Moroccan Merguez Ragout with Poached Eggs

By • September 15, 2009 • 112 Comments

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Author Notes: Merguez sausage is a distinctly spiced Moroccan sausage made of lamb that can be found in specialty food markets. If you cannot find merguez in your area, use whatever sausage suits your taste, but I particularly like Spanish chorizo. Harissa is a fiery condiment found on most North African tables and is used to spice up dishes to suit your palate. Ras el Hanout translates to "top of the shop" and refers to the top combination of spices a Moroccan spice vendor can sell. You can find both harissa and ras el hanout at, or you can make your own. - ecswantnerepicureanodyssey

Food52 Review: We ate this for lunch and agreed it was the perfect meal for the middle of the day -- or the beginning of the day, or the end of the day. The spicy merguez (you can use hot Italian sausage if you can't find merguez or chorizo) is bathed in a lush, smoky sauce of tomatoes, onion, garlic and spices; when you cut into the soft eggs on top, poached right in the sauce, the buttery yolk combines with the rest of the dish and mellows any sharp edges. We found that we didn't need all of the oil, as the sausage gave off a lot of its own fat, so we just spooned off some of the extra oil before poaching the eggs. - A&MA&M

Serves 4

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, small dice
  • 4 large garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1 pound merguez sausage, sliced 1/2-inch thick
  • 1 tablespoon ras el hanout, see note above
  • 1 teaspoon Spanish sweet smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 15-ounce cans fire-roasted tomatoes, preferably Muir Glen
  • 8 extra-large eggs
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro, stems included
  • 2 tablespoons harissa, see note above
  • warm crusty bread, for serving
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until golden. Toss in the garlic and cook another 2 minutes. Add the merguez and sauté until almost cooked through, about 3 minutes.
  2. Lower the heat to medium-low and add the Ras el Hanout, Spanish smoked paprika and salt. Stir to combine and cook for a minute to lightly toast the spices. Add the tomatoes. Turn up the heat to medium and cook until the mixture has thickened slightly, about 5 minutes.
  3. Crack the eggs over the mixture, cover and cook until the whites set, but the yolks are still soft.
  4. Divide the eggs and ragout among four warm bowls using a large spoon. Top with a sprinkling of cilantro and a teaspoon of Harissa.
  5. Serve immediately with crusty bread.
  • This recipe is a Wildcard Contest Winner!
  • This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Brunch Eggs
Jump to Comments (112)

Tags: breakfast, doubled easily, eggs, Entrees, lamb

Comments (112) Questions (3)


about 1 month ago epicureanodyssey

Love the addition of potatoes...especially teensy potatoes from our farmer's market! Glad you are enjoying the dish...I'm mad about it!


about 1 month ago Fragon

A favorite! Steamed chunks of new potato added to the dish is a nice addition sometimes. So easy and flavorful!


5 months ago epicureanodyssey

Glad you liked it, MBE!


6 months ago MBE

This is awesome!! Made it with a locally grown/produced Merguez from Blues Creek farms and served it with Cheese Grits made with stone ground grits from Shagbark Seed and Mill and Blue Jacket Dairy Hull's Trace cheddar to soak up all those great juices!


8 months ago epicureanodyssey

Cool beans!! I make it often as of my husband's faves.


8 months ago Andrea K

This is just fantastic. I had it for New Year's Day breakfast and have made it twice since then. All my friends wanted the recipe.


9 months ago epicureanodyssey

Ham, I LOVE your additions! I will give them a whirl when next making this dish!


8 months ago Ham

I'm so glad to hear it! I thought the recipe was incredible -- with or without them -- but I'm a real sucker for grilled bread.


9 months ago Ham

This is delicious! I grilled the bread and added 1 tbl cumin with the tomatoes. Once it was finished, I also topped it with a sprinkle of za'atar.


9 months ago Kristin Nicole

This looks amazing, I love the different spices you have added to this dish. I have to try to find these ingredients and make this at home.


10 months ago epicureanodyssey

Phillip, it is only in the recent past that Harissa Spice has shown up on the market. Typically, when you see "harissa" in a recipe, it refers to a paste. If you'd like, I can send you my "faux" harissa recipe as I begin with Asian Chile-garlic Sauce. You can contact me at


10 months ago Phillip

Is the harissa in this recipe is paste/sauce form or dried spice?


11 months ago epicureanodyssey

Shell, I rather like the idea of chickpeas AND eggplant. Give it a whirl and let me know if it worked for you.


11 months ago shell

I had this dish again last night and must say it is fast becoming one of our favs. (my husband gets really excited if I tell him I am cooking the "egg dish") Thanks for the recipe. I am thinking I might experiment with a vegetarian base of eggplant and zucchini next time around, but maybe I will try oinky's suggestion of chickpeas. yummy.


11 months ago epicureanodyssey

Why thank you, the name! I like the idea of chickpeas for vegetarians.


11 months ago oinky

Epicureanodyssey, surely there is great reward for you in foodie heaven!! Fed this to my motley crüe of dinner guests with several dietary restrictions- one pot with merguez for the carnivores, another with chickpeas for the herbivores. Served this with a cast iron polenta ricotta cake. Your ragout was perfect, as NYC is brisk and cold again!


12 months ago epicureanodyssey

Awwww, you make my heart sing, procrastibaker!!


12 months ago procrastibaker

There is no point at which I don't crave this dish. During one winter, when I was living in Michigan, I ate it for dinner at least twice a week for two months straight. Since I was cooking for one at the time, I would poach just two eggs at a time in the sauce, and then poach another two the next time I went to eat it. If you can't get merguez, chorizo is a fine substitute, as is spicy Italian sausage, but the merguez really does add something extra. I made my own ras el hanout and nagged a chef friend until she sent me some homemade harissa. I can't wait until rainy season hits the Bay so I can start making this on a regular basis again.


12 months ago epicureanodyssey

Glad you enjoyed it, Nicole! Keep on cookin'!


12 months ago Nicole

Made this Moroccan stew for diner tonight. We enjoyed every bite of it. Was glad I found the recipe for the " raz el hanout". Very easy to prepare and will definitely use for the future preparation of stew. So Yummy! Love these flavors. Thanks for the recipe!


12 months ago epicureanodyssey

Why, thank you, gingerkeg! It's a keeper!