This shakshuka has added ground beef, complimenting the herb and spice flavors, tomatoey sauce and eggs, to create a thoroughly satisfying, delicious dish.
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What is shakshuka?
Shakshuka (or shakshouka) is a delicious dish that is a popular favorite in Israel, thought to originate from Tunisia. It has a sauce base of tomato, pepper and onions that is topped with an egg poached in the sauce. The seasoning varies, some versions are spiced with chili, others are herby.
In 'original' versions there's no cheese added. However it has become common to include feta or labneh (a common soft cheese in the Eastern Mediterranean area). The slightly salty cheese balances the tomatoey sauce well.
It is traditionally a breakfast dish, and is a popular feature on brunch menus in many places around the world these days.
Here I have strayed a little from the traditional to create a shakshuka with beef. The added ground beef/beef mince compliments the existing flavors for a wonderfully delicious and satisfying dish.
As well as the meat taking on the flavors of the sauce, it makes it more filling. This is definitely a dish that sustains you throughout the morning (or afternoon).
Shakshuka is something I love to get for brunch at a cafe near us, but I also love making this version at home. We've shared it with friends and family a few times as well and is always a hit. It's great served with bread to help mop up the delicious sauce.
Tips for making shakshuka
- Don't rush the sauce. It needs a little time to both soften the vegetables (without burning) and get all the flavors to mingle.
- You can make the sauce in advance and either store it in the refrigerator for a day or two, or freeze it. Then when you are ready to use it, heat it up and add the egg.
- It's worth cooking up a big batch of sauce and dividing it up for later. That way you can make it nice and quickly when you need it and spend more time enjoying it.
The recipe below is for four people, but you can easily increase or decrease the amounts for the number of people you are cooking for.
If you have a larger number of people, it is easiest to cook it in a larger pan and divide it up. However you can also cook individual portions in a small skillet/frying pan. For four, I used my Le Creuset braiser (or casserole) while for individual portions, I'd use my 8in Lodge skillet (affiliate links).
This beefed-up shakshuka is a thoroughly delicious dish, slightly spiced with cumin and paprika, and with a lovely freshness from lots of herbs. It feels both healthy and filling at the same time, which it is, and is definitely something we are going to be enjoying again soon. I hope you'll give it a try too.
Try these other favorite brunch recipes:
- Eggs Royale (smoked salmon eggs Benedict)
- Menemen (Turkish scrambled eggs)
- Bacon lobster omelette
- Plus get many more ideas in the breakfast and brunch recipes archives.
- 1 onion large, or 2 small
- 2 red peppers
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic or 3 if smaller, crushed
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp ground paprika
- 2 tbsp parsley chopped
- 4 tbsp cilantro coriander, chopped, divided
- 1 tsp dried thyme or 2tsp fresh, fresh leaves removed from stem and chopped
- 12 oz ground beef 340g beef mince, lean, eg 90% is best
- 28 oz chopped tomatoes 1 can/carton, 795g (see note)
- 4 eggs
- 2 oz feta cheese 60g
- Peel and slice the onions in half or quarter rings, depending on size. Core the peppers and cut in slices.
- Heat the oil in a large shallow pan or skillet and add the onions. Cook for 2-3minutes until they start to soften. Add the peppers and cook, stirring now and then, for another 5minutes.
- Add the garlic, cumin, paprika, parsley, 2tbsp cilantro and thyme and stir. Cook for another couple minutes until starting to brown slightly.
- Add the ground beef and brown the meat, then add the tomatoes. Cook for around 15-20minutes to allow the flavors to mingle. Season with a little salt and pepper to taste. Up to this point can be made in advance and chilled or frozen.
- When ready to serve, re-heat the sauce if needed then gently push four indentations in the sauce with the back of a serving spoon and crack an egg into each one. Chop up the feta into small chunks and sprinkle over the top. Cover the pan with a lid and allow the eggs to cook in the sauce for around 5 minutes, basting the whites with the sauce part-way if needed. Ideally you want the whites just cooked and the yolks still a little soft so they will mingle with the sauce when you serve up.
- When the eggs are ready, sprinkle the remaining cilantro over the top and serve with bread on the side to mop up the sauces.
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