Today I am recreating a breakfast classic Shakshouka. This baked eggs dish is a staple in many north African and Middle Eastern countries and the name means ‘all mixed up’. To me it sounds like something that would be chanted around a bonfire as part of a tribal dance. Something rather primal about that.
In the most basic Shakshouka recipe, the eggs are poached in a sauce of onion, peppers, tomatoes and spices such as cumin and paprika. Depending on the region, you might also find spicy sausage, lamb mince or hot green chilli paste served with the eggs. I’ll take all of the above, thanks! My special addition was bacon because….well… you just can’t go wrong with bacon.
The dish is usually cooked in and served straight out of a cast iron pan but it’s also perfectly suited to a tagine or any oven-proof casserole dish or tray. I didn’t follow any particular recipe but I think it turned out really well as every last little bit got mopped up by clean.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 rashers of bacon, diced
- 1 Spanish or brown onion, chopped
- 1 small red chilli, chopped
- 1 medium red capsicum (bell pepper), sliced into small strips
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 2-3 button mushrooms, sliced
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander seed powder
- ½ dried oregano (fresh is also fine, parsley could be used instead)
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder (optional)
- (alternatively use 1½ teaspoon of pre-mixed Moroccan spice mix)
- 1½ cups diced tomatoes, tinned or fresh
- 4-6 free-range eggs
- fresh parsley and/or coriander (cilantro), roughly chopped
- In a deep frying pan, heat a teaspoon of olive oil over medium-high heat and add the bacon. Cook until crispy, then remove to a bowl but reserve the fat in the frying pan.
- Add the remaining olive oil. Add the onion, chilli and capsicum and sauté for 3-4 minutes, until slightly softened. Season with salt and add the mushrooms and garlic. Cook for a minute, stirring. Then add back the bacon and spices, stir for 30 seconds allowing the aromas to be released. Then add the tomatoes, stir and cover with the lid. Cook on medium-low heat for 10-12 minutes, giving it a stir a few times.
- Using a spoon, make small wells in the tomato mix and crack an egg into each, letting the egg white spill over the edges. Sprinkle each egg yolk with a little salt and pepper, cover with the lid and cook on medium-low heat until the egg whites settle and firm up but the egg yolks remain gooey, about 5 minutes. You’re after a white translucent film over the egg yolks but only just. It’s very easy to overcook the eggs this way so it’s best to leave them slightly under as they will keep cooking while getting served.
- Serve the eggs in the cooking dish sprinkled with some fresh parsley and coriander.
Looking for more breakfast recipes? Check out our paleo breakfast collection here.