I’ve mentioned Chachouka several times over the last couple of weeks. Also known as chakchouka or shakshouka, it’s a North African spiced pepper and tomato stew, with eggs baked gently on the top.
It’s the ultimate comfort food: warm and spicy, with the sharp salty tang of charred chorizo and soft poached eggs that you can dip into with fresh crusty bread…
It’s one of my favourite things to cook at the moment. So easy but absolutely delicious! I can usually pull it together in about 35 minutes for a solo weekday supper, and on weekends it’s perfect for lazy brunches because we’ve usually already got everything we need in the cupboard.
I originally read about it in Hugh Fearnley-Whatshisname’s recipe book: River Cottage Veg Every Day! (brilliant book by the way), but have adapted it to suit my own taste and cooking style. And by my own cooking style I mean: made it even easier, cheaper, less faffy and with added chorizo (because I love chorizo).
2 bell peppers (I went with orange and red, but yellow would also work)
1 chorizo sausage
4 eggs (ours were XL but honestly just use whatever you’ve got)
1 tin of crushed tomatoes
2 teaspoons of honey
Crusty bread (we used giraffe bread here)
1. The quickest way to do this is to get all your ingredients ready first: using a sharp knife, score a shallow line down your chorizo sausage. Peel off the weird skin all in one go and then chop the sausage into thin-ish slices. Slice your onion into long, thin slices. Chop your pepper into long, thin strips.
2. Heat about a teaspoon of oil in a deep frying pan and add the chorizo. Fry for about 4-5 minutes, stirring as you go.
3. Add the onions and peppers and cook on a medium heat until the onions are translucent, the peppers are soft and the chorizo is sticky and starting to caramelise on the edges. This should take about 8-10 minutes.
4. Shake a bunch of smoked paprika over the whole thing, along with a sprinkle of salt and some black pepper. Keep stirring!
5. Add your tin of crushed tomatoes, the honey and a bit more salt. Feel free to sprinkle in a bit more smoked paprika if you fancy it, as well as some chilli powder if you like a bit of kick.
6. Stir everything vigorously, turn your oven on to about 180 degrees (Celsius and fan-assisted) and let the stew cook down while the oven heats up.
7. If your frying pan is oven-proof (ie: no plastic handles) then great! You can skip this step. But if your frying pan has a plastic handle, then you’re now going to tip your stew into an oven-proof dish.
8. Make four small dents in your stew, just with a spoon or a fork. Carefully crack your eggs into each dent. If you struggle to crack them cleanly, feel free to break each one into a small cup before tipping it into it’s hole.
9. Carefully slide your dish onto a medium shelf in the oven and cook until the egg whites are set. It should take about 15 minutes.
10. Slice up some crusty bread, pour yourself a hot, strong coffee (or a glass of red wine) and, as soon as the chachouka’s out of the oven, stick it on a heat-proof board and dig right in!