© Denzil Green
Merguez Sausage is made in Tunisia and Algeria. There are fresh and dried, homemade and commercial versions available.
It is made from ground lamb or beef, and seasonings such as cumin, pepper, garlic, hot red peppers. Some versions add some pomegranate juice.
Commercial ones are packed into casings, but home recipes just have you cook them as patties
They are sometimes preserved by drying them in the sun for 2 days, then packed in olive oil. Fresh raw ones have a reddish colour.
The sausage is very flavourful, so small pieces go a long way. It is often chopped up and used as an ingredient in couscous dishes and in tagines.
The sausages can be also grilled and served in pieces on toothpicks as an appetizer.
Whether fresh or dried, the sausage needs cooking before eating.
“Merguez” is the French spelling and transliteration of the Arabic name for this sausage, Mirkâs (pronounced “mirqaz”.)