Merguez is a spicy lamb sausage that originates from northern Africa. It is a deep red in color, thanks to diced roasted red bell peppers, harissa, paprika, and chili pepper flakes. This particular variant calls for lemon zest and chopped mint to give it high notes that will create what we think is a pretty fantastic balance.
Rumor has it that the Berber, an indigenous people of northern Africa, called this creation Merguez because of its phallic shape. Yes, even our ancestors made sausage jokes at Meat Club.
• 8 lbs. boneless lamb shoulder
• 2 lbs. pork belly
• 6 red bell peppers
• 4 unwaxed lemons
• ½ head garlic
• ¼ cup kosher salt
• 1 tbsp. dextrose
• ¼ cup paprika
• ¼ cup harissa
• 2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
• ¼ cup chopped fresh mint
• 2 tsp. ground sumac
• 2 tsp. ground coriander
• 1 cup water, chilled
• 4 cups water
• 2 tbsp. white wine vinegar
• 30 ft. sheep casing or 20 ft. hog casing
If you're buying the meat pre-ground from the butcher, ask them to finely grind the meat.
Place 3 large mixing bowls and the meat grinder attachment in the freezer around 15 minutes before use. Keeping the equipment cold will help the grinding move quickly.
Measure out all of the ingredients from your shopping list, so that they are ready to work with in the subsequent steps.
Turn the broiler on to high heat. Put the 6 red bell peppers on a baking sheet, and place beneath the broiler. When the top side of the bell pepper blackens, turn the bell pepper. Ensure that all sides of the pepper are fairly black.
Remove from the oven and place in a brown paper sack for 15 minutes. This trick will make the peppers easier to peel.
Once the bell peppers have cooled, remove the blackened exterior skin from the pepper, keeping the red inner membrane.
Cut the red inner membrane away from the stem and seeds, removing as many of the seeds as you can.
Dice the red inner membrane. Mix the diced bell peppers into the herb and spice mixture.
Assemble the sausage stuffer.
Press the ground meat through the stuffer until the meat just barely pokes through the end of the spout.
Push the open end of the casing over the end of the stuffer, and continue to push the casing onto the stuffer until you reach the end of the casing. Tie a knot at the end of the casing.
Stuff the sausage into the casing and wrap the sausage into a long coil. Once finished, tie off the other end of the sausage. Twist the sausage into links every 4 inches.
Place the sausages in butcher paper or sealable plastic freezer bags and use a Sharpie to label the package Merguez: made May 6, 2015.
Refrigerate for at least 24 hours before consuming, to allow the flavors to mingle. Place in the refrigerator for up to 1 week, or the freezer for up to 1 month.
Sauté or roast the sausage to an internal temperature of 150°F / 65°C before consuming. Serve on a bed of couscous with a side of harissa, or use it to make a to-die-for tagine or Shakshouka.