Ok it’s probably not that quick truth be told. It is however rather tasty :) (It’s also not exactly what you’ll get in a restaurant I am well aware)
For this you really need three things you may not have lying around the house. I know up until a few years ago I didn’t have them.
- Harissa What now? It’s a hot chilli paste from North Africa ( Think Morocco ) and includes bird’s eye chili peppers, serrano peppers and other hot chillis and spices such as garlic paste, coriander, red chili powder, caraway as well as some vegetable or olive oil (that’s from Wikipedia my knowledge isn’t that extensive) :P
- Merguez – It’s a spicy mutton or beef sausage you find in North Africa once again. No idea if you can get it in Ireland. I’ve heard tell you can but French friends in the past didn’t have much luck.
- Cous Cous now I have to admit up until a few years ago I’d never tried or really heard of cous cous. Now I can’t get enough of it I LOVE it :)
Other ingredients you’ll need (well I did) … 3 or 4 large shallots ( or an medium onion ) 1 red pepper 1 yellow pepper (in this case I actually had half a red and a green pepper though the yellow pepper would have been better) 2 or 3 carrots .. 3 or 4 medium tomatoes.
So onto the method assuming you’ve got the above ingredients
1: Take your merguez … prick them with a fork or a knife a few times and put them in a into a frying pan with a good dash of water… cover with a lid. And let them cook away … I’m a bit of a picky bastard and I hate fatty bits on meat so I’ll leave them 20 minutes or so and get rid of all the juices.
2: Start chopping up your veg in the mean time. I chopped the shallots into rings … Peppers into rough bits (make sure to get rid of the inner seeds generally will just slice around the stem bit and pull all the inners out. Julienne the carrots as well ( cut them into strips a bit like a chip only smaller as they’ll take a while to cook ) roughly chop the tomatoe as well.
3: Check on your Merguez which should have a load of gunk out of them at this stage. I’d advise draining it all off.maybe transfer them and chop them into 1 – 2 cm bite size pieces. Throw your some chopped garlic into your empty frying pan. Add your shallots .. and the rest of the veg (tomatoe last) Mix in 1cm of Harissa paste. This will really depend on how spicy you like it. Cover all this and cook for 10 -15 minutes depending on your carrots and how soft you want them.
A few minutes before it’s all cooked throw on your cous cous (this is a case of reading the packaging in this case a layer of boiling water in a pot (kill the head) add a layer of cous cous … cover for 5 minutes and throw in a knob of butter … mix it all with a fork so you fluff it up a bit.
Serve and sprinkle some corriander over it all. Hey presto NOM away. This goes extremely nicely with a nice rose. (I live in the perfect region for this)
All in all 8 / 10 the merguez was a bit fatty in places ( I’ve bought other merguez since which wasn’t like this ) and I could have added a bit more harissa paste to make it a bit spicer still people could eat this which you’ve always to be careful with so you could just add a bit of chilli oil at the end for taste.