I’ve been making my teenage sister a basic version of this dish for some time now under the guise of a Huevos Rancheros, which has tomato sauce, a half-fried egg, jalapeños and some of its brine rolled into a day-old roti. She’s not much of an eater, and doesn’t like anything finished with cheese, so I’m constantly walking on eggshells if I decide to cook something for her.
Flamenco Eggs is really an oven-baked version of Eggs in Purgatory, or a more elaborate Shakshuka. Elaborate because in addition to the tomato base and chillies, there’s also goan choris, red peppers, some green beans and peas. They don’t necessarily need to be there, but since Aashna doesn’t give a shit about her five a day, it’s good to include some veg and meat in her diet. Onion, garlic and bacon perfume the tomato gravy as they cook down and choris spices things up a bit as it releases its oils into the baked dish. Once the eggs are set, you can serve the hot dish with crusty bread and watch the delight on someone’s face as they poke a yolk and release a rivulet of golden yellow sauce that coats everything in sight.
This is one baked egg casserole that's very difficult to say no to. Bacon and Goan choris sausages meets a hot pepper and tomato sauce and some greens. Since everything is better with an egg on top, this dish is finished under the grill till the eggs have just set.
Olive Oil 3 tbsp
Red Onion 1, finely chopped
Garlic 3 cloves, finely chopped
Red chilli powder 1 tsp
Tomatoes 7-8, medium-sized, firm sweet ones
Tomato puree 3-4 tbsp
Salt and pepper
Peas 100g, fresh. Thawed, if frozen
French beans 100g
Goan choris sausage 1 packet, that’s about 3-4 whole sausages or one full packet of smaller sausage links
Red bell pepper 1
Jalapeños to sprinkle on top, optional
Coriander chopped, to serve
Toasted bread to serve
Before you start on the baked dish, you’re going to have to do two things. Place the red pepper directly on your stovetop and let the naked flames char it all over. You can simultaneously add the 3 tbsp of tomato puree to a small saucepan and begin reducing it over medium heat till it cooks down to a little more than 2 tsp and is a thick paste.
Once the red bell pepper has charred, take it off the flame and transfer it to a plastic bag and let it cool for a few minutes. Once cool to touch, scrape all the burnt bits of pepper from the flesh and chop the flesh into strips. Set this aside.
In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium-heat and add to this the onions and garlic. Let it soften for six to seven minutes before adding in the bacon. Fry this over medium low heat till the bacon starts to render its fat.
To this add the chopped tomatoes. I’d like to say here that you could start by blanching these tomatoes, then removing the skin and adding them to the pan, but for me that’s just one extra step. If you do end up doing this, add in the reserved tomato paste together with the blanched tomatoes.
Add the tomato paste, the chilli powder, some salt and pepper, then cover and cook this mixture for 15 minutes or so, till the tomatoes yield easily and are pulpy.
Start preheating the oven to a hot 200 degrees celsius.
While the tomatoes are cooking, you can prep your greens. Keep a medium-sized heavy bottomed saucepan filled with water and bring to a boil. Add to this the green peas and let it cook for three minutes or less. Test one for doneness and drain the peas from the water and rinse it in cold water and set aside. To the same boiling water add the french beans and cook this for four minutes or less till it is cooked but still has a good bite to it. Drain, rinse under a cold tap and set this aside.
Once the tomatoes are done, bring out a baking pan and transfer the tomato and bacon sauce to this and arrange the red bell pepper slices on top. Throw in the french beans, the peas and scatter the chorizo bits on top.
Make four wells in the baked dish and crack in the eggs and transfer to the oven to finish baking. This should take about 8-10 minutes. You want the whites to be just set and the yolks should still be runny, so watch it closely. You can also choose to cook this on the stovetop itself with a covered lid in a casserole.
Serve garnished with jalapeños, coriander and serve toasted bread on the side. You could also spoon out some of the filling with an egg, place it on a roti, roll and eat it as a Huevos Rancheros.