Classic French Merguez Recipe

Merguez Sausage. Owen Franken - Getty Images
  • 15 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins,
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 3 1/2lbs sausage (12 servings)

Create a trip to Paris in your own kitchen with this merguez recipe. The spicy lamb sausage from Morocco has become classic street food in France. Moroccan food is hugely popular throughout France and its influence is now woven through, especially with the ubiquitous Street Food so well loved, everywhere. 

Cumin, fennel, and hot peppers combine to make the uniquely flavorful sausage perfect for tucking into sandwiches, as it is typically served from food trucks at the market, festivals and fetes.

 Delicious, yet supremely casual, these sandwiches are served with frites of course, no sausage is complete without them.

Dress up the presentation of the Merguez by grilling the sausage and serve it with rice and sautéed vegetables for an easy, culturally rich meal.

What You'll Need

  • 2 teaspoons cumin (seeds)
  • 2 teaspoons fennel (seeds)
  • 2 teaspoons coriander (seeds)
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon (ground)
  • 3 pounds lamb and mutton (ground)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil (extra virgin)
  • 2/3 cup cilantro (fresh, chopped)
  • 1/3 cup mint (fresh leaves, finely chopped)
  • 6 cloves garlic (crushed and finely chopped)
  • 3 1/2-4 teaspoons salt (to taste)

How to Make It

How to make merguez:

Toast the cumin, fennel, coriander seeds in a dry skillet set over medium heat, constantly stirring, for about 2 minutes, until they become fragrant. Be very careful not to overcook, and worst still, burn the spices. If you leave them too long, this will happen, and you will need to throw them away and start again. 

Once toasted, allow the seeds to cool and then process them in a spice grinder.

Add the toasted, ground seeds to the paprika, cayenne pepper, and cinnamon. Place the ground lamb in a large bowl, drizzle it with the olive oil, and sprinkle the spice mixture, chopped herbs, crushed garlic, and salt over the meat. Mix the seasonings into the meat.

The seasoned meat can then be either formed into patties, the size and shape of your choice though avoid making them too big as they will be difficult to stuff into a sandwich.  Or,  fill bought sausage casings with the lamb sausage mixture. For this, you will need a sausage stuffer attachment often sold for stand mixers, or a stuffing machine. 

Once made, chill before using. The sausages can be made in advance and kept in the refrigerator for a few days. 

Cook the patties or sausages according to your recipe, or simply fry until cooked right through. Serve stuffed into a bread bun, pitta or slice and serve in Middle Eastern Flatbreads and fresh salad.