Try This: Braised Eggs with Lamb, Tahini & Sumac

While looking for a unique meal to serve friends for the holiday I came across a fabulous, hearty dish from the cookbook Jerusalem: A Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenhi and Sami Tamimi. I figure there really wasn't a better cuisine for celebrating Jesus's birthday. Braised Eggs with Lamb, Tahini & Sumac is a riot of colors, flavors and textures. The meal is perfect for winter as the lamb is warming and nourishes blood while the pine nuts and yogurt benefit yin. The authors include many variations so it's easy to avoid possible food sensitivities and improvise with what you have in the kitchen. Perfect to satisfy a crowd! Jerusalem: A Cookbook is filled with other recipes I absolutely love. Highly recommended. And the cookbook makes a great present for yourself or a friend. Enjoy!



yield: 4 SERVINGS


prep time: 10 MINUTES

cook time: 30 MINUTES



  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped (1¼ cups/200 grams total)
  • 6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 10 ounces/300 grams ground lamb (ask your butcher for two-thirds shoulder and one-third belly)
  • 2 teaspoons sumac, plus extra to garnish
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Scant ½ cup/50 grams toasted, unsalted pistachios, coarsely chopped
  • 7 tablespoons/50 grams toasted pine nuts
  • 2 teaspoons harissa paste
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped preserved lemon peel
  • 1 1/3 cups/200 grams cherry tomatoes
  • ½ cup/120 milliliters chicken stock
  • 4 large free-range eggs
  • ¼ cup/5 grams cilantro leaves or 1 tablespoon Zhoug
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • Scant ½ cup/100 grams Greek yogurt
  • 1 ½ tablespoons/25 grams tahini paste
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon water


  1. Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a medium, heavy-bottomed frying pan for which you have a tight-fitting lid. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for 6 minutes to soften and color a bit. Raise the heat to high, add the lamb, and brown well, 5 to 6 minutes. Season with the sumac, cumin, ¾ teaspoon salt, and some black pepper and cook for another minute. Turn off the heat, stir in the nuts, harissa, and preserved lemon and set aside.
  2. While the onion is cooking, heat a separate small cast-iron or other heavy pan over high heat. Once piping hot, add the cherry tomatoes and char for 4 to 6 minutes, tossing them in the pan occasionally, until slightly blackened on the outside. Set aside.
  3. Prepare the yogurt sauce by whisking together all the ingredients with a pinch of salt. It needs to be thick and rich, but you may need to add a splash of water if it is stiff.
  4. You can leave the meat, tomatoes, and sauce at this stage for up to an hour. When you are ready to serve, reheat the meat, add the chicken stock, and bring to a boil. Make 4 small wells in the mix and break an egg into each well. Cover the pan and cook the eggs over low heat for 3 minutes. Place the tomatoes on top, avoiding the yolks, cover again, and cook for 5 minutes, until the egg whites are cooked but the yolks are still runny.
  5. Remove from the heat and dot with dollops of the yogurt sauce, sprinkle with sumac, and finish with the cilantro. Serve at once.

recipe from from Jerusalem: A Cookbook.