Spicy egg, meatball and tomato Tagine

Kefta Mkaouara (Spicy egg, meatball and tomato tagine) is a Moroccan dish from Rick Stein’s Mediterranean Escapes. I’ve only ever seen Rick Stein on Saturday kitchen – I’ve never watched his shows or read any of his cookbooks before. I got this book out of the library after seeing him cook pasta alla norma planning to cook this and some of the other Italian recipes. So you can imagine my surprise (not to mention my boyfriends delight!) when the first dish I cook is a Moroccan one and not only that but I really enjoyed the flavours in this dish.

The cookbook has loads of mouthwatering pictures of not only his recipes but of the places he visited. You may have noticed I love Italian food and Italy is top of my list of places I dream of visiting. The pictures and Rick Stein’s commentary in this book (as well as the food) has made me want to visit even more – I will definitely be looking out for repeats of this series on UKTV food.

Kefta Mkaouara
(quantities halved from Rick Stein’s recipe)
Serves 2
Olive oil
2 fresh medium free range eggs
salt and pepper
For the meatballs
225g minced lamb (could use beef)
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp hot paprika
For the sauce
1 small onion
1 x 400g can of chopped tomatoes
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp hot paprika
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 garlic clove, crushed

  • Pre-heat the oven to 200C/Gas 6
  • In a bowl use your hands to mix together the meatball ingredients along with some salt and pepper.
  • Using wet hands shape the mixture into small (2.5cm) balls (12-14).
  • Heat 2 tbsp olive oil (or as much as you think, I didn’t measure this) in a small tagine if you have one, if not (like me) use a frying pan.
  • Brown the meatballs briefly on all sides, remove and set them to one side.
  • Add the onions to the frying pan (with extra oil if needed) a saute gently for 10 minutes until very soft but barely browned.
  • Add the remaining sauce ingredients to the onions and leave to simmer for 15 minutes. The sauce will be concentrated and thick when ready.
  • If using a tagine, add the meatballs to the sauce and mix.
  • If using a frying pan, mix meatballs and sauce and transfer to an oven proof dish.
  • Make two shallow dips in the mixture and break an egg into each one.
  • Bake in oven for 15 minutes or until eggs are just set.

Serve with warm flat breads.

Rick Stein’s flat bread recipe

Makes 8
350g plain flour
250ml warm water
1 tsp salt
2 tsp easy-blend yeast (I used fast-action dried yeast with no problems)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • Sift the flour salt and yeast into a large bowl.
  • Add the water and olive oil and mix together to form a soft dough.
  • Dip on to a lightly floured worktop and knead for 5 minutes.
  • Return to the bowl, cover and leave to rise in a warm place until doubled in size (around 1 hour).
  • Once risen, knock the air out of the dough and knead briefly on a lightly floured surface.
  • Divide into 8 balls and cover these and leave for 10 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 240C/gas 9, place 2 flat baking trays on the shelves.
  • Use a rolling pin to flatten each ball until they are about 22cm across.
  • Bake on the baking trays for 2-3 minutes each (check they are not hard after 2 minutes, remove if they are), spraying each one with a little water before putting in the oven.
  • Remove and wrap in a tea towel to keep warm.

They should be soft and flexible not hard or browned.

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