Serves 6 to 8
In a saucepan, combine the chickpeas with a water to cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Turn down the heat to low, cover, and simmer until tender, 45 to 60 minutes. Drain and reserve.
Put the meat, onions, salt, pepper, ginger, saffron, and oil in a stew pot and turn the ingredients in the oil to coat evenly. Add water to cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Turn down the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 1 hour if using beef or lamb. If you opt for a mixture of meat and chicken, add the chicken after the first 30 minutes. Add the reserved chickpeas, carrots, turnips, and winter squash and cook for 30 minutes longer. Add the zucchini, tomatoes and raisins, cover, and cook until all of the vegetables and the meat are tender, about 30 minutes longer.
Pile the couscous on a platter. Using a slotted spoon, lift the meat and vegetables from the stew pot and arrange them around the couscous, or make a well in the center of the couscous and put them in the well. Taste the pan juices and adjust the seasoning, adding a little honey if you like. Scoop out 1 cup of the pan juices and mix with harissa to taste. Spoon the remaining juices over the meat and vegetables. Serve at once and pass the harissa at the table.
Photo: Leigh Beisch
Excerpted from The New Mediterranean Jewish Table: Old World Recipes for the Modern Home by Joyce Goldstein. Published by University of California Press.