This recipe is kinda spicy! I show you how to make Merguez yourself. The sausage comes from the Maghreb kitchen. This means Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco.
Merguez is made of lamb meat. Since the mixture is strongly spiced, it tastes very spicy and according to your preferences also very hot.
For my Merguez I used a mixture of spices and pre-made harissa.
I also added three alternatives below and at the end I have written a short instruction how to make Harissa yourself.
You can find the complete Merguez recipe as a video or read it.
Have fun and good luck making it!
Making Merguez at home – What you need
Meat for 1 kg Merguez:
- 100 % lamb shoulder / lamb rib with 20 % fat
The fat content is very important here, otherwise your sausage will become too dry. If your meat does not have enough fat, you can also add extra fat. It is best to ask your butcher for advice.
Spices per 1 kg meat:
- 18 g salt
- 15g Harissa Paste
- 7 g fresh garlic
- 2 g black pepper
- 1 g paprika
- 0,5 g allspice
- 0,5 g cumin
- 0,5 g coriander
Equipment you need to make Merguez
You need a meat grinder to “grind” the meat. The meat is chopped into small chunks and can then be mixed.
You need a sausage stuffer to get your meat mass into the casing. In the beginning you can also add a filler to your grinder or use a modified plastic bottel or funnel.
Merguezs are traditionally filled into natural sheep casings caliber 20/22.
Homemade Merguez – Step-By-Step Instructions
1. Cut the meat into strips or cubes. You can vary the size depending on how big your meat grinder is.
2. Add the spices (except garlic and harissa) and massage them in.
3. Put it into the freezer for 1-2 hours. This will help your grinding process later and make sure that the mixture does not get too warm.
4. Chop the garlic into small pieces and process it into a paste Add some salt and press the garlic firmly onto the board with a knife. Then cut again and press again. This way the garlic becomes a fine paste.
5. Now you can grind the meat. I used the finest perforated disc (3 mm). You can also let the sausage go through twice if you want it extra fine.
6. Now add the garlic and harissa paste and mix well for 3 – 5 minutes.
You can either knead the meat with a food processor with a kneading attachment or mix it vigorously by hand. This ensures that the sausage meat will bind well and the sausage will not be crumbly later on.
7. Now put the casing onto your sausage stuffer and fill the mass into the casings. Make sure that there is trapped as little air as possible.
Important: Do not fill the casing too full, otherwise it will burst later when roasting.
8. Now it’s time to link the sausages. You can decide for yourself how big your Merguez should be. Put the sausage between your thumb and forefinger. Rotate the sausage away from you then move to the next link and rotate it toward you.
The traditional length is between 20 – 30 cm (7.8 – 11.8 in).
9. Cut the individual links apart and your sausage is ready. Whether grilled or fried in a pan, enjoy.
How long does the Merguez keep?
Depending on how you handle it after production, the Merguez has a different shelf life.
Raw, it can be kept in the refrigerator for about 1-2 days.
If you poach it directly after production at 75 °C (167 °F) for 25 minutes, it will keep for about a week in the refrigerator in an airtight package.
Alternatively, you can also freeze it raw or poached and it will keep for up to 6 months without losing any of its taste.
I usually eat the sausages directly or freeze them raw.
Alternative Merguez recipes (Mediterranean / Tunisian / Algerian)
I have written down 3 more Merguez alternatives for you…
Meat remains the same.
Spices per 1 kg meat:
|Salt||22 g||22 g||25 g|
|Black Pfeffer||3 g||3 g||3 g|
|Chili||2 g||2 g||2 g|
|Garlic Powder||2 g||2 g||2 g|
|Coriander Seeds||–||3 g||–|
|Red Paprika (fresh made to a paste)||25 g||40 g||30 g|
|Paprika powder||2 g||–||–|
|Aniseed||–||2 g||3 g|
|Oregano||–||2 g||2 g|
Homemade Harissa for your Merguez
Ingredients for about 250 g Harissa:
- 120 ml olive oil
- 120 ml water
- 15 ml red wine vinegar
- 2 dried chillies (e.g. Cascabel)
- 1/2 white onion, chopped
- 3 chopped garlic cloves
- 7 g caraway seeds
- 7 g coriander seeds
- 3 g yellow mustard seeds
- 3 g cumin
- 15 g palm sugar
- 1/2 large raw beet, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1/2 carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
- 2.5 Roma tomatoes, roughly chopped
- Salt to taste
- Pepper to taste
- Soak the chili in water for 1 hour, then remove the seeds and chop
- Fry onion and garlic in olive oil until translucent
- When the onion is soft, add caraway seeds, coriander, mustard seeds, cumin, palm sugar, beets, carrots, pepper, tomatoes and Cascabel chilies.
- Cook over low to medium heat for 90 minutes, adding ¼ of water (30 ml) to prevent burning
- Purée until smooth and season with salt and vinegar.
- The paste can be kept sealed and refrigerated for 5 days