Shakshuka: the ultimate brunch

In our household, Sundays are all about a lie-in, a great cup of coffee whilst reading the papers, and a brunch hearty enough to set you up until supper. Shakshuka has to be one of my all time favourites for its versatility, sunshine flavours and crowd-pleaser status. When I make this spicy, I like to serve it with thinly sliced avocado; its mild creaminess becomes the perfect compliment to the chilli heat burning in the background. For brunch, serve with a French stick or great hunks of ciabatta to mop up that delicious slick of sauce. For a light dinner, serve with a zingy green salad.

This recipe serves 2, but can easily serve more. I normally count at least 2 eggs per person, depending on the appetites of your guests. You can also be reasonably flexible with quantities of ingredients adding a tin of tomatoes if you need to feed a larger group. This recipe also lends itself extremely well to fridge clearing so don’t be scared to throw in half a pepper or some parsley.

Ultimate Brunch Shakshuka

Ingredients:

4 eggs (or 6 if you’re hungry)

1 can of chopped tomatoes

½ a chorizo sausage (this can be spicy or mild, depending on preference. It can also be left out altogether if you want to make this recipe vegetarian)

1 bunch of coriander finely chopped (stalks and leaves)

1 large red chilli (depending on its heat, remove the seeds according to preference)

1 tsp sweet smoked paprika (you can also use regular paprika for a milder flavour)

2 cloves of garlic

Olive oil

Salt

Start by chopping the chorizo into 1cm thick semi-circles and place in a hot pan (preferably cast-iron), stirring regularly. Once the sausage starts to ooze its orange oil, add the finely crushed garlic cloves and gently fry them with a little extra olive oil if needed, being careful not to burn them. Next add 1tsp of the paprika, a small handful of the finely chopped coriander stalks and the finely chopped chilli and give everything a good stir.

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Shakshuka – Preparation

Now throw in the tinned tomatoes and their refilled tin of water into the flavourful mix in the pan. Add a large pinch of salt and leave to simmer until the sauce has reduced slightly and the oils start to amalgamate with the tomatoes, around the 15 minutes mark.

Next comes the fun part. Work out your spacing for the eggs and make 4 (or 6 if you’re hungry) holes in the sauce to crack your eggs into. Crack these carefully in a circle and then turn the heat down low. If you have a lid big enough, now’s the time to cover the pan to allow the eggs to cook on the top.

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Shakshuka – the eggs are in

I enjoy my Shakshuka with runny yolks but by all means cook the dish for longer if you prefer them solid. The eggs cook deceptively quickly on the bottom so keep checking that your yolks are still runny from about the 5-minute mark. You’ll know they’re ready when the white on top is fully opaque but there is still a fair bit of wobble in the yellow.

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Shakshuka – the eggs are cooking

Garnish with the remaining coriander leaves, and extra chilli for those wanting a real kick. Serve from the centre of the table, straight from the skillet so that your diners can marvel at your handiwork and enjoy!

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Shakshuka – The ultimate brunch

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