Sunday Brunch: Shortrib Shakshuka

WGN Weekend Morning News
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Chef CJ Jacobson shared his recipe for his middle eastern dish that’s essentially a delicious pepper stew with a base of tomato sauce and onions and eggs baked into the top — shortrib shakshuka.

This is a great one skillet dish or add a side green salad and turn it into a perfect meal.

Chef C.J. Jacobson is best known for his ‘rustic-refined’ way of cooking. He is currently executive chef and partner at Aba.

Aba is a Mediterranean restaurant with a rooftop patio located in Chicago’s historic Fulton Market District.

Ingredients for tomato sauce: 

3 tablespoons garlic, minced

1 medium onion, diced

1 fresno chili, finely diced

2 tablespoons ground cumin

1 tablespoons ground coriander

2 teaspoons fennel seed

1 tablespoon Alleppo pepper

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

½ teaspoon ground clove

½ teaspoon ground allspice

¼ teaspoon nutmeg, grated or ground

1 quart canned tomatoes (crushed)

1 cup beef or chicken stock

2 tablespoons olive oil

Salt to taste

Instructions for tomato sauce:

In large heavy bottomed pot, add olive oil and place over high heat.  Once the oil is shimmering, add the garlic and onion.  Sauté until translucent (about 3-4 minutes) then add the spices.  Add the tomatoes and stock.  Turn heat down and simmer on low for 30 mins.  Season with salt to taste.

Ingredients for poached eggs:

12 large eggs

1 gallon of water

2 tablespoons of any white vinegar

Instructions for poached eggs:

Place water and vinegar in a large pot that will hold them.  Bring the pot of water to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.  Using a slotted spoon, create a whirlpool.  Imagine drowning the egg in its vortex, that’s what I do.  Once the whirlpool is achieved, crack one egg in the center.  The centrifugal forces rotating around the newly drowned egg, allow it to form a tight poach.  Allow to simmer about 3 mins and carefully remove to a plate. Repeat process for each egg.

Ingredients for shortrib shakshuka:

1 lb. cooked shortrib, cut into chunks (this is a great way to use leftover meat from last night’s dinner!)

1 quart harissa-tomato sauce

1 cup water

Poached eggs – 2 per person, unless more are needed for those unreasonable folk :)

8 ounces Kefaloterie cheese (can also use cheddar), grated

Instructions for shortrib shakshuka:

Place harissa-tomato sauce and short rib in a pot over medium heat. Add add a cup of water and stir to combine. Simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. This step can be done while you poach your eggs.

Note, at Aba, we use a cast iron pan to serve this dish.  It looks cute and keeps heat longer, but if you don’t have little cast iron pans, you can always use a shallow bowl for each person.

Place hot shortrib and harissa-tomato sauce mixture to almost fill a shallow bowl or warm cast iron pan.  Sprinkle cheese on top and then place the poached eggs on top. Drizzle the plate with olive oil and serve!



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