LAMB KEFTA TAJINE WITH EGGS & PAPRIKA BUTTER
Updated: Jun 19, 2020
This recipe is credited to Paula Wolfert, author of The Food of Morocco, a bible of Moroccan cookery and one of my favourite cookbooks in my extensive collection. I’ve doctored it slightly, to include yoghurt and a drizzle of paprika butter for some added filth, though neither ingredient is readily available in Morocco. SERVES 6-8
INGREDIENTS TOMATO JAM 1.5kg tinned tomatoes 500g sun-dried tomatoes Salt, to taste Sugar, to taste
LAMB KEFTA 1kg lamb mince 100g crème fraiche 240g white onion, grated 4 garlic cloves, minced 1 tbsp cumin, ground 2 tbsp sweet paprika ½ tsp nutmeg, ground ½ tsp ginger, ground 1 tsp cinnamon, ground A pinch of cayenne pepper 20g salt 15g coriander, chopped
TOMATO SAUCE 120ml olive oil 2 red onions, finely chopped 4 garlic cloves, grated 250g tomato jam 1.4kg plum tomatoes, grated 15g sweet paprika 7g cumin, ground
15g sugar Salt & pepper 8 eggs 80g natural yoghurt 15g parsley, chopped 100g butter 5g smoked paprika
1. First make the tomato jam. Combine the smoked tomatoes with their oil from the tub, the tinned tomatoes with their juices, the salt & 2 tbsp water in a food processor or blender & puree to smooth.
Scrape the puree into a pan, set over medium-low heat and cook, stirring often, until reduced to a thick jam.
2. To make the kefta, combine all of the ingredients in a food processor, add 120ml cold water and blend until pasty. Form into 25/30g balls and chill until ready to poach.
3. To make the tomato sauce, put the oil, onion, garlic & 80ml water in a tajine or heavy-based saucepan and cook over medium-low for 10 minutes, until all the water has evaporated. Add the tomato jam to the sizzling oil and stir for an instant, then add the grated tomato, 150ml water, the spices, sugar and season to taste. Simmer to blend flavours and reduce to desired consistency.
4. Add the kefta to the sauce and use a long-handled spoon to gently fold some of the sauce over each meatball. Cover & continue cooking for 25-30 minutes, turning the meatballs in the sauce halfway through.
5. Uncover the tajine, make 8 small wells in the sauce & carefully break each egg into the wells. Cover the tajine and poach the eggs for 5-6 minutes until the whites are cooked through but the yolks are still runny.
6. Whilst the eggs are poaching, make the paprika butter by melting the butter over medium heat until frothing and caramelized. Remove from the heat and throw in the smoked paprika. Stir to combine.
7. Once the egg is cooked through but the yolks remain soft, season with salt & pepper, garnish with yoghurt and a drizzle of paprika butter. Serve immediately whilst piping hot, ideally with some sort of bread to mop up the juices.