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Moroccan Lamb Brains with Eggs and Harissa

Lamb brains cooked with tomato, eggs, harissa and olives is a famous Moroccan dish.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Soaking time12 hrs
Course: Breakfast, Main Course
Cuisine: Moroccan
Keyword: Brains, Lamb Brains



  • Generous 4 oz 2 small lamb brains, halved
  • 1 small lemon
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 4 cups water


  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • ½ teaspoon caraway seed
  • 1 15 oz can peeled tomatoes or 1 large tomato
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons harissa paste or to taste if you’re sensitive to heat
  • 1 large bell pepper seeded, ribs removed and diced ½ inch
  • 1.5 oz small handful green Castelvetrano olives, halved
  • Fresh chopped cilantro to garnish
  • 2 Tablespoons Extra virgin olive oil plus more to garnish
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper


Preparing the brains

  • Soak the brains overnight in water, changing it a few times until it becomes clear.
  • Bring the remaining ingredients for the brains to a simmer in a non-reactive pan, cover and cook for 20 minutes, then allow to cool.


  • Squeeze the seeds from the tomatoes, coarsely chop the tomatoes, reserving them with the juice from the can. Stir the harissa paste with the water until dissolved.
  • Meanwhile, heat an oven to 350F. Crush the caraway in a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder, add the garlic and mash to a paste.
  • Heat the oil in a 12 inch cast iron skillet, add the garlic-caraway mix, stir for a minute, then add the peppers and cook for a minute more.
  • Add the tomatoes and their juice, along with the brains and harissa water, bring to a simmer, then make 4 holes in which to nestle the eggs.
  • Crack the eggs in the pan, then bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the yolks are set but still a bit runny. Serve with toasted slices of baguette, fresh chopped cilantro, and generous drizzles of extra olive oil.