The weather in London has again been on and off, sunny and rainy but one thing has been consistent – the humidity. It’s muggy enough for us not to even think about turning on the oven, which would turn our already hot living room into a sauna/steamroom. But then I saw this post from Milk and Cookies and the photo of the breakfast tagine, from the Kazbah on Darling in Sydney, just called to me. A search on Flickr came up with further photos of that meaty dish, alongside a vegetarian version. No vegetarian version for me – I wanted that combination of lamb mince, sausages, tomatoes, red peppers, spinach, eggs…it’s not exactly something one normally craves in the middle of summer! Luckily, I could put it together on the stovetop in a large saute pan; apologies if you actually have a tagine but I have no idea how to cook in one. And as the title of this post suggests, we had this for dinner, breakfast not being my strong part of the day though I wish it was. We ate this with some fluffy Turkish bread (I got some from my local Middle Eastern shop) on the side and it worked wonderfully to soak up the spiced juices. We’ll definitely be making this again, perhaps when we have guests as it’s a great dish to present at the table, and as the name suggests, it would be perfect for a large breakfast or brunch!

Breakfast Tagine

I based this recipe on what I saw in the photo (and it’s accompanying description) and a few kefta tagine (meatball and egg tagine) recipes online and the ingredients to which I had access. I wasn’t entirely convinced that feta cheese would work so I left it out this time but if you like, you can add cubes of it towards the end of cooking, before cracking in the eggs. If you’re not big on coriander, substitute flat-leafed parsley.

Breakfast Tagine
serves 3-4

6 large sausages – I used pork, each cut into 4 or 5 pieces
olive oil
1 large onion, chopped coarsely
1 large red pepper, chopped coarsely
large pinch chili flakes
300g lamb mince
2 tsps ground cumin
1 inch piece of cinnamon stick
2 bay leaves
4 large tomatoes, chopped coarsely
salt and freshly ground black pepper
small bunch spinach leaves
4 eggs
a few sprigs of coriander

Heat a large heavy saute pan or casserole over medium heat and when hot, add a glugful of olive oil. Put in the sausage pieces, turning them occasionally until browned all over. Take out the sausage and set the pieces aside.

Add the onion and pepper and fry until softened and the onion and slightly caramelised. Add the chili flakes and stir through the hot oil. Add the lamb mince and fry until cooked. Add the cumin, cinnamon stick and bay leaves and fry for a minute. Add all the tomatoes, stir to combine, add a few pinches of salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper, and cover the pan. Let simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes.

Take off the cover, add the sausages back through and let the whole thing simmer, uncovered, until the sausages are cooked through and the mixture has reduced a bit. I left it with quite liquidy but later we reduced it even more as there was perhaps too much liquid! Check for seasoning and adjust if required. Add the spinach and stir through until the leaves just collapse.

Make 4 slight indentations in the mixture with a large spoon and crack an egg into each. Cover the pan for about 5 minutes or until the eggs are cooked to your liking. Garnish with the coriander.

Serve with fluffy Turkish bread or couscous or white rice.