Merguez is a pretty fiery little lamb number, with roots in North Africa. As well as ballsy spices like cumin, fennel and coriander, the real star of the show is harissa paste. Add paprika, garlic and chilli to this potent mix and you’re dealing with quite a substantial sausage. She’s a firecracker. We call sausage like this a “meal sausage”, as we feel they can - and should - be treated like a steak, a pork chop or a lamb rump. In other words, you can cook them and build a meal around them, with interesting sides. In this case, we have thrown a whole bunch of our favourite herbs into some yoghurt. Seriously, anything you have on hand will do the trick. But stick to soft herbs; rosemary or thyme wouldn’t work here. The sweetness of the dates in our quinoa offsets the heat from the sausages, with the walnuts bringing a bit of texture to the party. It’s a great dish, with the humble sausage at the core.
Stuff you’ll need: (Feeds 4)
For the Merguez:
- 1 x pack FFMM Merguez sausages
- Olive oil
- Balsamic vinegar or white wine
For the salad:
- 1 cup quinoa
- 21/2 cups water
- 1 x handful walnuts, roughly chopped or smashed in a clean kitchen towel
- 1 x handful dates, pitted and roughly chopped
- Olive oil
- Sherry vinegar (use anything you’d like here, really)
- Salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
For the yoghurt
- 1 x cup yoghurt
- 1 x handful finely chopped herbs (mint, coriander, parsley, chives, dill, fennel fronds will all work here)
- Juice of one lemon
What you’ll do:
For the salad:
- Combine water and quinoa in a pot and bring to the boil.
- Cover, reduce heat and cook gently until water has absorbed and quinoa is tender (about 20mins).
- Allow to cool slightly and add salt, pepper, olive oil and sherry vinegar, all to taste.
- When fully cooled, add dates.
- Mix to combine.
For the yoghurt:
- Combine finely chopped herbs and yoghurt and stir through. Keep a few herbs back for garnish.
- Just before serving, add lemon juice.
For the sausages:
- Rub sausages with oil all over.
- Heat a pan and add a small slick of oil. (Not too much)
- Add sausages and turn often. Once they have a bit of colour, reduce heat.
- Cook gently, turning often. Merguez are fatty sausages so don’t be too alarmed at the amount of fat in the pan.
- When cooked (approximately 6 - 8 minutes), remove and allow to cool.
- Meanwhile, carefully pour off some of the oil and then add a splash of vinegar or wine to the pan to deglaze, scraping off the brown bits. When liquid has reduced until sticky, use it as a sauce to pour over the end dish.
Spoon quinoa salad onto a plate. If you feel like being fancy, cut the sausages on the diagonal. (Or just leave them as is.) Top with sausages. Add a generous amount of yoghurt and a final flourish of herbs for garnish. Drizzle over the reduced pan juices.
Get your Merguez Sausage in any of our stores or order online here.