Last week my boyfriend and I went to what's generally known as the best brunch place in Portland....and it really was one of the best brunches I've ever had! The restaurant is called Tasty and Sons, and they specialize in using local meats, seasonal produce and incorporating those into recipes from all around the world. This place is no joke. They do dinner, too, but brunch is their forte.
The boyf had a dish called Shakshuka. I'd never heard of it before, but now I've been enlightened! It's an Israeli stew of roasted peppers, onions and tomatoes, topped with eggs and baked. Tasty and Sons had to option to add merguez lamb sausage to their version, which he of course got. Sausage...duuuuuh.
It seemed like an easy enough dish to replicate at home, so I did a little internet searching, and lo and behold, the owner of Tasty and Sons has put out his recipe for Shakshuka on a local online food magazine, Tasting Table. So I used that recipe as a template and tweaked it a little, along with a few tips from the recipe on The Shiska blog (an awesome Jewish food blog)...and it turned out to be a terrific, warm, comforting stew that was perfect for a rainy winter night.
This would be perfect for breakfast or dinner, and could be multiplied to feed a crowd, and baking it in a larger casserole pan. Serve it with a green salad and maybe even some grain-free biscuits, and you've got a perfect cold weather meal!
Shakshuka with Lamb Sausage
(Israeli Roasted Pepper and Tomato Stew)
1/2 lb merguez lamb sausage, ground (you can also use plain ground lamb or other sausage)
2 Tbs butter
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 red bell peppers, cored and seeded
2 green bell peppers, cored and seeded
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1 bay leaf
1- 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
optional: finely chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
Preheat oven to 350 F. Place prepared bell peppers on a small sheet pan or casserole dish. Add 2 Tbs water to the pan. Roast for 30 minutes, rotating halfway through, until the peppers have begun to brown on the outside and become quite soft.
Set aside to cool; once the peppers have cooled, slice into thin strips.
Keep oven heated to 350 F.
Heat a cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Add butter to the heated pan. Add onions and cook 3-5 minutes until softened. Add the garlic and saute 1-2 more minutes.
Add the sausage to the pan and cook 5 minutes, until it begins to brown.
Add in the bell peppers and the spices, and cook 2-3 more minutes.
Pour in the canned tomatoes, with their juice, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cover. Let simmer 10 minutes. Remove the bay leaf.
Remove the pan from the stove. Crack the eggs, leaving them whole, on top of the stew.
Bake in preheated oven for about 10-15 minutes, until the egg whites have begun to set and the yolks are still runny. If you like your eggs more cooked, leave in a few more minutes.
Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper and garnish with fresh parsley, if desired. Serve immediately.
**If you don't have an oven proof skillet/cast iron skillet to make this in, you can cook the veggies and sausage on the stove in any skillet or pan, then transfer to a casserole dish before adding the eggs on top, and bake it in that instead!