How To Make Merguez Sausages – Recipe

It’s not your everyday activity to do with children, but making your own sausages is an intriguing pursuit if your kids happen to like sausages and you’re that way inclined. We used kid goat for this, mincing some shoulder and belly with a hand-held crank mincer – lamb would work equally well – and my girls had great fun processing the mince into the sausage casings. We bought the casings online – they keep indefinitely stored in salt and in the fridge. If you don’t have a mincer, form the mince into little patties and fry them.

(Makes about 1.25kg sausages)

1.15kg minced kid or lamb

2 garlic cloves, crushed well

1 tbsp salt

½ tsp hot paprika

1 tsp ground black pepper

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

3 tbps cold water

3 tbsp harissa

Approx two meters of salted sheep casings

Try to keep the meat around 0C-4C (at about 8C, the fat begins to melt, which is not good for the finished sausage texture).

Combine the garlic, salt and spices and mix into the mince in a large bowl using your hands. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes. Mix in the harissa and water and refrigerate for about 30 minutes more.

Using clean hands knead the mix for about a minute until a sticky mass forms. Be careful not to let the meat get warm. Refrigerate for at least 30 more minutes.

Merguez sausages - Cooking for Kids Merguez sausages - Cooking for Kids Photograph: Claire Thomson/Claire Thomson

Meanwhile, soak the casings in water for at least 10 minutes. Drain the casings, then gently run water through each casing.

Place the sausage stuffer or mincer with a small sausage attachment in the freezer for five minutes to chill.

Set up the sausage stuffer or mincer and slide on all but a finger length of casing onto the tube. Start filling and cranking the sausage stuffer very slowly until the meat is just about to emerge from the tube.

Now is the fun bit, and an extra pair of (kids’) hands can be helpful. Pinch the loose end of the casing and start steadily cranking the sausage mix into the casing, continually filling the mincer as you go. Use your free hand to regulate how tightly the sausage is packed, make sure not to overstuff the casing. When the casing is nearly stuffed, slide the remaining length of casing off and tie off the tube.

Starting at one end, make 10-15cm sausage links by pinching your fingers around the filled casing to separate the filling. Twist the link toward you three times. Move down to form the next link, twisting three times in the opposite direction. Repeat with the remaining casings and sausage mix. If the casing splits at any point, remove the stuffing near the split and tie the casing closed before proceeding as before.

Let the sausages dry in the fridge for an hour or two, then store wrapped in butcher’s paper.

Use within two days or freeze and use within the month.

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