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Shakshuka with Lamb Meatballs

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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

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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.
 
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