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Spicy Harrisa merguez sausage

This post/recipe is a follow on from the Rose Harissa paste post, I would recommend trying to pace this one over two days. the sausages freeze very well. they are strongly flavoured, not in an acquired taste way, if you are going to eat them as as main meal add plenty of vegetables.

Merguez are a spicy North African sausage made from lamb, goat or beef heavily aromatic spices and a sour chilli kick from harissa. an easy way to think of them for the uninitiated is a fresh lamb chorizo, not a convincing description but you should add these to your repertoire.

They are great rolled into chipolatas and served as bites with fresh oysters, mixed into stews or grilled and thinly sliced with salads or green vegetables.

Some specialist equipment (mincer+sausage stuffer) are required to make this recipe to the letter, there are ways around it.

The lamb can be bought minced, the pork skin once cooked and cooled can be chopped by hand or in a food processor, you could forego the sausage skins and make small koftas or wrap the sausage mix in caul fat is you would for faggots.


2kg lamb to mince approx 70 meat/30 fat

300g pork skin (fat removed)

20g salt

10g cracked pepper

10g cumin seeds

10 g coriander seeds

12 g smoked paprika

5 g allspice

20 g minced garlic

120g rose harissa paste

60 ml water

Sheep sausage casings 18-24mm

or caul fat

  1. place pork skin in a large pot and cover with water and bring to the boil, reduce the temperature to a simmer and cook for approximately 2 hours or until soft and gelatinous. remove from liquid and place in the fridge to set hard, will take at lease 3 hours in a freezer, I would advise doing this step a day in advance.

  2. mince lamb and cold pork skin.

  3. toast all the dry spices in a pan for 10 minutes or until fragrant. cool and grind in blender or motor and pestle.

  4. mix together all remaining ingredients working by hand until the mix starts to become tacky. (if the mix isn't brought together the sausage will loose all of its moisture and fat when I cools resulting in a grainy, dry, salty sausage.)

  5. stuff sausage skins or roll sausage shaped tubes of the mix and wrap in caul fat.

my favourite way to eat this sausage is with grilled or natural oysters and a lemon wedge.

it is also very good eaten with some mint yoghurt, salad and pickles.

it has strange affinity to seafood for lamb, its rich red fat working in a similar way chorizo does with clams or squid.

its also very very good cooked out of its skins as mince and tossed with fresh warmed tomatoes and lovage to make a rich and decadent tomato salad.

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