To give mussels steamed in white wine a North African profile, the richly seasoned lamb sausage called merguez was a main ingredient in this dish, along with unique spices like Ufra Berber chili flakes.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 pound merguez sausage, casing removed and sausage crumbled
4 medium shallots, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
Kosher salt, to taste
1 cup full-bodied white wine, such as Chardonnay
1 large tomato, finely diced
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon Urfa or Aleppo chile
1/4 cup chopped cilantro plus 1 teaspoon minced cilantro stems
2 pounds mussels, scrubbed
Sliced scallions, for garnish
Crusty bread, for serving
In a large pot, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter. Add the merguez and cook over moderately high heat, breaking it up with a woodenspoon, until the fat is rendered and the sausage is starting to brown, 3 minutes.
Add the shallots, garlic and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 2 minutes. Add the wine, tomato, lime juice, chile and cilantro stems and cook until the wine is slightly reduced, 2 minutes.
Stir in the mussels, cover and steam until the mussels open, 7 to 10 minutes; discard any mussels that do not open. Stir in the chopped cilantro and the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter.
Ladle the mussels and broth into bowls and serve with crusty bread.
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