I was so excited to eat this meal that I forgot to take pictures before serving it. So picture an entire round skillet with more meatballs and eggs! This recipe is from a cookbook I got for Christmas from my parents, Food of Morocco, a gift which turned out to be auspicious, because I have very exciting news: John and I are planning a trip to Morocco this summer! So you can expect to see a lot of Moroccan and Mediterranean food on my blog in the upcoming months, as I explore all of the food before we go (so I can know what to look for there of course–I am duty bound to do as much research as possible via every Moroccan/North African cookbook on the market, right?).
So about this dish. It has my family written all over it because my girls love meatballs, especially Sammy, and they love eggs, especially Alex. It is savory and delicious, with a sauce that should be mopped up with bread. It is also a very easy dish, coming together quickly but tasting like it took much longer. My recipe calls for lamb-which I will no doubt try in Morocco–but here where I live it is so much easier to get beef that I usually just sub it. Use whichever strikes your fancy.
- For Meatballs:
- 1½ lbs ground lamb or beef
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 T finely chopped flat leaf parsley (I did not have, was fine without if not authentic)
- 2 T finely chopped cilantro
- ½ t cayenne pepper (to taste)
- ½ t ground ginger
- 1 t ground cumin
- 1 t paprika
- salt and pepper to taste
- For the rest of the dish:
- 4 T extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 onion (I used large as we love onions), finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 t ground cumin
- ½ t cinnamon
- 1 t paprika
- 14 oz chopped tomatoes (canned is fine, I used frozen from last summer)
- 2 t harissa*, to taste
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- 4 eggs
- salt and pepper to taste
- *I did not have harissa and did not want to make a batch of it, so I looked at their recipe for harissa, and added pinches, to taste, of: dried red chile pepper flakes, dried mint, ground coriander, ground cumin, and garlic.
- Combine all of the meatball ingredients together in a large bowl. Mix gently with your hands--do not overwork the mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Form into meatballs of about a tablespoon each of the mixture.
- Heat a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the oil and heat it. When it shimmers, add the meatballs in one layer. Cook for 8-10 minutes, until browned all over. Remove the meatballs and set them on a plate. Wipe out the pan.
- Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and heat until shimmering over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 7 minutes with a pinch of salt. Add the garlic, cumin, cinnamon and paprika and cook for an additional minute, until the mixture is fragrant. Stir in the tomatoes and additional spices or harissa*, whichever you are using. Bring the mixture to a boil, and then reduce the heat to simmer for 20 minutes.
- Add the meatballs back into the dish and cover to simmer for 10 minutes, to cook the meatballs through. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the cilantro and then break the eggs over the dish. Let the eggs cook gently in the simmering mixture, until they are done to your liking. Serve with bread to mop up the juices.
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Nisrine, Dinners and Dreams says
My mother made this kefta tagine all the time and it is one of my favorite tagines. Your rendition of it is very successful and makes me nostalgic.
Nisrine: thanks so much for your comment. I love hearing that I got it right! And I can totally understand why it is a favorite–we loved it.
Nice work. A very unique dish. You have intrigued me. Thanks.
So jealous of your upcoming trip to Morocco! Moroccan food has to be one of my favorites and I swear that I will go there someday and gain twenty pounds. It will be worth it.
This tagine looks delicious! I love the combination of spices that it calls for.
The Food Hound says
SO SO SO jealous!!! I want to go to Morocco soooo badly!! You have to promise to bring home every spice imaginable, even if it means evading the Dept of Ag officials!! This dish looks so good and it really highlights Moroccan flavors!
So exiting that you are going to Morocco. You are going to have such amazing food while you're there. This dish would certainly get me excited for the upcoming trip. It has delicious and comfort written all over it.
Island Vittles says
oooh, I love meatballs, and the sauce around these looks spicy and rich and delicious! How exciting to plan your trip! Enjoy the anticipation…Theresa
Angela FRS says
That looks rich and incredible. Delicious.