In Morocco they serve bread with every meal. If you want eat this Moroccan-style, put the dish in the middle of the table and use flat-breads to mop up the little meatballs and eggs. It’s really worthwhile seeking out hot paprika (the paprika available in supermarkets is the sweet version), but don’t be tempted to use smoked paprika as it has a much stronger flavour and will overpower the dish. You can use minced lamb instead of beef if you prefer. The tagine also works well without the eggs, but they do add an extra layer of flavour and texture.
Kefta Mkaouara – to serve 4
- 500g minced beef
- small handful chopped parsley
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp hot paprika
- olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- fresh ground black pepper
- sea salt
- 4 eggs (optional)
- handful fresh coriander, chopped
Preheat the oven to 200ºC.
Mix the mince with the parsley, 1 tsp of the cumin and ½ tsp of the paprika, some black pepper and about 1 tsp salt. Wet your hands and make lots of tiny meatballs (about the size of cherry tomatoes).
Heat a couple of good glugs of olive oil in a frying pan and brown the meatballs in batches. Remove them with a slotted spoon.
Add the onion to the pan with a little extra oil if necessary and cook gently until very soft (about 10 minutes). Add the tomatoes, the rest of the cumin and paprika, 1tsp ground black pepper and the garlic. Simmer gently for about 20 minutes but be careful that it doesn’t reduce down too much and become thick. Season well.
Add the meatballs to the tomato sauce and pour into a shallow ovenproof dish. Push the back of a ladle into the mixture to make 4 wells to crack the eggs into. Bake for about 15 minutes or until the eggs are just set. Serve with the coriander and some warm flatbreads.
Drink with: a fruity red. We had a glass of our favourite “everyday” wine of the moment which the the Selvapiana Chianti Rufina and it worked a treat.