Sausages can be found in many different formats across the globe and although the technique for creating them is very similar, recipes and ingredients adapt to fit with what is available in a given region. One traditional, and now widely popular, version is the North African Mergez sausage. This particularly sausage demonstrates how different cultural influences and local produce combine to reinvent the much loved sausage. Mergez is created using mutton or beef but mutton is by far the most traditional. This is a spicy sausage and herbs and spices that are commonly used in making it include chili, cumin and harissa. Spanish and North African cultures have longed been great influences on each other and the Mergez, like the Spanish Chorizo has a striking deep red color, and spicy kick.
Stuffed Zucchini with Mergez: unlike chorizo, mergez is not cured and must therefore be cooked before being eaten. The sausage can be grilled, fried or oven baked but grilling is probably the best and most ‘authentic’ option. Once cooked, chop into small pieces, mix with cooked, chopped walnuts and apricots, seasoning with a little salt and pepper. Scoop out the seeds and flesh of the Zucchini and add the mixture to them; bake for 30-35 minutes and serve with yogurt laced with mint.
Caramelized Pepper, Cous-Cous and Mergez; fry onions until softened and add red peppers, sprinkling with a touch of dark sugar. In a separate pan cook the sausages and also prepare the cous-cous separately. When the sausages have cooked remove from the pan and use red wine to de-glaze, creating a sauce. Pour this onto the caramelized vegetables, mix with the cous-cous and serve the cooked sausages on top.