Usban – Libyan Rice Sausage

Several varieties of usban exist, and the herbs and spices used can vary but typically include cayenne pepper, black pepper, turmeric and cinnamon, as well as dried mint, parsley and dill. This is added to spring onion, tomato, vegetable oil and rice. The mixture is stuffed into sheep’s intestines or commercial sausage casings and then tied off at the ends using thread. The sausages cook for an hour in a pot and are then browned in a frying pan or oven.

Usban - Libyan Rice Sausage

Usban (or osban) (Arabic: عصبان‎ ) is a traditional kind of sausage in Tunisia and Libya , stuffed with a mixture of rice, herbs, lamb, chopped liver and heart. This dish is usually served alongside the main meal of rice or couscous, often on special occasions.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 6
Author: The Cook
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  • 500 g lamb liver and heart, finely diced
  • 250 g lamb, finely chopped or minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 4 cups fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 3 cups fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves, finely chopped
  • 3 cups fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 3 cups spring onions (scallions), finely chopped
  • 1 cup fresh mint, finely chopped
  • 2 hot chilli pepper, finely chopped (or to taste)
  • cups short grain rice, washed, soaked for 10-15 minutes, and then drained
  • 1 tablespoon each of dried mint, black pepper, and ground ginger
  • ½ tablespoon each of cayenne pepper and turmeric
  • 2 m sausage casing
  • For cooking water - 1 tablespoon salt and ½ tablespoon each of cayenne pepper and turmeric

Recipe Instructions

  • Wash the casings with water several times, put them in a bowl. Sprinkle with lemon juice and leave for 10 minutes, then rinse well. Set aside
  • In a large bowl mix well all the stuffing ingredients together.
  • Stuff into 32-36 mm casings leaving room for the expansion of the rice. Twist off in links or tie off with thread to seal ends.
  • Keep in refrigerator.

To cook Osban

  • Prick each sausages at intervals to prevent the sausages from bursting while cooking.
  • Place in a large pot, pour enough boiling water to cover the sausages (about 3cm above sausage level). Add 1 tablespoon salt, ½ tablespoon cayenne pepper and ½ tablepoon turmeric.
  • Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to medium and cook for about one hour (prick sausages again with needle if they float).
  • Remove and place them under the grill or fry in little oil until browned.

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