Moroccan Merguez Sausage From Scratch

"We're off on the road to Morocco, This taxi is tough on the spine (hit me with a band-aid, Dad), Where they're goin', why we're goin', how can we be sure, I'll lay you eight to five that we'll meet Dorothy Lamour (yeah, get in line)." Sung by Bing Crosby & Bob Hope in the 1942 movie The Road To Morocco

Poster for the movie Road To Morocco

Merguez is a spicy sausage from North Africa whose popularity has spread all over Europe with African immigrants. You'll find it being grilled in Berlin on street corners and in Paris in white tablecloth restaurants. It is usually lamb, but sometimes it is beef or a blend of the two. It is cased in links, served as patties, as meatballs, and often formed into a tube and skewered.

Makes. About 4 pounds
Takes. About 2 hours


3 pounds lamb shoulder

1 pound lamb or beef fat or both

10 cloves (about 5 teaspoons) of garlic, minced or pressed

2 teaspoons whole cumin seed

2 teaspoons whole fennel seed

2 teaspoons coriander

2 tablespoons American paprika

2 teaspoons hot red pepper flakes

1/4 teaspoon allspice

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon kosher salt

2 1/2 teaspoons black pepper

2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley

4 ounces chilled water

Optional. Add 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne for a little extra heat, as they like it in Morocco.

Optional. About 8 feet of lamb casings.


1) Before making sausage, please familiarize yourself with best practices as described in our article on The Science Of Sausage Making.

2) Slice the meat and fat into cubes removing gristle and sinew. Place it on a plate or pan in the freezer, along with the grinder parts that will contact the meat. Leave it there for about 20 minutes until it is firm but do not let it freeze. This makes grinding easier.

3) Grind it with a 1/4" die. Toast the cumin, fennel, and coriander seeds in a frying pan over a low heat for one or two minutes until fragrant. Allow seeds to cool and then grind them to a powder in a spice grinder or pestle and mortar. Toss in with the meat. Mix in the water and everything else.

4) Pinch off a small piece of the sausage and cook it in a frying pan let it cool and taste to see if the seasoning is to your taste. Form it into patties, meatballs, skinless tubes, or encase it in lamb casings. You can then grill or smoke it, or store it in the fridge for about 5 days or in the freezer for about a month.

merguez sausage

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