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Wine & Food Experience Recipes

Lamb Merguez Sausage with Pistachio-Mint Pesto

Serves 8
Cakebread Cellars Culinary Team
Pairs well with:
Merlot, Napa Valley

A perfect pairing with our Cakebread Cellars Merlot.


2 lbs. lamb shoulder or leg, diced into 1 inch pieces
8 oz. pork fat back, diced into 1 inch pieces
1 tsp.fennel, toasted & ground
1 tsp. coriander, toasted & ground
¾ tsp. cumin, toasted & ground
½ tsp. black peppercorns, tasted & grouind
½ piece star anise, ground
¼ tsp. ground allspice
pinch ground cinnamon
2 tsp. paprika
2 tsp. cayenne
4 tsp. fine sea salt
1 T. olive oil

1 c. pistachios, lightly toasted
1 c. flat-leaf parsley leaves
¼ c. mint leaves
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ c. extra virgin olive oil
1 T. lemon juice


Place the cubed lamb and fat back in a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl combine the fennel, coriander, cumin, peppercorns, anise, allspice, cinnamon, paprika, cayenne salt & oil. Stir spice mixture into the meat and mix well. Spread on a rimmed baking sheet, transfer to the freezer, and chill until crunchy on the exterior but not frozen solid.

Remove from freezer and grind in a meat grinder with the small die. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the meat mixture into a non-stick frying pan and spread into a thin patty. Cook the test patty over low heat until cooked through. Taste the sausage for seasoning and adjust if necessary.

Stuff the sausage into lamb casings. Once all of the sausage is cased, begin twisting into a coil. This will make it easier for grilling. Using a bamboo or stainless steel skewer, pierce the outer end of the casing with a skewer and insert the skewer directly through the center of the coil. Rotate 90 degrees and run a second skewer directly through the center of the coil.

For the pesto, place pistachios, parsley, mint and garlic in the work bowl of a food processor. Pulse machine while drizzling in the olive oil. Do not over process, the consistency should be slightly rough. Add lemon juice and season with salt.

To serve, grill the sausage of a hot grill on both sides until cooked through. Serve with the pistachio-mint pesto on the side.

Enjoy with a glass of Cakebread Cellars Merlot.

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