I spotted this wonderful merguez sausage (spicy sausage made with lamb) while shopping online and then went looking for some ideas on what to do with it. I found a lamb merguez tagine recipe but I had no squash, no chickpeas and no couscous (also no tagine, but a saucepan fixed that). Time to adapt and improvise! I’m calling it lamb merguez sausage with rice and vegetables.
First I replaced the couscous with rice. Then, instead of squash or zucchini (which I didn’t have, and didn’t think ideal with the lamb anyway) I used the rest of a white eggplant I already had at hand. I am a firm believer in using what you have whenever possible (especially with all those steps, I’m not going up and down for one can or two items)!
The result was this delicious lamb merguez sausage with rice and vegetables. It only takes about 35 or 40 minutes to cook. Plus, I reduced the original three pots to only two (one for the rice and another for the lamb and veggies). I wasn’t going to clean three pots! Not to mention, the ingredients are now in the order you use them.
If you’re not familiar with merguez sausage, it’s a bit spicy, but not overwhelmingly so. It’s flavored with chili peppers and cumin, but that’s tempered by the cinnamon, coriander, onions, and garlic, which mellow as you simmer them. The richness of the eggplant and the sweet carrots also make an excellent foil for the spicy lamb.
Lamb Merguez Sausage with Rice and Vegetables
A hint of Morocco without leaving your kitchen. The colorful vegetables and warm spices make a wonderful foil for the spicy lamb sausage.
If you are using brown rice, it will take about 40 minutes to cook once the water boils. White rice needs about 18 minutes. Stir the rice when you add it to the boiling water, and then again right before serving. This will make it fluffier.
- 1/4 C long grain white rice
- 1/2 cup water
- Salt to taste
- Lamb and Vegetables
- 1 T olive oil
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1 pinch coriander
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1 pinch turmeric
- 1 generous squeeze lemon juice (about 1 tsp)
- 4-5 green olives
- 1 clove garlic, sliced
- 1/4 onion, sliced
- 1 lamb Merguez sausage, cut in chunks
- 1/2 C chicken stock
- 1/2 tsp flour
- 1 carrot, peeled and cut in chunks
- 1/4 cup eggplant, cut in chunks
- 1 heaping T raisins
- First get the rice started. Bring the water to a boil, and rinse the rice. Add the rice to the boiling water and stir it. Return the water/rice to a simmer, then reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for about 18 minutes until the water is absorbed. Let the rice sit for five minutes, and then fluff with a fork.
- Lamb and Vegetables
- While the rice is cooking, heat the oil in a medium saucepan on medium heat. Once it’s hot, add the cinnamon, coriander, paprika, cumin, and turmeric. Let the mixture cook for a few seconds.
- Add the lemon juice, fennel, garlic, onion, and green olives, and cook on medium, about 10 minutes, until the vegetables start to soften.
- Add the sausage to the pot, and cook 5 minutes to brown it. Mix in the flour and then add the chicken broth. Let the mixture cook for a few minutes until it starts to simmer (you’ll see bubbling).
- Add the carrots, eggplant, and raisins and cook for 15-20 minutes until the carrots are soft, the eggplant browns, and the sausage is fully cooked through.
- Serve over the rice.
Lamb Merguez Sausage with Rice and Vegetables Substitutions and Variations
- If you have the chickpeas, add them to the dish
- Or substitute some lentils for the eggplant
- Try it with couscous instead of the rice
- Or serve it over some pasta
- If you can’t find the merguez, you can approximate the flavor by using ground lamb, increasing the garlic, cumin, and coriander and adding some harissa or sriracha or chili garlic sauce for heat
More Lamb and Eggplant Recipes
Rosemary Olive Oil Broiled Eggplant
Leftover Roast Lamb Eggplant and Spinach Salad for One
Moroccan Lamb Stew with Almonds and Raisins
Vegetarian Eggplant Sandwich for One Person