Kefta Mkaouara - Spicy Egg Meatball and Tomato Tagine

Rick Stein's 'Mediterranean Escapes' cookbook has been out a good while now but in my opinion it's one of the best books I own. 

Spicy Egg Meatball and Tomato Tagine

Even though I've made this time and time again, we still love it.  Of course you don't have to have a Tagine to make this, I didn't use mine as it's a bit on the big side, so I just used a shallow oven proof baking dish.

To serve 2 greedy people (or 4 not so greedy) you will need:
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 very fresh eggs - free range of course
salt and freshly ground black pepper
A small handful fresh coriander leaves, coarsely chopped, to garnish

For the Meatballs:
500g minced beef
2 tablespoons finely chopped flat leaved parsley
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon hot paprika

For the Sauce:
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
1 tsp ground cumin
½ teaspoon hot paprika
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 garlic cloves, chopped
*salt to taste - go careful you might not need any.

How to do it:
Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.

Put the minced beef, parsley, cumin, paprika, one teaspoon salt (not more) and some freshly ground black pepper into a bowl and mix together well using your hands. Dampen your hands and form the mixture into about 28 2.5cm/1in balls.

Heat two tablespoons of the oil in a shallow Tagine or frying pan and brown the meatballs briefly on all sides.

Remove with a slotted spoon to a plate and set to one side.

Add the onion to the Tagine or pan with the remaining tablespoon of oil and cook gently for ten minutes until very soft and just beginning to brown.

Add the remaining sauce ingredients and leave to simmer gently for 15-20 minutes until well concentrated in flavour but not too thick.  Taste and season with salt if you think it needs it.

Return the meatballs to the sauce and mix together.
Transfer to a shallow oven-proof dish if you have prepared the sauce in a frying pan, otherwise leave the mixture in the Tagine and leave the top off of it.

Make four slight dips in the mixture and break an egg into each one.Bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until the eggs are just set.

Scatter with the chopped coriander and serve with warm flat bread.

Spicy Egg Meatball and Tomato Tagine

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