A few weeks ago, Sea Breeze Farm was selling merguez, a spicy North African lamb sausage, at the farmers market. Their sausages usually contain pork fat or pork casings — and I don’t eat pork — but this time, the merguez had no pork mixed in, and they had some for sale that was not cased. So, I got to try my first Sea Breeze sausage. Spicy and delicious, with wonderful lamb flavor.
I made a few things out of it, but this quiche was my favorite. Slow-cooked fennel and onion, and sautéed mushrooms, lamb sausage, and a few fennel or cumin seeds in the crust. Tasty.
Lamb Merguez Sausage Quiche With Fennel, Onion, and Mushrooms
- 1/2 lb merguez sausage (or ground lamb plain — you can even add your own spices)
- 1 large onion
- 2 small bulbs or 1 medium bulb fennel
- 1 cup (roughly) mushrooms — shiitake, wild, button, or anything else that sautés well
- 5 eggs
- about 1/3 cup cream
- some butter, coconut oil or animal fat (lamb fat would be amazing) for cooking the vegetables
- 1 cup mixed flours — I used about 1/3 cup coconut flour, 1/3 cup almond flour, 1/3 cup buckwheat flour for a nice, dark crust
- 3 T butter or coconut oil
- 1 T fennel seeds or cumin seeds
- pinch of salt
- a little water and a little olive oil
Preheat the oven to 375F
1. In a food processor, combine all the crust ingredients except the water and olive oil. With the machine running, drizzle in a little of each, alternating, until a ball of dough forms on its own.
2. Lightly grease a pie dish. Press your dough into it and keep pressing up the sides until you have a full crust. Bake at 375 until a little firm, about 10-15 minutes.
3. While it’s baking, start cooking your filling. Slice onions and fennel (white part and a little of the stem) thinly. Cook slowly with a little salt until completely clear and soft and starting to brown slightly, nearly caramelized. (at some point in here, remember to take your bottom crust out of the oven)
4. Add a little more fat and sauté in the mushrooms, until they release their own juices.
5. Crumble in the lamb and cook. Break pieces up as much as possible.
6. Turn off the heat. In a separate bowl, beat eggs with cream. Mix in lamb/vegetable mixture. Pour all of this into the crust.
7. Bake at 375 until done, about 45 minutes. Should be golden on top and solid all the way through.