Lamb is one of my favorite meats to cook because of how rich and flavorful it is, so I figured it would be the perfect addition to a traditional shakshuka base. But then I wanted to see what would happen if I treated the whole situation like one big lamb kebab, using the same warm spices to make a gorgeous sauce for the eggs to poach in. I finished it with tart, lemon-laced yogurt for bright balance—long story short, major success.
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
1½ teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound ground lamb
6 large tomatoes, chopped, or 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
6 large eggs
Fresh mint leaves, for serving
Lightly toasted pine nuts, for serving
Lemony Yogurt (page 56), for serving
Challah, pita, or other soft white bread, for serving
- In a large skillet with a tight-fitting lid, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until soft, about 1 minute. Stir in the cumin, paprika, turmeric, and cinnamon and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the garlic and lamb and cook until the meat browns and most of the liquid in the pan evaporates, 5 to 7 minutes. Use your spoon to break up any big chunks as the lamb cooks.
- Stir in the tomatoes and sprinkle with the salt and a few cracks of black pepper. Cover the pan and reduce the heat to medium. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes break down and form a beautiful caramelized sauce, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the lid and cook for another 5 minutes to thicken slightly.
- Create small wells in the sauce for the eggs to settle in. Crack an egg into each well, taking care not to break the yolks, and season with salt and pepper. Cover the pan and cook until the whites are set and the yolks are still runny, 3 to 5 minutes.
- Serve with a sprinkle of mint and pine nuts, a drizzle of yogurt, and alongside your choice of bread.
Makes 1 cup
A bright, tangy, garlicky yogurt goes with pretty much anything and everything. And as you’ll see in this book, I find an excuse to use it in a lot of my cooking. It’s the perfect condiment for adding creaminess to a dish, to be the cool counterpart to hot chiles, and to bring out the other flavors on your plate. I love having this yogurt with almost all my egg dishes, on roasted meat and vegetables, and even dolloped on top of soups.
1 cup whole-milk Greek yogurt
Juice of ½ lemon
½ garlic clove, grated
½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
In a medium bowl, whisk together the yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, and salt to combine. Check for seasoning and adjust if needed. Store in the fridge for up to 1 week.