Merguez is a kind of sausage made of lamb or beef, seasoned with spices popular in Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia. While the sausage is most common around its North African areas of origin, it is also enjoyed in other countries around the world.
Every country has its own tradition surrounding merguez, ranging from serving them with rice and vegetables in Algeria to serving them as street food in France.
Making one batch of merguez can last you a long time, given you do not give into temptation and eat them all at once. Thin, cigar-like shaped sausages are what you will find in most stores and restaurants, but when making this recipe at home, it is just as easy to make the sausages into patty or meatball shapes.
It is highly recommended when making this at home to grind your own meat. This enables you to control the fat content of your sausage– a high-fat content will make for juicy, flavorful merguez perfect to grill.
Origin & Cultural Significance
While merguez can be either lamb or beef, they can never be made of pork or use pork sausage casings because merguez sausages originated in countries with dominant Muslim populations.
Even as the sausages have been exported to different countries and cultures around the world, they have retained this quality– to be made with any other meat would defeat their purpose.
In recent years, merguez has become increasingly popular on the streets of Paris, France, along with many other kinds of North African and Moroccan foods. This has caused new traditions to surround the enjoyment of the dish– where it was once served with rice, it is now sold from food trucks between buns or alongside french fries.
Merguez is a kind of sausage made of lamb or beef, seasoned with spices popular in Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia.
- Ground lamb or beef - 1 lb.
- Garlic, minced - 4 cloves
- Cilantro, chopped - 2 tbsp.
- Harissa - 3 tbsp.
- Merguez spice mix - 2 tbsp.
- Sausage casings
Merguez Spice Mix
- Sweet paprika - ¼ cup
- Cumin - 2 tbsp.
- Fennel seeds - 2 tbsp
- Toasted and ground coriander seeds - 2 tsp.
- Cinnamon - 1 tsp
- Salt - 2 tbsp
- Olive oil - ¼ cup
- Cayenne pepper - 1 tsp.
- Black pepper - 1 tsp.
- Confectioner’s sugar - 2 tsp.
- Toast your spices. In a small skillet over medium heat, toast coriander and fennel seeds until aromatic, about 1-2 minutes.
- Move roasted seeds to a mortar and grind them along with other spices.
- Assemble the sausage contents. Use a large bowl to mix all ingredients well, aside from the sausage casings if using.
- Make sure to distribute the spices throughout the sausage mixture using your hands or a spatula.
- If using sausage casings, pass the mixture through a meat grinder and into the sausage casings.
- If not using casings, shape the sausages as desired. Rolled cigar-like shaped sausages are the most popular for Merguez, usually about 1 inch in diameter and 4-5 inches long. However, you can also make patties or balls.
- To cook, simply place on a grill or skillet over medium-high heat and cook all the way through.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 112Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 16mgSodium: 1052mgCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 2gSugar: 1gProtein: 5g