One-Pot Wonders

Moroccan Merguez Ragout with Poached Eggs

September 15, 2009
9 Ratings
Photo by Mark Weinberg
  • Prep time 5 minutes
  • Cook time 25 minutes
  • Serves 4
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. - ecswantner —epicureanodyssey

Test Kitchen Notes

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&M —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 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 Muir Glen fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 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.
Contest Entries

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • epicureanodyssey
  • MBE
  • Jason Brownlow
    Jason Brownlow
  • msmely
  • Mark Beaudry
    Mark Beaudry

134 Reviews

cpc December 10, 2022
This was really good and very easy. I would add some kale or other greens next time but otherwise it was a quick and easy weeknight meal. The persimmon was just the right touch.
epicureanodyssey March 23, 2021
Trust me when I say this is NOT Bobby Flay’s recipe! I’ve been making this for years and do not even use Flay’s recipes. So, cool it, folks!
MBE March 17, 2021
Totally agree jd! Bobby is good but didn't invent this one.
Ilya B. March 17, 2021
This is a fantastic dish! Also - this is Bobby Flay's dish. This is a little not cool to pass it as your own, especially when the only difference is omitting some ingredients (he serves it with goat cheese and some chopped herbs). But great dish all the same.
jd March 17, 2021
Bobby flay did not create Shakshuka, a dish popular in almost every country of the Middle east for many years -
Ilya B. March 17, 2021
No he didn't! BUT he did publish a recipe with 1) Merguez vs. traditional no-meat dish; 2) these specific combination of spices (raz el hanout, harissa, paprika), and almost step for step the same technique, years ago. Look it up (it's called Moroccan Eggs with Flatbread) - the similarities are uncanny. Down to serving it with bread (he kept it in the region with the flat bread). THAT's the part that I thought wasn't altogether Kosher to use a food metaphor. He clearly modified a Shakshuka recipe - but he made a play on it. This is almost verbatim his stuff. Again, it's delicious - and the I frequently think on when imitation is stealing vs. recognizing that basically everything we make is a play on one or another old recipe. But this really was too similar not to bring it up.
MBE March 18, 2021
I see your point now :-)! Looks like epicuranodeyssey is the violator of quote your source rule!
Jason B. September 26, 2020
This is a really good dish. I made it with merguez from a local organic butcher. I used equivalent spices, I was lacking the exact spice mixture. It turned out quite spicy hot due to the merguez. This is like a merguez version of shakshuka. My 15 year old loved the egg yolk in the dish and loves merguez. One family member is French and liked it also. I only had the w cans of tomatoes brand specified with chipotle in the cabinet, so I used that. This merguez can also be ordered online from D’Artagnan.
Ann M. August 30, 2019
Hi, great recipe! I made it for three of us and served it with cheese toast and not a drop of sauce was left!
MBE December 30, 2018
I've been using this one as my base recipe for great Christmas morning breakfast for years. This year I gave it an update. No oil required for the great merguez sausage I get from local butchers. Brown the sausage first then add the onion until soft and translucent, then the garlic and spices(no salt) (I use a Ras El Hanout blend that I found on Epicurious (Gourmet April 1988). Upped the tomatoes to 1-28 oz can of whole peeled tomatoes (chopped with kitchen shears) plus one 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes. Fire roasted are nice but not necessary. Added a Tbs of harissa paste with more on the table for the heat lovers. Tasted for salt after simmering for a bit (it all depends on the sausage, tomatoes etc.). Yum!!!
msmely January 31, 2018
It's not often I follow a recipe nearly exactly but this was perfect. Homemade harissa and ras el hanout probably helped, and the local butcher had some excellent lamb merguez. I started with 285g instead of 454g (1lb) and listened to the head note's advisement about oil. Started with 2tbsp and that was plenty. Served with a loaf of Jim Lahey's no knead bread and it was truly excellent.
epicureanodyssey March 28, 2016
Mark, your substitutions sound perfect. In fact, I sometimes add chickpeas. Glad you like it! emily
Mark B. March 22, 2016
Wow, this was fantastic, even my sweet, but picky kids liked this one. I used mild italian (b/ of kids) and added a can of chickpeas and it turned out great. Also added a little fresh thyme, b/ i just like thyme. worked out great. will definitely make this again. thanks for the recipe.
krikri May 4, 2015
Made this tonight. Everyone really liked it but said it was rather oily. Next time (and there will be a next time!) I'll start with considerably less and add more if necessary. Didn't have the can of tomatoes - but I chopped up some fresh ones and added some marinade leftover from taxicab chicken!
Thanks for the recipe!
epicureanodyssey April 25, 2015
Another of my favorites, Spanish chorizo, and I bet it's every bit as tasty as merguez, Sarah!
sarah April 25, 2015
Just made this last night for a "breakfast for dinner" with friends. Lots of "Wows" and "Delicious!" comments! The only substitute I made was Chorizo for Merguez sausage and the sauce reduced for longer than the recipe called for since I was fixing other things at the same time. The result was a stew like texture that I really liked. It paired well with The Tortilla Espanola recipe also from Food52. A winner all around!
none N. March 20, 2015
Sorry this is a bit late! A veg (well, really, lacto-ovo-vegetarian) version is pretty simple - just don't use the sausage. Slice a couple of red bell peppers and add to the pan to sauté when you are doing the onion and garlic. Crumble about a block/rectangle of good feta (sheep milk, not the cow milk kind) and sprinkle about half after you add the eggs, and the rest on top before serving. So delicious. No one really missed the meat.
epicureanodyssey March 20, 2015
My personal favorite is made with merguez, but try it with whatever you have on hand or whatever suits your palate. Remember, recipes are only a guideline. HAVE FUN!
Sukran O. March 20, 2015
How about trying this dish with ground beef.
chef L. March 20, 2015
I have made it with Chorizo and vouch for the flavor. I imagine ground would work but, if you're like me and like spice, you'd want to add some.
epicureanodyssey October 13, 2014
None none, would you mind posting your vegetarian version? Others might be interested in your changes. Thanks! And glad you enjoyed it!
none N. October 13, 2014
Yum! Made a vegetarian version with feta instead of merguez. Still delicious.
epicureanodyssey August 12, 2014
Love the addition of potatoes...especially teensy potatoes from our farmer's market! Glad you are enjoying the dish...I'm mad about it!
Fragon August 10, 2014
A favorite! Steamed chunks of new potato added to the dish is a nice addition sometimes. So easy and flavorful!