Sep 6, 2011

Kefta Mkaouara

Kefta Mkaouara

The moment I bought my tagine I knew this traditional Moroccan dish would be the very first meal I’d cook in it. Kefta Mkaouara is a simple, no-nonsense spicy meatball tagine that is to die for.

You’re talking wonderfully seasoned meatballs that are slowly simmered in a sauce made from onion, garlic, tomatoes, spices and (in my case) ras el hanout and harissa. These ingredients combined create a deep, rich flavor that all come together in a savory meal that can be eaten as breakfast as well as dinner.

And last but not least: you poach a few eggs in the sauce. Heavenly, I say.

 

Ingredients:
 

Meatballs:

1 pound ground beef
1 tsp salt
pepper to taste
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp hot paprika powder
1 small onion
2 tbsp flat-leaf parsley
pinch of cayenne
1 tbsp oil

 
Sauce:

1 large onion
1 large garlic clove
2 14oz cans diced tomatoes
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ras el hanout
4 medium eggs
harissa
pepper
1 tbsp oil

 

Directions:

Combine the ground beef with the salt, pepper to taste, cumin, hot paprika and a pinch of cayenne.
Kefta Mkaouara

Grate a small onion and add it to the beef. Mince a bunch of parsley (about 2 tbsp) and knead it in there.
Kefta Mkaouara

I used a small ice scoop to make equal sized meatballs.
Kefta Mkaouara

Give the large onion a chop.
Kefta Mkaouara

 
I soaked my tagine for 24 hours before using it and slowly let it come to temperature. Keep in mind that you’ll need a flame divider to use the tagine on your stovetop.
 

Poured some oil into the tagine and cooked the onion in there. This will go slow.
Kefta Mkaouara

Heated a little oil in a skillet en gave the meatballs a head start in there.
Kefta Mkaouara

Didn’t cook them all the way through, I merely browned them on the outside.
Kefta Mkaouara

Add the meatballs to the tagine as soon as the onions are soft, along with the grated garlic.
Kefta Mkaouara

You can use fresh tomatoes for this (go for 2 pounds), but I prefer to use the canned version. Add 2 cans.
Kefta Mkaouara

Season the tomato sauce with 1 tsp salt, pepper, ground cumin and ras el hanout.
Kefta Mkaouara

 
Normally you’d add cinnamon to the sauce, which I didn’t because the ras el hanout already has cinnamon in it. If you don’t have ras el hanout, replace it with a little extra cumin and a pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg.
 

I spiced things up by adding a nice bit of harissa.
Kefta Mkaouara

Give it a good stir.
Kefta Mkaouara

Put the lid on and let it simmer for 20 minutes.
Kefta Mkaouara

After 20 to 25 minutes you crack 4 eggs on top. Close the lid and let it simmer for another 10 minutes, until the egg white have set but the yolks are still runny.
Kefta Mkaouara

 
This was fantastic! Though I normally make this in a Dutch oven and that works fine, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the tagine gave me a better result. It was almost like the meatballs continued to brown during cooking as well.
 

Serve with chewy and warm Moroccan flatbread. I know you’ll love this as much as we did!
Kefta Mkaouara

Kefta Mkaouara
Ingredients
    1 pound ground beef
    1 tsp salt
    pepper to taste
    1/2 tsp ground cumin
    1/2 tsp hot paprika powder
    1 small onion
    2 tbsp flat-leaf parsley
    pinch of cayenne
    1 tbsp oil
     
    Sauce:
     
    1 large onion
    1 large garlic clove
    2 14oz cans diced tomatoes
    1 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp ground cumin
    1 tsp ras el hanout
    4 medium eggs
    harissa
    pepper
    1 tbsp oil

Directions
    Slowly bring the tagine to heat after soaking it for 24 hours. Use a flame divider.

    Mix the ground beef with the salt, pepper, hot paprika, cayenne, cumin, grated onion and minced parsley. Form it into small, even-sized meatballs.

    Heat a tbsp oil and brown the meatballs. Mince the large onions, heat 1 tbsp oil in the tagine and cook the onion in the tagine until soft. Grate the garlic.

    Add the meatballs to the tagine, along with the garlic. Pour in the diced tomatoes and season the sauce with salt, pepper, cumin, harissa and ras el hanout. (recipes for harissa and ras el hanout can be found at kayotickitchen.com)

    Put the lid on and let it simmer for 20 minutes. Crack 4 eggs on top, put the lid back on and let it simmer for another 10 minutes until the egg whites have set but the yolks are still runny.

