Cook's Note: For television, Daniel Boulud substituted dried chick peas for the cannellini peas.
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
Heat 1/4 cup of the olive oil in a wide cast-iron pot or Dutch oven over high heat. Add the spinach, little by little, and cook, stirring continuously, until all the spinach has wilted and browned slightly and all the liquid has evaporated, 20 to 30 minutes.
Add the onions, garlic, mint, cilantro, harissa (or cayenne), black pepper, and Four-Spice Powder and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes.
Pour in 4 cups water and add the cannellini beans (or black-eyed peas). Stir, bring to a simmer, and cover. Braise in the oven for 2 hours, or until the beans are nearly tender.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Sear the merguez on all sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel to drain.
Stir the lemon juice into the beans and place the seared merguez on top. Cover and continue to braise until the beans are tender and the sausage is cooked through, about 30 minutes more. Season with salt to taste.
This recipe was provided by professional chefs and has been scaled down from a bulk recipe provided by a restaurant. The Food Network Kitchens chefs have not tested this recipe, in the proportions indicated, and therefore, we cannot make any representation as to the results.
In a spice grinder or clean coffee grinder, finely grind the cloves and black pepper together. Transfer to a bowl and combine with the nutmeg and ginger.
This recipe was provided by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional. It has not been tested for home use.
Copyright 2006, Braise, by Daniel Boulud and Melissa Clark, HarperCollins Publishers, All Rights Reserved