Friday, February 21, 2014

Merguez Madness Volume 2

On my recent trip to San Diego I was able to source some merguez sausage from my (new) good friend Hanni at the Mid-East Market.

For those not familiar, merguez sausage is a fresh sausage made with lamb, beef, or... a mixture stuffed into a lamb-intestine casing popular in North African cuisine. It is also popular in the Middle East, and Europe, having become particularly popular in France by the closing decades of the twentieth century.

It is heavily spiced with cumin and chili pepper or Harissa, which gives it its characteristic piquancy and red color, as well as other spices such as sumac, fennel, and garlic. (SOURCE: Wiki)

Over the coming weeks I'll be experimenting with various methods of preparing and enjoying this fine delicacy. Next up, another (severe) adaption from the following recipe from Food & Wine which appeals to my new favorite practice of using pears in spicy or sour dishes:


1/2 pound merguez sausage
1 carrot, diced
1/2 onion, diced
1 ripe pear, cored and cut into eighths - I used a Royal Riviera
white wine - for deglazing
1/2 pound prepared spaghetti squash
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
4-6 oz. roasted red peppers, preferably in olive oil and garlic
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Heat cast-iron pan on medium heat, add merguez and sauté over medium heat until lightly browned. Remove merguez and leave fat in the pan. Add onion and carrot to pan and sauté until soft. Add white wine to deglaze pan.

Add pear and sauté until it begins to brown. Add prepared spaghetti squash, vinegar, and red peppers and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Add merguez back in (cut up if you wish), cover and simmer until sausage is cooked through. Uncover and reduce liquid if necessary/preferred. Serve warm.

Variations: chorizo, red onion, red wine, raisins, and something I forgot about possibly adding to Vol. 1: mushrooms. Once again - go crazy.

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