I bought some sausages from Grasmere Farm at the weekend and I felt inspired to make something with a North African vibe to go with them. I should point out this isn't a sponsored post, I certainly pay for every banger I buy from Grasmere but I happily do so. They are the best sausages I have ever tasted, not full of fillers and fat like a lot of commercial sausages can be but a real quality product. They do mail order too if you're not based in the midlands and can't get to one of their shops or farmers markets they frequent.
I saw the 'Zouk' sausages for sale (unfortunately not currently available on their website) and thought I'd give them a go. Subtly spiced with paprika and lots of other lovely goodies, they went a treat with this cous cous recipe but if you can't get hold of them, merguez sausages are also lovely.
Sausages and Cous Cous (serves 2 adults and 1 toddler with leftovers for lunch for 2 adults)
1lb of Zouk or Merguez Sausages (or a spicy cooking sausage of your choice) - omit if vegetarian
For the Cous Cous
1 red pepper
1 clove of garlic
1tbsp olive oil
150g quick cook cous cous (the pack I have takes about 10 minutes)
300ml chicken stock (or vegetable if you prefer)
1/2 tsp sweet smoked paprika
To serve (optional)
Put the sausages in the oven at 200oC / 400F to cook or fry or grill them if you prefer (I always cook sausages in the oven because you don't have to fuss around turning them too much. How long they take to cook depends on thickness, thick ones take about 30 minutes, thin ones 15-20.) After you've put the sausages on to cook, grill the pepper until blackened all over.
Put into a bowl and cover with a plate or cling film (saran wrap) for a few minutes then slip off the blackened skin, remove the stalk and the seeds and chop up.
Cut the onion into thin wedges and fry gently in the oil until softened and starting to brown. Add the garlic and cook for about 2 minutes more, take off the heat.
Put the cous cous, onion, garlic and peppers in a bowl or jug. Make up or heat the chicken stock (I made a light chicken stock with half of an oxo cube and boiling water), mix it with the paprika and pour over the cous cous. Leave to stand for 10 minutes and then give a good stir and check it's all softened.
Serve the cous cous with parsley on top and the sausages on the side with some salad vegetables if liked or hummus but it's that tasty, even as a cous cous dish with hummus on the site for you vegetarian types, it would be a delicious lunch. My son ate a bit of everything but he definitely liked dipping the sausages in the hummus!
Any leftovers can then have the sausages sliced up and mixed into the cold cous cous with cucumber and tomato. Box it up with a dollup of hummus it makes a fantastically uplifting lunch when you're at work.
Just another word about Grasmere, I really recommend the lincolnshire sausages and chipolatas but if you're not a herb fan, try the premium pork which have a good meaty unadulterated flavour. As I said, I'm not being sponsored for this but I like to support great local food companies where I really think they're doing a fantastic job.