Home | Tagine Party in a Montreal Riad

 

A Few weeks ago, my friend Luka invited me to a Tagine party. As guests, we were asked to bring mezzes, a middle eastern version of Spanish tapas that are generally eaten before a main course to stimulate your appetite. However, often mezze make up for an entire meal which is amazing because you get to taste so many different things.

Luka and her roommate Annie share the most distinguished, vintage styled apartment. Every object in their home is unique, elegant and has been curated to fit the apartment with the same sensibility as if they were going to be showcased in an art gallery.

 
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High ceilings, original moldings, a beautiful long white dinner table, candles everywhere…The Saint-Henri apartment emanates Renaissance luxury with a modern twist. 

 
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Like every time a party implies cooking (and even more when there’s a theme), I become utterly excited, and instead of bringing one mezze, I brought 5.  Moderation isn’t exactly my thing.

My favourite which was also a personal creation was a labneh, dill, olive and cherry tomato confit pita dip.

 
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Luka cooked up two Tagines, one lamb and one vegetarian for our friend Charlotte that was visiting us from Toronto. It was DELICIOUS!

 
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The recipe

2 lbs (1 kg) lamb shoulder, cubed
2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil
2 onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup (60 ml) almond butter
2 teaspoons (10 ml) ground ras-el-hanout (see note)
1 teaspoon (5 ml) ground turmeric
1 teaspoon (5 ml) ground fennel seeds
1 cup (250 ml) black tea infusion (such as Earl Grey or other)
2 cups (500 ml) chicken broth
1/2 cup (125 ml) dried black mission figs, halved
1/2 cup (125 ml) dried cranberries
1 cinnamon stick

Preparation

In a large skillet, brown the meat, half at a time, in the oil. Season with salt and pepper. Place in a slow cooker

In the same skillet, soften the onions and garlic. Add the spices and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Deglaze with the tea. Add the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil and pour over the meat.

Cover and cook for about 4 hours on low temperature or until the meat is fork tender. Serve over couscous.

 
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