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!