Merguez

Someone asked me recently whether I had a Merguez Sausage recipe

I didn’t at the time, but it reminded me of how much I loved these North-African sausages, so I did some research

Having researched a few French language recipe sites for the basic ingredients (the French are big Merguez eaters and it is, in fact, from growing up in Luxembourg, in close proximity to France, with French Nannies/Housekeepers, that I developed my love for these spicy delights), I played around with quantities and this was the result:

Merguez

Merguez cooking on the BBQ

Merguez Ingredients:

  • Sheep Casings (I used ex. narrow hog casings because I didn’t have any sheep ones in the house, but Merguez are traditionally chippolata-thin.  I used about 10 yards of the ex. narrow hog casings, but with thinner ones, you’d need more)
  • 1.5kg approx. of Lamb Shoulder (with all the fat!) – roughly 2 shoulders of 2kg each, boned & diced by your butcher
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2tbsp Harissa (This makes a fairly mild Merguez as my eldest daughter wouldn’t eat it otherwise.  Adjust the quantity of Harissa according to your own tastebuds – the spicier/hotter you want your Merguez to be, the more you add)
  • 60ml cold water
  • 2tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1tsp paprika
  • 3tsp Ras el Hanout (readily available in the spices area in most major supermarkets) – the one I bought had whole seeds in and other chunky bits of ingredients, so I ground them down more with a pestle and mortar
  • 1tsp fennel seeds, ground with a pestle and mortar

Method:

Depending on the sausage casings you buy, these may require soaking for a few minutes or a few hours before use

Peel the garlic and place it in a bowl with the lamb

Sprinkle on the Ras el Hanout and fennel seeds, gently mix ingredients together to ensure the meat is more or less evenly coated (this will make it easier later)

Put the meat (coated in Ras el Hanout and Fennel Seeds) and the garlic through your meat mincer/grinder on a coarse setting

Add all the other ingredients and mix well but gently, without over-working the meat

Merguez - uncooked

Merguez – freshly made, uncooked

Tip: If you want to test the flavours (I don’t mind tasting raw meat, but you get a better idea of the flavour balance in the cooked end product), make a tiny little patty and fry it up in a non-stick pan, then taste and adjust seasoning if required.  It’s always better to have to add seasoning as you can’t take it out once it’s in!

Place the sausage casings on the nozzle of your sausage-making machine, feed through the meat mixture to make one long length of merguez sausage

Once you’ve made your long one-piece merguez, twist at regular intervals (each Merguez needs to be approx. 10cm long) and snip at the twists with scissors if you wish to separate them at this point.

Grill, BBQ, Pan-fry or cook on a griddle and enjoy!

Merguez Sausage – Gloriously Simple, Gloriously Good!

Advertisements

Chicken Sausages | Healthy Sausages

Low-fat Sausages:

Chicken and Apple Sausages

If you’ve been following my blog and recipes for some time, you’ll know that whilst I adore calorie-laden, fat-rich, exquisitely decadent and rich food, I have to temper this with some very low-calorie, low-fat, healthy food…for health reasons that are relevant to all, of course, and because weight has always been an issue for me.

I’m therefore delighted to have come up with these really healthy sausages: Chicken Sausages…don’t run for the hills!  With the addition of apples, these chicken sausages are deliciously moist and full of flavour!

CHICKEN SAUSAGES | CHICKEN AND APPLE SAUSAGES

Chicken and Apple Sausages, shown here with steamed carrots and fried onions (done in a Wok using only a few sprays of 1Cal Spray Cooking oil)

Ingredients for 21 sausages (1 portion = 3 sausages = approx. 195kcal)

  • 900g chicken breast (cut into chunks to fit into your meat mincing/grinding machine)
  • 2 cooking apples (approx 320g once peeled and cored)
  • 3tsp Knorr Aromat (or use seasoning of your choice, to taste – see notes about seasoning, below)
  • Approx. 2.5metres of medium natural sausage casings (I used Ex. Narrow Hog Casings)

A note on seasoning for these chicken sausages:

You can play around with the recipe to alter the flavour profile; for example, you could season with sea salt and a touch of cinnamon to complement the apples.  Or you could use celery salt.  I’ve used Knorr Aromat because I find chicken can sometimes need a big kick of seasoning and Aromat achieves this, but I am conscious of the fact that it contains a lot of MSG and may not be of everyone’s choosing for that reason.  So if you just want to substitute the Aromat without going wild with other seasonings, you could just season generously with sea salt and a little bit of freshly-ground black pepper.

