from the broth. Return the broth to the pan and boil to reduce to 5 cups, about 20 minutes.
3. In a small bowl, mix the butter with the flour to form a paste. Whisk the mixture into the broth and simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes. Return the lamb to the sauce along with the olives, pepper, and tarragon. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and serve with warm couscous.