Our contribution to #goatober this year involved creating some of these tasty merguez sausages.
#Goatober is an annual campaign every year in October, popular in the US but now spreading across the world, including here in the UK. A month long celebration of the dairy billy goat industry, the campaign was launched to raise awareness of this under used meat. Unwanted males, who, as unable to produce milk for dairy products, are euthanized at birth – around 30,000 per year here in the UK alone. The real challenge for farmers, butchers, restaurateurs and chefs, is to get the public to try it.
If you’ve not yet tried goat, give it a go. Many describe its flavour as a milder version of beef or lamb, but a little sweeter. You can cook goat a number of different ways, but like any animal, it depends what cut you are using. You can use the various cuts in variety of different ways – in stews and curries for example, not just on the grill. For sausages, the shoulder is ideal as it has a good ratio of fat and lean meat. Goat meat is also very healthy, its lower in fat than beef or pork, low in cholesterol, and has twice as much iron as beef and is rich in potassium.
Merguez sausages are traditionally made with lamb, a spicy variety with North African roots, but also very commonly found in France. It has a distinctive strong flavour, deep red colour from the paprika, and a juicy texture created by the roasted red peppers.
- 2kg ground shoulder of goat
- 150 grams roasted red peppers, finely chopped
- ¼ cup red wine
- 4 grams ground black pepper
- 30 grams rock salt
- 12 grams Spanish paprika
- 12 grams dried thyme
- 2 grams dried chilli flakes
- 5 cloves of garlic, minced
- Chipolata hog casings
Soak the hog casings in lukewarm water for at least 30 minutes.
Combine all of the ingredients together in a large bowl. Then chill in the refrigerator for an hour. Keeping the meat cold ensures that it doesn’t get warm and greasy when passed through the meat grinder.
Sauté a small portion of the meat, taste, and add seasonings if required. Check for seasoning, adjust any balances of flavour to your preference.
Stuff the sausage into casings using your sausage maker, and twist into 6 inch links. Refrigerate overnight.
Light up your grill and place the sausages on the grate. You are aiming for an internal temperature of 160°F/71°C.
Sausages are great on the BBQ, but if you don’t have a grill at home, fry gently in a little oil for 15 minutes or so.