Tonight, a rustic, minimalistic dinner -- uncomplicated, unadulterated food that looks like and tastes of precisely what it is. Assertively spiced merguez perks up senses dulled by the winter's chill with its red hot heat. Brussels sprouts, treated with a delicate hand, bring a slight and pleasing bitterness that complements the richness of the lamb in a just-so sort of way. All in all, a winner. Ready, as always, in just about an hour.
1 pound ground lamb shoulder
24 (or so) brussels sprouts
We bet you have olive oil, salt, pepper, cumin, cinnamon, cayenne, turmeric, coriander, garlic, onion powder, and celery salt. If not, you'll need those too!
1. The sausage needs to rest for about an hour before you serve it, so definitely attack it first. It's a pretty simple process -- particularly if you buy ground lamb shoulder (or ask your butcher to do it for you). Since it's a weeknight, take the shortcut!
2. Now for the sprouts! Just a quick boil to ensure tender insides, followed by a good drizzle of oil and salt and pepper. Now, if you have a grill pan, this is a great moment to break it out (rather than the actual grill, unless you're feeling ambitious, in which case feel free!). Another approach would be to simply roast them in a hot oven for 10 to 12 minutes, instead of grilling. We promise they'll be almost as tasty.
3. While the sprouts grill (or roast), form the merguez patties and cook gently in a pan.
More wintry dinner tonight ideas: