Eggs In Hell

My husband’s family quite often visit us on a Sunday and they usually arrive around 10 or 11am. We wont have had anything to eat before they arrive as we’re either having a lie in or running round tidying up ready for them (usually the latter). So when they arrive, we’re getting pretty hungry and usually end up making everyone sausage, bacon or fried egg butties for brunch. However, I’m pretty rubbish at cooking bacon (it’s either too soft or too crispy – and it spits hot oil at you in the pan!) my husband doesn’t know the first thing about frying eggs and the thought of cooking veggie sausages brings him out in a cold sweat, so we end up bickering about who should do what.

A few years ago I watched a film (Can’t remember what it was called now) where one of the characters cooks a dish called Eggs In Hell – a spicy tomato based dish with eggs cooked into it. So to save the bickering and hot oil burns, I thought I’d give it a go as the veggie option for the next in-law visit, and free up the hob for the husband to fry the sausages and bacon. It went down a storm and was commented on for days after.

It’s a lovely, warming brunch dish, and something a bit different. I cook the ‘hell’ in the morning before they arrive and keep it warm on the hob. When the cars pull into the drive I put the oven on and crack the eggs into it. If you have any leftovers, the ‘hell’ mixture is lovely warmed through with a hand full of fresh spinach leaves as a light lunch. I wouldn’t recommend reheating the eggs.

Ready in 45-50 mins (10 mins prep, 25 mins on the hob, 10-15 mins in the oven) – serves 3-4.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed and chopped finely
  • 1 large onion, chopped finely – Pic 1
  • 1 teaspoon of chilli flakes (or a fresh chilli finely diced)
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato puree
  • 1 teaspoon of Cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • 2 tablespoons of dark brown sugar
  • 1 red or orange pepper, sliced then chopped
  • 2 large fresh tomatoes, diced
  • 1 teaspoon of Worcester Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper
  • A pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 1 can of cannelloni beans, drained
  • 1 can of chopped tomatoes
  • 3 or 4 free range eggs (enough for 1 per person)
  • 1 teaspoon of thyme
  • Half a teaspoon of nutmeg

Method

  • Put olive oil, garlic and onion into a pan and place on the hob on a medium/high heat and let it sizzle for 2 mins.
  • Add the chilli, tomato puree, cayenne pepper, paprika and sugar and cook for 2 mins, stirring regularly. – Pic 2
  • Add the fresh pepper, fresh tomatoes, Worcester Sauce, salt, and black pepper and cook for a few mins until softened – Pic 3
  • Turn the heat down and add the can of chopped tomatoes, the cannelloni beans and the lemon juice. Cover and simmer for 10 mins, stirring every so often so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. – Pic 4
  • Take the lid off, add the thyme and nutmeg and simmer, uncovered for 10 mins to reduce slightly.
  • Preheat oven to 200c / 180c fan / gas mark 6.
  • Transfer tomato mixture to an oven proof dish, and using a spoon, create a little hole and break an egg into it, try not to break the yolk like I did. – Pic 5
  • Repeat around the dish with the rest of the eggs. – Pic 6
  • Place in oven for 10-15 mins or until the eggs are just set.
  • Serve with crusty bread and if you want, some fresh parsley or thyme on the top to garnish.
Pic 1
Pic 2
Pic 3
Pic 4
Pic 5
Pic 6
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