Merguez is lamb sausage spiced with harissa.
Harissa is a Moroccan spice paste.
A common street food in France, merguez ranges in spice level from medium to murderous. The D’Artagnan brand merguez that you can now buy at Price Chopper is hot enough to get your attention but should not do serious damage.
Merguez can serve most of the functions of chorizo or hot Italian sausage, and I’ve been toying with using it to flavor chickpeas, but so far I’ve been emulating how I had it several years ago in Montreal.
At the edge of Marche de Jean Talon, a man had a Hibachi set up on a back deck and was grilling merguez and serving it in lengths of baguette he had sliced open like hot dog buns, slathered with mustard.
It was heavenly, and it’s easy enough to recreate with a fresh baguette and some Grey Poupon.
When I found myself short a baguette recently, I made do with what was on-hand and made a merguez croissandwich.
- Three links of merguez
- One round croissant, the type where the ends are bent together so it looks like a lopsided sandwich roll
- One slice of Jarlsburg cheese
Cook the sausages until brown on the outside and just firm – these are lamb, not pork, so you should cook them somewhat less than you would an Italian or breakfast sausage.
Slice the croissant in half and make a sandwich with the sausages and cheese.
Feel free to wash this down with a glass of red wine.