Homemade Moroccan Merguez Sausage (No Casings Necessary!)

Do you know that scene in My Big Fat Greek Wedding where Toula tells her aunt that her fiance (whom I'm just going to call Aidan because he'll always be Aidan to me) is a vegetarian and then the whole family freaks out and then the aunt goes

"Thas OK! I make you LAMB!"

Yeah? Well I freaking LOVE that scene!

And I quote it. CONSTANTLY.

Whenever I order lamb or when my relatives make lamb or when I make lamb. Which is a lot. Because I love lamb. I don't even call it just lamb. I say things like

"Tonight we're having ThasOKIMakeYouLamb for dinner." 

Actually...who am I kidding? I quote that entire movie constantly.

Raw lamb sausage is SO not sexy looking, but it is delicious. Once cooked. Don't eat raw sausage.
I shout "YOU FIXED IT!" whenever I make a bundt cake.

And I scream "SPANAKOPITA!" whenever I eat or make or just come anywhere near the viscinity of that delicious flaky Greek spinach pie.

And whenever I see a weird lump or bump or mosquito bite on my or my husband's body, I go:

"Oh no...it's the horrrr-monees! They're going to have to do the bio...the b...the bios...the b...the bobopsy! And they're probably going to find teeth and a spinal column!"

God...if you haven't seen the movie you probably have no idea what the heck I'm rambling about here...
So I guess that you can say that I can be a little annoying. Or delightful. Up to you. Also, I shout a LOT.

Anyway, the lamb. I love lamb, and one of my favorite lamb things is merguez sausage--a Moroccan lamb sausage seasoned with Middle Eastern spices like sumac, cumin, and lots of garlic. The spices work beautifully with the natural flavor of the lamb and the aromas that fill the house while you're making them will seriously transport you somewhere far away (assuming you're not in the Middle East because then they'll just transport you down the street).

It's an easy sausage to make as you simply have to mix the meat with some oil and spices then shape it into patties or tubes. If you have casings, you can use them, but there is really no need. I love the rustic look of the simply grilled or pan-fried sausages. I serve them atop a simple cucumber salad with a minty yogurt dressing for an incredibly satisfying meal

Tip: This sausage keeps well, so make a large batch and freeze individual portions of the uncooked sausage for future meals. I like to portion them out into groups or 4 or 6, wrap them in plastic wrap, then place in freezer zipped baggies.

And then you can have ThasOKIMakeYouLamb anytime you want!

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Homemade Moroccan Merguez Sausage Recipe

2 teaspoons cumin seeds
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
2 tablespoons paprika
3 teaspoons ground cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground sumac (optional)
3 pounds ground lamb
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup fresh cilantro, finely minced
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, finely minced
6 large garlic cloves, finely minced
4 teaspoons kosher salt

In a heavy bottom skillet or cast iron pan, combine the cumin, fennel, and coriander seeds and toast over medium heat for 2 minutes or until fragrant. Let cool slightly, then grind in a spice grinder until fine and powdery. (Note: You can also used ground spices instead of whole, but the flavor will be better with the whole spices)

Combine the ground toasted spices with the paprika, cayenne, cinnamon, and sumac. In a large bowl, combine the spices with the ground lamb, oil, cilantro, mint, garlic, and salt and mix until well combined (I use my mixer to make sure everything is evenly combined.)

If desired, fry a small amount of the meat in a skillet and taste it to check the flavor. Adjust the seasonings as desired.

To shape, roll the seasoned lamb mixture into small tubes, about 4 inches long by 1 inch wide. You can also make patties, if desired. The sausage can be cooked right away, or you can wrap and freeze indefinitely. To cook, grill the sausage or cook on a skillet until cooked through.

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