Québec Lamb Tacos with Pickled Squash

If you’re looking for a perfect combination of citrus and savour, you need to try Chef Christopher Kassab’s Quebec Lamb Tacos with Pickled Squash. This is a great dish to have for dinner or to share with friends and loved ones as an appetizer.

Servings: Serves 3-4 people


Québec Lamb Tacos:

  • 500 g deboned lamb shoulder
  • 1 sweet onion, sliced
  • 5 mL salt
  • 2 cloves of garlic, smashed
  • 5 mL cinnamon
  • 5 mL cumin
  • 15 mL cocoa powder
  • 1.5 mL Sambal chili paste
  • 4 California prunes
  • 30 mL clementine or orange juice

Pickled Butternut Squash:

  • 500g of Québec butternut squash, peeled and julienned
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 60 mL sugar
  • 15 mL salt
  • 180 mL white vinegar
  • 500 mL water
  • 2 cloves of garlic, smashed


  1. Combine lamb, onion, salt, garlic, cinnamon and cumin in a dutch oven with a tight fitting lid.
  2. Place in a preheated 250°F oven,  and bake for 5 hours, or until lamb is tender and pulls apart easily with a fork.
  3. Once the lamb is done, set aside in a separate bowl, and place the cooking liquid, including parts of the onion, in a small saucepan.
  4. Stir in the cocoa powder, chili paste and prunes. Cook over medium heat for 5 to 7 mins, allowing the liquid to reduce. Meanwhile use two forks to shred the lamb, gently pulling it apart.
  5. Remove from heat and blend sauce until smooth. The sauce should coat the back of a spoon, easily. Add in the citrus juice, and the lamb. Adjust seasoning as necessary.

Pickled Butternut Squash

  1. Combine all the ingredients, except squash, in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.
  2. Meanwhile place squash in a heatsafe container. Once the pickling liquid has come to a boil and the salt and sugar have dissolved, pour over the squash and let sit for 30 mins, before covering and placing in the fridge over night.
  3. Store refrigerated, in a well sealed jar, for up to 1 month.

For tacos, serve lamb in a soft taco shell, with sliced cabbage (coleslaw mix works well), crème fraiche, pickled squash, sliced California Prunes and a pickled Jalepeno, if you enjoy a bit of spice.

Why it pairs with California prunes:

  • balances the bitterness, and deepens the flavour of the dark chocolate
  • adds earthiness
  • adds a hint of sweetness and enhances the toastiness

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