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Shakshuka with Lamb Meatballs


1 large shallot, finely minced, sweated in EVOO (can sub a small onion and 5 or so cloves of garlic), 
Add 1/2 small can tomato paste and carmelize then add
30oz canned diced/crushed tomatoes or equivalent amount of fresh. I used one can of diced and 4 fresh that I smoked and ran through a food mill
Add 1T ancho Powder (or regular chili powder blend), 1T smoked sweet paprika, 1T Aleppo pepper (or 1/2 T cayenne), 2-3 tsp Ras Al Hanout spice mix to taste
(This makes a mild/medium spice level, add more heat as desired.)
Instead of salt I used a Better than Boullion chicken paste to season the sauce. Chicken flavor does not come through but adds another layer of flavor and body to the sauce.
Keep at a low/medium simmer.

For meatballs, combine 1lb ground lamb, 1 egg, 1/2 cup breadcrumbs, 6-8 cloves garlic very finely minced, 1T white pepper, few grinds of black pepper, 1-2tsp salt, 2 tsp ground sumac. Mix and drop right in simmering sauce to cook, inverting at least once. This makes a meatball a little more dense than my usual Italian version. Could use a panade instead of breadcrumbs if you want them a little fluffier.

Once meatballs are cooked to through, make spaces for 4 eggs and crack into pot from a few inches above. Once the whites are cooked, you're good to go assuming you want a runny yolk. 
I made it for dinner but it's easy to make the sauce and meatballs the night before, then warm up and add eggs for a breakfast dish, which is actually traditional.

The thing that makes this work is the contrasting flavors between the sauce and meatball. The sauce is a little sweet, spicy, and a little unctuous from both the chicken base and the lamb fat infused into it. The meatball has a little more of a bite from the pepper and sumac. When you combine the two, esp if you get some egg in the bite, it's fantastic.

The Hot Pepper

Crazy bro! New to me. What's the starch? Rice? Egg noodles? Grab fresh pita and scoop?
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Crispee-FL said:
Ill need to try this, I have made something similiar called menemen, from Turkey. Really tasty so I am sure this is amazing
Yeah they're very similar. Some versions of shakshuka call for scrambling in the egg whites, leaving only the yolks intact, so even closer yet. I tried that way and did't like it as much as the version I posted.