Moroccan Merguez Ragout with Poached Eggs

By • September 15, 2009 121 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&MThe Editors

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

More Great Recipes: Breakfast|Eggs|Breakfast & Brunch|Tomatoes|Olive Oil

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