Lamb Merguez Sausage
Do you ever just crave something and you simply must figure out a recipe for it and make it? I don’t think that just people who cook for a living like me think like this, but perhaps it’s easier for someone who is cooking and making up recipes every day to figure it out. Well, don’t fret – even if you aren’t comfortable making up your own recipes, the internet is a vast source of information. Just search for a few things and see what makes sense and what looks doable and then adapt from there. That’s exactly what I did to figure out how to make the spicy Moroccan lamb sausage known as merguez sausage.I found a recipe for the spices on about.com and started from there. I only had smoked paprika so used that instead of sweet. I had anise seeds but not fennel seeds – and I’m not even sure if there is a difference but they smell so similar I went with what I had.I also followed the general ingredients of the sausage recipe on about.com but I definitely adjusted things a bit. I ground my own meat – not because I love doing that, but because when you buy a whole lamb, you might end up with a bunch of weird cuts like I did after you eat all the fabulous chops and roasts. I had scraps of meat and fat left from trimming chops for a party and the meat from about 6 neck bones – when it was all ground together it was the perfect balance of bits of fat and meat and miraculously yielded exactly a pound.
You can make the merguez sausage into patties (either sliders or burgers), fill casings for sausage links, or fry it ground up and use in a dish that way. It’s easy to make, packed with incredible flavor, and delicious on a little seeded slider bun with some harissa mayo. By the way, when people ask what kind of cooking I do, I call it global improv and this is a perfect example. I’m not trained in Moroccan cuisine, but this tastes good enough that it will transport you pretty quickly after the first bite!
- ¼ cup smoked or sweet paprika
- 2 tablespoons ground fennel or anise seeds
- 2 tablespoons ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander seeds
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 lb. ground lamb (not too lean)
- 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 teaspoon sriracha sauce
- Sriracha mayo, for garnish
- Combine the paprika, fennel, cumin, coriander, salt, cinnamon, cayenne, and pepper together in a small container and stir until well mixed. Add 2 tablespoons of this mixture to the ground lamb along with the garlic, cilantro, and sriracha; stir together with a fork and then form into sliders, burgers, or fill into sausage casings. Cook until desired temperature and serve with Sriracha mayo.
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