Shakshuka atop Lamb Sausages

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Florence Prime Meat Market can be a real problem, especially for someone like me who lives far enough away that visiting often is difficult.  When I go I always enter with the intention of getting a couple of steaks, maybe a whole chicken, and a thick-sliced pound of bacon.  Then I spy those lamb sausages in the glass case, which inevitably leads me to consider some lamb shanks.  Before I know it I am envisioning placing a perfectly cooked sirloin roast on the table for dinner that night.  Inevitably,  I end up returning on the subway with a 15 pound bag of meat and frantic thoughts of how much of it I can jam into my shoebox-sized freezer while cooking the rest over the next 2 to 3 days. This was my solution to those darned lamb sausages that snuck into my bag.  I stole this recipe idea from a delicious appetizer I had at Veritas awhile ago called Merquez and Farm Egg.  It was served as a poached egg on top of lamb sausage in a chunky tomato stew.  I wasn’t sure how to accomplish the same at home until I saw a recipe for Shakshuka, or spicy tomato stew with egg on smittenkitchen.com.  All I had to do was make Shakshuka* and then serve it atop those beautiful lamb sausages and presto!  Room more for more meat in the freezer!

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Gotta love the personal touch from Florence Meat Market.

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A real work of art, and I haven’t even cooked them yet!

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If you have an extra minute, using freshly ground cumin seeds really makes a difference in taste.

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*In the Smitten Kitchen version she calls for cheese atop her (vegetarian) version.  Because the lamb sausages were already infused with feta cheese I skipped that step.  The trickiest part of this recipe is getting the eggs to cook so the whites are cooked but the yolk is still runny.  In the picture on top, my yolks are very runny.  As you can see below, they cooked a bit more when I tried it again. Both are good, the only thing to avoid is hard cooked eggs because then you can mix the runny egg into the stew which has such a rich and satisfying result.

Shakshuka atop Lamb Sausages:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Place sausages on baking sheet and drizzle small amount of olive oil over the top.

Serves 4 – 6

4-6 lamb sausages (or cumberland, sweet italian, or any other you like)                            1/4 cup + 2 Tbs olive oil                                                                                                                   2 Anaheim chiles and 1 jalapeño, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped (this mix was the right amount of heat for us, but you could add or subtract depending on your heat preference)                                                                                                                                          1 small yellow onion, chopped                                                                                                         5 cloves garlic, crushed then sliced                                                                                                    1 teaspoon ground cumin                                                                                                                  1 tablespoon paprika                                                                                                                          1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, undrained                                                             Kosher salt, to taste                                                                                                                           6 – 8 eggs                                                                                                                                              1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place sausages on a sheet pan and drizzle with olive oil.   Cook in preheated oven for about 20 minutes, until they are crisp and golden.

Meanwhile, Heat oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add chiles and onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden brown, about 6 minutes. Add garlic, cumin, and paprika, and cook, stirring frequently, until garlic is soft, about 2 more minutes.

Put tomatoes and their liquid into a medium bowl and crush with your hands. Add crushed tomatoes and their liquid to skillet along with 1/2 cup water, reduce heat to medium, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened slightly, about 15 minutes. Season sauce with salt.

Crack eggs over sauce so that eggs are evenly distributed across sauce’s surface. Cover skillet and cook until yolks are just set, about 5 minutes. Using a spoon, baste the whites of the eggs with tomato mixture, being careful not to disturb the yolk.

Place one sausage in a shallow bowl and top with tomato stew and cooked egg (or two).  Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve immediately.

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