Moroccan Merguez Sausage Bake with Potato, Tomato and Sweet Peppers

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This is the ideal recipe if you have crowd to feed and want to be in and out of the kitchen as quickly as possible. Minimum effort, maximum flavour. Perfect weekend food!

While not a Moroccan recipe as such, I generally use spicy Moroccan merguez sausages for this easy tray bake. The sausages release their spicy, savoury juices while cooking, subtly flavouring the layers of vegetables underneath. The aromas that fill the kitchen will have everyone poking their heads around the door, sniffing appreciatively!

Feel free to use any sausages that you fancy, and turn the seasonings up or down to your own liking. Some days I add more spices, some days I add more fresh herbs. Tucking in some chicken portions and adding a can of chickpeas is also a mighty fine idea! It’s equally good served hot or cold, and a dollop of tzatziki and some warm toasted pitas alongside are all you need.

The merguez sausages are made by Salvin Hirschfield, who trades as Son of a Butcher at Cape Town’s Oranjezicht City Farm Market on Saturdays. He offers a wide variety of tasty home-made sausages, such as Greek lamb and feta, Italian salsiccia with fennel, wild boar, proper English pork bangers, venison, boerewors, chorizo and especially for Christmas, a new ‘turducken’ style with turkey, duck and chicken. He also sells top quality free-range beef and lamb, pork, duck and chicken and a selection of venison in season. Best of all, he delivers! Order directly from him by email salvin@meatzone.co.za or contact him on 083 4436411 and 021 674 1841. Orders over R750 are delivered free to the city bowl, Atlantic Seaboard and Durbanville, otherwise a fee of R50 is added.

The tomatoes release a fair amount of liquid as they cook, but if you’re nervous that the potatoes might scorch while baking, by all means add 1/2 a cup of stock, beer, wine or gravy. Remember to season each layer well.

Serves 6-8 amply

Ingredients:

8 merguez sausages

6-8 large potatoes, peeled and sliced

1 large sweet red pepper, chopped

handful each of fresh coriander & Italian parsley, roughly chopped

2-3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

5 bay leaves

500g cherry plum tomatoes, halved

2 wheels feta cheese, roughly crumbled

2 medium red onions, sliced into rings

Optional: 1/2 cup stock, wine, beer or gravy

olive oil, dried mint, smoked paprika and cumin to taste

Salt and pepper

Extra virgin olive oil

Tzatziki and toasted pitta bread, to serve

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 C. Grease a large roasting pan with a little of the oil Layer the vegetables as shown, starting with the potatoes and ending with the red onion rings. Remember to season each layer with the herbs, spices, garlic, bay leaves plus salt and pepper. Drizzle generously with extra virgin olive oil
  2. Crumble over the feta and lay the sausages on top. Cover with foil and bake at 200 C for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake another 15 minutes or until nicely browned on top. Serve with tzatziki and warm toasted pitas.

First layer: sliced potatoes seasoned with smoked paprika, dried mint, generous amounts of olive oil, salt and pepper
First layer: sliced potatoes seasoned with smoked paprika, dried mint, generous amounts of olive oil, salt and pepper

Scatter over chopped sweet red pepper, chopped fresh coriander and Italian parsley
Scatter over chopped sweet red pepper, chopped fresh coriander and Italian parsley

Add halved cherry plum tomatoes and red onion rings plus seasonings
Add halved cherry plum tomatoes and red onion rings plus seasonings

Crumble and scatter over 2 wheels of feta
Crumble and scatter over 2 wheels of feta

Lay sausages on top
Lay sausages on top

Cover tightly with foil and bake at 200 C for 45 minutes. Uncover, then bake 15 minutes longer until nicely browned
Cover tightly with foil and bake at 200 C for 45 minutes. Uncover, then bake 15 minutes longer until nicely browned

Serve warm or room temperature with tzatziki and pita bread
Serve warm or room temperature with tzatziki and pita bread

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eatdrinkcapetownhttp://www.eatdrinkcapetown.co.za
Celebrating life with food, wine, friends & happiness! Writer, cook and blogger. Author of four cookbooks. Passionately South African, proudly Capetonian.

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