Thursday 16 February 2017

Merguez Sausage

It’s the news you’ve all been waiting for. The Butchers of Great Thorne have re-united like freshly linked sausages. After 18 months away in the UK, the home of modern butchery, Vinnie returned to Australia. We don’t want to mince words - we’re very happy to be back in business and will forget that awful time by engaging in some offal time!

As our first butchery project this year, we decided to make Merguez sausages. We recently went to Fatima’s in Surry Hills for a Lebanese feast, and tasted some deliciously spicy Lebanese sausages, which were grilled over charcoal.

In an attempt to recreate this, we researched recipes for sausages from the Middle East and Africa and the one that stood out was the Merguez sausage.

This is also our first lamb sausage, despite it being cut with a decent amount of pork fat.

A key ingredient in the Merguez is Harissa paste, which we made from scratch. The paste included some Mexican Ancho and Guajillo chillies which gives it a really earthy, smoky flavour. Vinnie will post a recipe for Harissa paste on his Jarhead Pickling blog.

Zorro, our Meat Inspection Officer
We have also now invested in a new sausage filler that makes really quick work of the stuffing process compared to the standard filler attachment to a food mixer/processor.

Our use of lamb shoulder also gave the sausages a really nice flavour and texture, and even after cooking them through on a barbecue, they still retain a lot of juice.   One improvement for next time will be to increase the amount of Harissa, paprika and chilli powder in the mix for additional heat.

Best way to serve these Merguez – on flat breads with tabbouleh and some garlicky yoghurt.

  • 3kg of lamb shoulder. 
  • 600g of pork fat. 
  • 2 tablespoons of fennel seeds. 
  • 2 tablespoons of cumin seeds. 
  • ½ Cup of Harissa Paste (find recipe here). 
  • 1 tablespoon of ground pepper. 
  • 2 tablespoons of fine sea salt.

  1. Chop up the lamb shoulder and fat into small pieces and place the chopped meat into the freezer to harden for an hour.
  2. Grind the meat and fat on a coarse setting.
  3. Meanwhile, toast the fennel and cumin seeds and the pepper in a pan and then grind until the spices become a powder.
  4. Mix the ground spices through the meat along with the harissa paste and the salt.
  5. Fill your sausages.