Summer is coming, and it's barbecue season in the garden! Vegetables and meats but also fish can be cooked on the barbecue, but you still need to master a few subtleties to cook them properly. Merguez, for example, do not follow exactly the same barbecue cooking rules as sausages.
Is it easy to cook Merguez?
Merguez are easy to cook, they go well with many different side dishes and are not very expensive, which makes them a food of choice for a convivial barbecue. They can be eaten in a sandwich, with bread, or with vegetables. A merguez is not supposed to be bright red when it is raw. There is also a red "merguez" label that will guarantee you to buy a quality product.
How to prepare Merguez well?
First of all, remember to take your merguez out of the fridge about an hour before cooking it on the barbecue. Indeed, cooking them directly out of the fridge would risk drying them out and seeing them shrivelling almost instantly, instead of keeping the certain softness that characterises them, as the cold makes the meat stiff. The merguez would be seized by the heat.
If they were frozen, you could put them in the fridge the night before so that they would thaw overnight. If you don't have time to defrost them this way, place them in a tightly closed freezer bag and immerse the bag in water for at least half an hour. Defrosting in the microwave will start to cook the meat, but without the flavour that comes from barbecuing .
You do not pierce the merguez when you cook it, neither before nor during, and this is valid for the barbecue but also for cooking in a pan for example. Indeed, the fat may escape from it. There is no risk of the sausages exploding, like sausages, if you do not pierce them.
The most delicate will be the beginning of cooking on the barbecue grill. The merguez must not be touched directly by the flames: it is the heat emitted by the embers that will cook them, which is called indirect cooking. They must be turned regularly to ensure even cooking, however, when they are not yet very cooked, they may pierce. So be careful at this stage at the beginning of cooking.
It takes about 10 minutes for them to be fully cooked, turning them at least 5 or 6 times to prevent one area from being much more cooked than another. As a precaution, you can shift the embers to one side of the barbecue and place the merguez close to but not directly above it: this will ensure that they do not dry out instead of cooking.
What about the crispy side?
For those who appreciate the crispness of a slightly grilled merguez, cook them in the normal way and then place them just above the embers a few minutes before the end of the cooking time. Otherwise, you run the risk of having a well grilled merguez... and raw!
Once the merguez are cooked, don't eat them right away: place them either under a plate or under a sheet of aluminium foil for several minutes.