One of my favorite comfort dishes in Morocco is this stew of kefta (meat) balls served in a rich cinnamon-flavored tomato sauce, in which eggs are poached in the final few minutes of cooking. The meat, eggs, and sauce should be served together in a shallow pan such as a tagine, cazuela, or iron skillet.—Paula Wolfert
For the meatballs
1 pound ground lamb or beef
1 small onion, grated
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
1/2 teaspoon cumin
2 pinches cayenne
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
For the sauce
2 medium onions, chopped
2 pounds tomatoes, chopped, or one 2-pound can organic chopped tomatoes
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 bunch parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon finely ground pepper
6 medium eggs
Make the meatballs
1. Combine the ground meat, grated onion, parsley, cilantro, cumin, cayenne, and salt and pepper. Wet your hands and form the mixture into 1-inch balls.
2. Heat the olive oil in a tagine, cazuela, or black iron skillet set over a flame tamer over medium heat. Saute the meatballs in the oil until well browned on all sides. Remove the meatballs from the pan to a dish.
Make the sauce and assemble the dish
1. To the same pan add the chopped onions, tomatoes, garlic, parsley, cumin, cinnamon, cayenne, and pepper. Cook uncovered for 30 minutes, or until the sauce has reduced to a thick gravy.
2. Add the meatballs back to sauce and simmer for 10 minutes. Carefully, break the eggs into the sauce and poach them for 5 minutes, or until set. Serve at once, directly from the pan with chunks of dense, crusty bread.
Recipe © 1973 Paula Wolfert. All rights reserved.