A recipe for Greek Loukaniko sausage, made with pork and lamb and flavored with orange zest. This is a traditional loukaniko.
SOME SAUSAGE-MAKING NOTES:
Make sure everything you deal with — meat, liquids, equipment — is very cold, as in close to freezing. This really matters, not so much for sanitation, although that’s important, but for the final texture of your sausage. Warm ingredients won’t bind well.If you don’t have a sausage-grinder and a sausage stuffer, I really don’t recommend you try this recipe. But if you must, you can pulse the meat in small batches in a food processor and stuff it through a wide funnel.You will need hog casings for this sausage, although I suppose if you kept kosher and wanted to skip the pork shoulder and use sheep casings, that’d work fine. Soak 5 to 6 lengths of hog casing (about 1o to 15 feet) in warm water for at least 30 minutes before you begin stuffing.You will need a rack to hang these links on while they are drying. A hand-wash drying rack works well.You may need string to tie off the links, if you need to hang them in a way that doesn’t allow your twisted links to stay twisted. Have this handy, along with scissors.You will also need a needle to prick your sausages once they are hanging — this is to release any trapped air. You will see air pockets on some of your sausages. Prick these with your needle. Sterilize it in the burner of your stovetop!Try not to eat them the same day. All sausages taste better the day after they’ve “cured” in the fridge overnight. These sausages will in fact cure a bit because of the Instacure, but even without it the link with firm up and hold its shape better after it rests.
Makes 5 pounds of sausage, about 15 to 20 links
Prep Time: 3 hours
Cook Time: 3 hours, if smoking
1 1/2 pounds lamb or venison trimmings2 1/2 pounds pork or wild boar1 pound pork fat32 grams kosher salt, about 3 tablespoons4 grams Instacure No. 1, about 1 rounded teaspoon (optional)25 grams sugar, about 2 rounded tablespoons5 tablespoons minced fresh garlic1 tablespoon ground coriander seed1 tablespoon cracked black pepper2 tablespoons fennel seeds1 tablespoon crushed dried oregano2 teaspoons dried thyme3 tablespoons grated fresh orange zest1/2 cup white or red wineHog casings
Chop your pork and lamb into rough, 1-inch chunks. Mix in the salt, curing salt (if using) and sugar and grind through a coarse die on your grinder. Put this in the fridge overnight if possible or for at least an hour. The step helps the sausage bind to itself when you stuff it.Set aside 1/2 of the coriander, black pepper and fennel seeds in a small bowl. Soak your hog casings in warm water. Put the wine in the fridge. Make sure all your grinding gear is cold.Mix the remaining spices with the meat and fat and grind the meat a second time into a bowl. You can grind coarse again or go fine. Your choice. I do half-and-half. Set the bowl for the meat into another bowl full of ice if your room is warmer than 70ºF. Once it’s ground, put the meat in the freezer and clean up.Get out your stand mixer and find the heavy paddle to it (not the dough hook). If you don’t have one, put the meat mixture in a large bin so you can mix it by hand. Add the orange zest, reserved spices and the wine and mix the sausage well for 2 minutes, or until it forms a sticky, cohesive paste. If you are doing this with your hands, they should ache from the cold.Get out your sausage stuffer, which if you’ve been smart has been living in your fridge or freezer for the past few hours. Fit it with the appropriate tube and stuff the sausage. Do it all at once before you twist it into links.To twist into links, start at one end and compress the meat into the casing, then tie off the casing. Measure out a good-sized link, then pinch with your fingers. Do the same another good-sized link down the coil. Once you have them both pinched, twist several times to tighten the link well. Repeat on down the line of the coil, then tie off the final link after compressing it, too. Once you’ve finished, hang the links so your twisting does not come undone, or tie off each link with string. Use the needle to prick any air pockets, and compress the meat in the casing to fill those pockets; be careful or you can rupture the casing if you do this too roughly.Hang your sausages to dry for about 2 hours in a normal room, only 1 hour if the room is warmer than 75ºF. Ideally, you hang the links overnight at about 40ºF.