Bacon and Lamb Merguez

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Makes

    5 pounds

    links or patties

Appears in

The Bacon Bible

The Bacon Bible

By Peter Sherman and Stephanie Banyas

Published 2019

  • About

This is my take on the spicy moroccan lamb sausage, merguez, which is usually made with lamb and beef or beef fat. No surprise, I substitute pork and bacon here. The addition of pork makes this sausage a bit juicier, and the bacon and smoked paprika add additional smoke. It’s one of my favorite sausages of all time. Merguez is not smoked, but nothing about this sausage is traditional. Serve with grilled pita, Thyme Tzatziki, and Bread and Butter Pickles.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups (960 ml) dry red wine, such as Merlot
  • Ice
  • 12 ounces (340 g) thin-sliced bacon
  • 4 pounds (1.8 kg) ground lamb shoulder (80/20)
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 4 teaspoons Diamond Crystal kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons phosphates
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh oregano leaves
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon red chile flakes
  • 5 ounces (140 g) finely diced roasted red pepper (about 1 large roasted red pepper)
  • Hog casings, if using

Method

In a medium-size pot over high heat, boil the wine until reduced by half, then let cool completely over an ice bath.

Put the bacon on a plate and freeze for 15 minutes before slicing to make it easier to cut. Transfer to a cutting board, stack several pieces on top of each other, and slice crosswise into pieces ¼ inch (6 mm) thick.

Put the bacon, lamb, garlic, salt, phosphates, paprika, oregano, black pepper, chile flakes, roasted pepper, and cooled reduced wine in an extra-large bowl and mix with your hands until combined.

If you are planning to make patties and not links, divide the mixture into 16 equal portions (5 ounces/140 g each), then form into patties. (Alternatively, the meat mixture can be frozen to be made into patties later: Shape and roll mixture into two logs about 6 inches [15 cm] long each. Wrap in plastic wrap and foil and freeze. To use, thaw and slice into patties with a knife, then cook following the instructions. Or if you like, you can shape into patties, and layer them individually onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze. Then remove and add to a gallon-size zip-top freezer bag.)

If you plan to stuff your sausage, see the instructions.

Cook the sausage patties or links according to the instructions.