One ingredient, three ways: Merguez Sausages

Welcome to our new series: One ingredient, three ways

Each month we'll be taking a seasonal bestseller from our shop and sharing our tips on how to get the best flavour, and most versatility. This month it's Merguez Sausage

What is a merguez sausage? 
Hailing originally from North Africa, merguez sausages are traditionally made from ground lamb or beef, seasoned with a blend of spices including paprika, cumin, coriander and garlic. Known for their bright vibrant red colour and distinctive spiced flavour, these are a popular summer choice for grilling on the barbeque or for adding to autumn stews and bakes. 

Our butchery team make all our merguez fresh in-store to a traditional African recipe, from lamb born and raised on our own Durslade farm. 

What do merguez sausages taste like?
With a blend of rich spices, and fatty lamb meat, merguez sausages are savoury, richly flavoured and perfect for igniting your tastebuds. 

How to cook merguez sausages 
Like all sausages, merguez lend themselves to a host of cooking techniques. In the summer, we like nothing more than simply grilling on a hot barbeque to enhance the spicy flavour with that moreish chargrilled taste. This is a simple way to cook the sausages, but as part of our new series see below our three alternatives to add a little variation to your dinner table. 

Recipe 1: Grilled merguez, homemade flat breads & salad

For the simplest recipe in this series, serve up simply grilled merguez sausages alongside our homemade flat bread recipe and a selection of salads.

For the sausages, take them out of the fridge approximately 30 minutes before cooking to bring them up to room temperature. If using a bbq (which is our definite favourite) simply pop them on the hot grill and turn regularly until cooked all the way through and chargrilled on the outside. Replicate this easily indoors by using a grill pan on a medium heat. 

For the flatbread, we swear by our homemade flatbread recipe for simple, flavourful flat breads.

For the salad, as the sausages are spiced we like a cooling and refreshing cucumber salad to serve alongside. 

  • 2 cucumbers
  • 1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Wash and dry your cucumbers thoroughly, slices into thin rounds or half-moons and place in a bowl. Add the thinly sliced onion, and fresh dill. To mellow the flavour of the onion, pop the slices into cold water for 30 minutes prior to mixing into the salad. In a separate bowl, make the dressing by combining the vinegar, oil and salt and pepper. Dress the salad with half of the dressing and leave for 30 minutes to let the flavours melt together. Prior to serving pour over the remaining dressing for an extra flavour hit. 

Serve all three elements together, and enjoy! 

Recipe 2: Merguez & Butter bean stew

When you need something comforting, rich and deep in flavour, make the hassle free one pot dish that packs in goodness thanks to butterbeans, peppers and tomatoes. 

  • 1 pack merguez sausages
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 cans butter beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder (optional for added heat)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the merguez sausages and cook until browned on all sides. Remove the sausages from the pot and set them aside.
  2. In the same pot, add the diced onion, minced garlic, and diced bell pepper. Sauté until the vegetables are softened and aromatic.
  3. Add the diced tomatoes, chicken or vegetable broth, paprika, cumin, and chili powder (if using) to the pot. Stir well to combine the ingredients.
  4. Return the browned merguez sausages to the pot. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let the stew simmer for about 20 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.
  5. Add the drained butter beans to the stew. Stir gently to incorporate all the ingredients. If needed, add additional salt and pepper according to your taste.
  6. Continue to simmer the stew for another 10-15 minutes 

Serve with bread, or rice for a hearty family meal time dish 

Recipe 3: Shakshuka

For a hearty brunch dish, throw together this update on a classic breakfast

  • 1 pack merguez sausages
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (adjust to taste)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4-6 large eggs
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the merguez sausages and cook until browned on all sides. Remove the sausages from the pan and set them aside.
  2. In the same pan, add the thinly sliced onion and red pepper. Sauté until the vegetables are softened and lightly caramelised.
  3. Add the minced garlic, ground cumin, ground paprika, and ground cayenne pepper to the pan. Stir well to coat the vegetables with the spices and cook for an additional minute.
  4. Pour in the diced tomatoes into the pan. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir everything together and let the mixture simmer for about 5 minutes to allow the flavours to meld.
  5. Create small wells in the tomato mixture and carefully crack the eggs into each well. This will allow the eggs to poach in the sauce.
  6. Add the merguez back to the pan
  7. Cover the pan and let the shakshuka simmer for about 8-10 minutes, or until the eggs are cooked to your desired level of doneness.

Serve and enjoy!