Merguez a spicy, short sausage from North Africa that is made with lamb or beef, and flavored with spices. Spices such as paprika, cayenne or harissa, a hot chili paste, all give Merguez sausage its red color. Sold by street vendors in Paris, can also be found in London, Belgium and New York. Merguez, the French transliteration of the Arabic word mirqaz, is a spicy small sausage used in Tunisia and Algeria. There are Merguez sausage recipes that include coriander, oregano, fennel seeds (used in Italian sausages) and even ground cinnamon. This is a spicy sausage and in addition to the spices listed in ingredients above, please feel free to add any spices that you personally like. Merguez is often made into hamburger patties or meat balls. It is served by frying in olive oil until well browned or grilled. Fast-fermented semi-dry version of the sausage follows below:

Lamb1000 g2.2 lb
Ingredients per 1000g (1 kg) of meat
Salt23 g4 tsp
Cure #12.5 g1/2 tsp
Dextrose10 g2 tsp
Black pepper5.0 g2 tsp
Garlic6.0 g2 cloves
Cayenne pepper4.0 g2 tsp
Paprika5.0 g2 tsp
Cumin2.5 g1 tsp
Coriander2.0 g1 tsp
Olive oil14 g1 Tbsp
F-LC culture0.12 guse scale
  1. Grind lamb through 3/16” plate (5 mm).
  2. Mix all ingredients with ground meat.
  3. Stuff firmly into sheep casings 18-26 mm and form 5-6” (15 cm) long links or leave in one continuous rope.
  4. Ferment at 24º C (75º F) for 48 hours, 90-85% humidity.
  5. Dry at 16-12º C (60-54º F), 85-80% humidity for 18 days.
  6. Store sausages at 10-15º C (50-59º F), 75% humidity.
Many recipes call for Harrisa Paste which is nothing more than a combination of the spices that are already listed above as ingredients in the recipe (garlic, cumin, olive oil, hot chili peppers and coriander).

Making Harrisa paste:
1. Place 4 oz of red hot chilies in a bowl and cover with hot water for two hours, then drain.
2. In a blender process ¼ cup garlic cloves, ¼ cup ground cumin, ½ cup ground coriander, ¼ cup salt, drained chillies and ½ cup olive oil. Add olive oil slowly until a thick paste is produced. For a finer consistency rub paste through a sieve.
You can make a smaller amount of paste: 1 garlic clove crushed and finely chopped, ½ Tbs salt, 2 Tbs olive oil, 1 tsp cayenne pepper, ½ tsp ground cumin, ¼ tsp ground coriander. Mix ingredients in a jar and shake well. Cover with a lid.

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