    Serve with Moroccan flatbread.
Meal type: Moroccan, main course, breakfastl
Servings: 4
Copyright: © kayotickitchen.com

    © kayotic.com
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    18 Comments »

    1. 1

      I don’t have pot like this, but the meal looks like nice and easy to cook. Gonna try it at weekend.

      Indrė on Sep 6, 2011 @ 9:28 am Reply
    2. 2

      A beautiful dish! That is something I love eating. Moroccan food is amazing.
       
      Cheers,
       
      Rosa

      Rosa on Sep 6, 2011 @ 11:05 am Reply
    3. 3

      Thanks Kay!  You’ve inspired me to take out my tagine and cook!  I visited Tangier and Fez in Morocco and adored the food there and picked up ras el hanout amongst many other spices along with a tagine whilst shopping in a souk.  Incredible experience. Can’t wait for dinner time now.

      Róisín Ní Mhórdha on Sep 6, 2011 @ 1:44 pm Reply
    4. 4

      Wow that looks good! Is that considered a breakfast, lunch or dinner?

      Arrisje on Sep 6, 2011 @ 1:46 pm Reply
    5. 5

      I am seething with jealousy over your tagine! That looks amazing. I could doggy paddle right through that goodness.

      Bev Weidner on Sep 6, 2011 @ 2:49 pm Reply
    6. 6

      that looks really really good!

      Angie @ Bigbearswife on Sep 6, 2011 @ 3:41 pm Reply
    7. 7

      It’s all about how air/steam and moisture circulate in a tagine. Things don’t dry out as they would in an open pan because some of the steam condensates on the sides of the lid and runs back inside the dish while at the same time the food isn’t smothered by steam as it would in a dutch oven as the steam can escape through the hole in the top. Hard to believe that such an ingenious design is hundreds of years old.
      Does the tagine fit in your big green egg with it sitting directly on the coals? That might be the closest you can get to a North African setup.

      Karohemd on Sep 6, 2011 @ 4:21 pm Reply
      1. I’m blown away by how simple yet effective this system is. The food comes out amazing. Today I’m doing it the authentic way: not browning the meat (chicken in this case) first and just putting everything in there raw, along with a tiny knob of butter and a little liquid and just letting it simmer.

        It will definitely fit in my egg. 

        Kay on Sep 6, 2011 @ 4:35 pm Reply
        1. Ik ben overtuigd. Ik koop mijzelf morgen een tajine! :)

          ilona on Sep 11, 2011 @ 8:57 pm Reply
    8. 8

      That looks so yummy!  I don’t have a tangine, however.  Any way I can cook this dish without it?

      Rachel on Sep 6, 2011 @ 11:29 pm Reply
      1. I always used my le crueset. Not an exact match to this is what I now find, but close enough.

        Kay on Sep 7, 2011 @ 7:46 am Reply
    9. 9

      This is fabulous and the photos are beautiful as always.  I’m always looking for new ways to use my tagine.  I tend to revert to the usual dishes, but this will be next on my list.  Possibly tomorrow!  The beautiful thing is that it really is a “thinrecipe” and that makes it even more exciting.
      Can’t wait to try it out.

      Fran on Sep 7, 2011 @ 4:03 am Reply
    10. 10

      Mmmm! I’m up for anything with runny eggs. Looks fabulous.

      Jenna on Sep 7, 2011 @ 6:17 pm Reply
    11. 11

      LOVE! this was sooo good. I never have to add anything to your recipes.

      Natalie on Jun 12, 2012 @ 1:05 am Reply
    12. 12

      Can I make this without a tagine or a dutch oven? It looks soooo good!

      Anisah on Jan 3, 2014 @ 3:23 pm Reply
    13. 13

      Just made this for lunch! DE-LI-CIOUS ! My Moroccan Boyfriend loved it! Easy and super good recipe!

      Yazzy on May 8, 2014 @ 1:00 pm Reply
    14. 14

      This looks delish! How big is the tagine you used? The one I have is 8.5″ diameter and I’m wondering if it is big enough or if I should use my larger dutch oven. Any thoughts from folks who have made this?

      Cara on Jan 11, 2015 @ 6:25 pm Reply
    15. 15

      Thank you for the recipe.
      Isn’t the meat dry? Every time I try to cook a kefta tagine, i find the meat very dry.
      How to avoid this? Any tips?
      Thanks!

      cedoub on Jun 30, 2015 @ 2:17 pm Reply

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