Method

Grind/Mince the chicken breast and apple pieces together, on a medium setting.  If you don’t have a meat mincing machine, you can buy ready-minced chicken breast meat and grate the apples (or, for more texture, finely chop them).

Mix in the seasoning

Thread the sausage casing onto your sausage-making nozzle and gently feed through the chicken sausage mixture.  This is a very wet mixture so the sausages are very soft.

I’ve found the easiest way to make these chicken sausages is to make one long continuous sausage, then fold it into 7 equal lengths on a big chopping board.  You can then twist and cut at the end of each length, then gently fold each length into 3 and twist & cut at the folds.  This will then give you 21 fairly even-sized healthy chicken sausages.

Freeze any you don’t want to use immediately.

Cooking: Grill, barbecue, dry-fry in a non-stick pan or cook on a griddle.  Serve with a mixed salad or steamed fresh vegetables. Enjoy!

Tip

These healthy sausages are a real low-fat, low-cal treat and very satisfying as a 3-sausage portion is a decent size meal, but if you don’t have a sausage-making machine, you can still mix the ingredients as above, but then make them into patties/burgers instead.

Gloriously Simple, Gloriously Good!

Lincolnshire Sausages | Lincolnshire Sausage Recipe

Lincolnshire sausages are a firm Sunday breakfast favourite in our house!

Naturally, therefore, after the Sardinian Sausages, our next foray into sausage-making had to be Lincolnshire Sausages…

After a bit of playing around to get the quantities right on the herbs and seasoning, hubby and I are delighted that we’ve cracked it and made bangers to be proud of! 🙂

Lincolnshire Sausages

The quantities indicated here will make approximately 25-30 sausages, depending on how long & thick you make yours.  Ours were very chunky indeed! You can use collagen casings but we’ve opted for natural ones.  The large ones you use for making Lincolnshire Sausages are quite easy to use even if you buy them as hank, as we did on this occasion, but in future we will buy them spooled as they should be even easier to handle.  I found a site that sells them HERE.  A huge ‘thank you’, on this occasion though, to Ben Marshall Butchers at Doncaster Market, for supplying us with the casings and for the outstanding quality of the meat they sold us 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 1.7kg pork (mixture of shoulder & belly) – ask your butcher to remove the rind, leaving as much fat as possible on and then cut into chunks you can put through your mincer/grinder
  • 360g breadcrumbs (use fresh soft bread – not with hard crusts – and put through a food processor to make crumbs)
  • 3tsp fine sea salt
  • 1.5tsp freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1tsp ground coriander
  • 16 large fresh sage leaves (either finely-chop by hand or, ideally, put through the grinder/mincer with the meat)
  • 2tsp freshly-grated nutmeg (use a very fine grater)
  • 2tsp cornflour
  • 400ml cold water
  • Natural Hog Casings (casings for thick sausages)

Lincolnshire Sausage Recipe

Method:

Add the salt, pepper, coriander, sage leaves and nutmeg to the meat and mix together (you can leave to marinate/infuse for a couple of hours if you like).

Put through a meat grinder/mincer on a wide/chunky setting.

Make the breadcrumbs in a food processor, then add to the meat, herb & seasoning mixture and add the water and cornflour.  Mix well by hand to ensure the flavours and all ingredients are evenly spread.  The breadcrumbs and meat will absorb the water and you’ll end up with a pasty/sticky mixture.

Thread the natural casings over your sausage maker nozzle and feed the mixture through.  Do this slowly and let the sausages get as thick as you’d like them to.  Work on a long continuous length for each 10-12 sausages, twisting to separate each time you’ve reached the desired length for one sausage.

You can then either refrigerate/freeze them linked as they are, or separate by cutting through at the twisting points with scissors and freezing them individually.

These Lincolnshire sausages are very cost-effective (ours worked out at about £0.50 per sausage to make) and you know exactly what’s in them!  Food doesn’t get much better 🙂

Update 9th November 2015

Emma Simkiss and her husband chose this recipe to use for Emma’s first video on her brand new YouTube channel…it’s a fab video! Take a look:

Gloriously Simple, Gloriously Good!