Merguez Lamb Burgers

Lamb BurgersLaden with aromatic Moroccan spices, these Merguez Lamb Burgers add an exotic flavor to a weeknight supper or a fancy dinner party.

 

I can’t honestly remember the first time I had merguez sausage, but I do know that ever since then, I have to order it any time I see it on a menu. The combination of aromatic spices mixed with lamb, one of my favorite meats, makes merguez pretty irresistible.

Originally of Moroccan origin, merguez sausage migrated its way north and became a popular addition to French cuisine. Traditionally made with lamb, or a combination of lamb and beef, blended with peppers, garlic, and other spices, merguez lends incredible flavors to a meal.

These Merguez Lamb Burgers have all the flavor of the traditional sausage, with minimal fuss– no need to grind your own meat and stuff it into casings. Because the flavors are so robust, these burgers are fantastic served with some simply-prepared vegetables and rice (or cauliflower rice) to soak up the delicious juices.

I don’t normally cook with whole spices, simply for ease of preparation, but taking the brief extra step of toasting the cumin, coriander and fennel seeds, then grinding them fresh, really makes these burgers shine.

Harissa can be found in the international aisle of plenty of grocery stores, usually near the curry pastes and hot sauces. I picked up this Mina harissa (which also comes in a spicy variety) because the ingredients were very clean. Trader Joe’s also sells a great harissa.

The spice blend noted below is on the mild side. If you like more spice, use a spicier harissa or add more cayenne to your merguez lamb burgers.

I’m not one to eat my burgers on a bun these days, but if that’s your preference, go right ahead. I’d suggest mixing some harissa with some mayo for a tasty spread, and topping it with fresh lettuce and some pickled veggies for a bright bite.

Preparation of Lamb Burgers

Merguez Lamb Burgers paleo, gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, low carb

  • 1 lb ground lamb grass-fed
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds or 3/4 tsp ground
  • 1/2 tsp coriander seeds or 3/4 tsp ground
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds or 3/4 tsp ground
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne or more if you like spice
  • 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 Tbsp harissa mild or spicy

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  1. Combine the cumin, coriander, and fennel seeds in a small saute pan. Toast over medium-high until aromatic and starting to pop about 5 minutes.
  2. Remove the spices to a mortar and pestle or spice grinder. Grind to a coarse powder.
  3. In a mixing bowl, combine the lamb, ground spices, and remaining ingredients.
  4. Divide the mixture into four equal-sized portions, then shape into patties, about 1/2-3/4-inch thick.
  5. Heat a large skillet or grill over medium-high heat. Add the patties and cook until well browned on both sides, about 5-6 minutes per side, depending on desired doneness.
  6. Serve with a dollop of extra harissa and enjoy it!