This fabulous baked eggs recipe use a Moroccan sausage called merguez that is made with either lamb or beef, or a mix of the two. Packed with paprika and harissa, these long, thin orange-hued sausages impart their lovely spicy flavour to the dish as it cooks. It’s the ultimate weekend brunch and a cure for anything that the night before threw at you.
– 2 tbsp olive oil
– 1 onion, finely chopped
– 1 red pepper, deseeded and finely chopped
– 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
– 150g (4 small) merguez sausages, skins removed
– 1 tsp ground cumin
– 1 tsp paprika
– 2 tomatoes, finely chopped
– 1 tbsp tomato purée
– 2 tbsp harissa (page 183)
– 4 free-range eggs
– 120g Greek yogurt
– Handful of finely chopped coriander leaves
– Sea salt
1. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, for 7–8 minutes, or until soft and golden. Add the garlic and break in the sausages (about 5–6 pieces each). Mix well and cook for 1–2 minutes to get a little colour on the sausages. You may need to add a little more oil at this stage if the pan gets too dry.
2. Tip in the cumin and paprika, mix well and add the tomatoes, tomato purée, 1 tablespoon harissa, a good pinch of salt and 50ml water. Mix everything together. Increase the heat to high and bring to the boil, stirring occasionally. Cover, reduce the heat to low and cook for 15 minutes or until the tomatoes have broken down and the sauce is thickened. Remove the lid and cook for a further 2–3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is really thick. Check the seasoning and add salt or a touch more harissa if needed.
3. Reduce the heat to medium and, using the back of a spoon, make 4 little wells in the sauce. Crack in the eggs and season with salt. Cover and cook for 4–5 minutes or until the egg whites have just set.
4. Meanwhile mix the yogurt with the rest of the harissa paste and a pinch of salt. To serve, scatter the coriander over the eggs and serve immediately with the harissa yogurt.
John Gregory-Smith is a food and travel, presenter and chef. He has written four cookbooks: Orange Blossom & Honey, Turkish Delights, Mighty Spice and Mighty Spice Express.
Having launched a spice brand into Sainsbury’s at age 24, John then moved into food writing and presenting and has worked all over the globe.
John currently lives in London and travels the world, visiting some of the most far-flung, remote destinations for inspiration. He has a particular interest in North African, Middle Eastern and Eastern Mediterranean food.
Taken from Orange Blossom & Honey by Jon Gregory-Smith. Published by Kyle Books. Photography by Martin Poole and Alan Keohane.