Merguez Sausage - A North African masterpiece

The Maghreb region of North Africa, which includes Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia, is inhabited mainly by a Muslim population, and since eating pork is forbidden under Islamic law, merguez sausages are made from mutton or lamb, but beef and veal are sometimes used as well, and stuffed in natural sheep casings. In my version I'm using a mixture of Beef and Lamb in almost equal measures.

Merguez is a spicy sausage, with its heat coming from Harissa, a fiery mixture made from ground red chiles, lemon and olive oil. The harissa also gives a red colour to the sausage.


500g Beef Mince 20%fat
450g Minced Lamb 20%fat
1tsp. Whole cumin seeds
1tsp. Whole coriander seeds
1tsp. Fennel seeds
1 tbsp. Paprik
1/2tsp cayenne pepper
4 Cloves of garlic crushed.
15g.    Salt
1tsp. Hot Harissa
80ml. Iced water

Toast the cumin, coriander and fennel and grind to a fine powder, add to the finely minced and partly frozen meat along with the salt, garlic, paprika and harissa. Mix well and add the iced water.  mix together until you achieve a consistent mixture and load into lamb’s casings 18mm - 20mm.

Allow the sausage to set up for 12 o 24 hours before cooking them. this will avoid excessive shrinking of the skin when the sausage is cooked nad it will allow some of the mosisture to leave the sausage firming it up.

To prepare

The Nerguez sausage can be fried in a pan best they are best cooked over a flame on a bbq. Be careful not to burn them though.