by Andriu mac Domhnaill
I made Tardîn, a dish that has been served at many feasts in the past. It’s a simple recipe that works well in a feast hall or a home kitchen. I made it as outlined in the original recipe as well as without boiling the meat.
All ingredients in a bowl before mixing.
The meat spread on parchment paper before being placed in boiling water.
Meat in water. I wasn’t sure how this would turn out. When we last made this for a feast, we we’re cooking sheet trays of meat at a time.
The non-boiled meat version. Cut into triangles before pan frying.
Triangles of meat in olive oil.
Boiled meat slab. Does not look very appetizing at this point, but wait. It gets better.
Fried boiled meat.
A platter of meat served with mustard. The two big differences between the boiled meat versus the non boiled meat are: 1) The boiled meat retained it’s size and shape when frying. The non boiled meat shrank and thus deformed slightly. The boiled meat shrank in the water and was cut after. 2) The boiled meat had more of a meatloaf taste and texture, as opposed to the non boiled meat that had a more burger like texture and taste. Both were very good.
This is the original recipe from Annals of the Caliphs’ Kitchens, Ibn Sayyār al-Warrāq’s Tenth-Century Baghdad Cookbook. English translation by Nawal Nasrallah
2lbs lean ground meat (in this case beef)
1 small onion diced
Whites if 2-3 large eggs
1 tsp Aniseed
2 tsp Black Pepper
5 Tbsp Cummin
1.5 Tbsp Cassia
2Tbsp Olive oil (for the meat)
2 Tbsp Soy Sauce (Murri substitute)
1/2 – 3/4 C Olive oil for frying
Place pot of water on stove and bring water to a boil. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Spread meat mixture on parchment paper. Flatten until approximately 1/2 inch thick. Fold paper around meat and carefully place in boiling water and let cook for 5-10 minutes. Meat will be firm. Remove from water. Cut into triangles. Heat remaining Olive oil in shallow pan. Carefully add triangles to heated oil and fry until browned. Approximately 1-2 minutes per side. Serve with mustard.