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Friday 24 June 2011

Sluttishly Savoury: Merguez Burgers

Merguez Burgers, or Murgers as I like to call them, are based on the classic north African Merguez sausage. It's much easier to shape meat into a patty than to shove it into a sausageskin though, and I'm all about the easyness for week night suppers.

Merguez sausages are typically made from beef or lamb and are packed with spice. Serve them with golden toasted pittas and minty yoghurt, or a heap of baba ghanoush topped with shredded coriander, or just with a simple fresh salad.

Sumac can be tricky to find, but it's available in Waitrose (by Bart spices) or online. You can always skip it if you can't find any, although I like the tart citrussy hit it gives. Don't skimp on the harissa, though. This sweet chilli paste gives my murgers their kick. I really like Belazu's rose harissa, but any sort will do.

Ideally you'll have a pestle and mortar to grind the spices. Not only is it more authentic, but it also helps to release any tension you have simmering as you pound the living daylights out of the ingredients.

Merguez Burgers (makes 4-6)

You'll need:

  • 500g lamb mince
  • 1tsp fennel seeds
  • 2tsp cumin seeds
  • 2tsp salt
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1tbsp harissa paste
  • 1tsp ground sumac (optional)
  • 2tsp paprika
  • 1tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 egg
Make it!
  • First toast the fennel and cumin seeds in a dry pan over a medium heat. Toss them around a bit. Don't let them burn.
  • Meanwhile, bash the garlic and salt into a paste in the pestle and mortar.
  • Once the fennel and cumin is fragrant and toasty, add it to the garlic mix and grind it into a paste.
  • Mix the paste, plus the harissa, sumac, paprika and cinnamon into the lamb until it's evenly distributed.
  • Mix in the egg.
  • Form the mixture into balls with your hands and put onto a baking tray. Squash them down to form discs.
  • Put the burgers into the fridge for 30 minutes before cooking.
  • To cook, preheat up the grill and cook them for 15-18 minutes, flipping them halfway through the cooking time.


  1. I'm having me some murgers for lunch, great idea thanks xx

  2. These sound yum, I love a bit of spice me:)
    You can get sumac from The Spiceworks on ebay, they sell tons of odd stuff and are very reasonable (free P&P even).

  3. Love harissa and cumin. Will add it to anything so will definately try this!


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