Saturday 25 July 2020

Loukaniko: Greek Style Sausage

It's been over three years since the last post by the Butchers of Great Thorne.  We've been dormant on the blogging front, but rest assured, we have continued our quest to perfect the art of sausage making (albeit only very occasionally). 

Admittedly though, this was our first sausage making session for over a year.  A lot of people have taken up hobbies and crafts during the pandemic, so it seemed appropriate to get back into the amateur butchery game.  For our first sausage making session back, we were joined by good friend of the Butchers of Great Thorne, Alex. 

During this session we decided to tackle Loukaniko, a Greek-style sausage.  We also decided to revisit Longganisa, a Filipino sausage that we'd actually made before (but it was so delicious that we promptly forgot to post the recipe on the blog). We'll post the Longganisa recipe soon, but here is our take on Loukaniko.

Loukaniko is spiced with onion, garlic, coriander seed, cumin and pepper.  It also usually includes orange zest.  We didn't have any oranges on hand, but Vinnie had a giant bag of cumquats from his parents place, so cumquat zest has replaced orange zest.  

Alex with his 2 litres of Retsina
What sets this sausage apart from others, is the Retsina.  Retsina is a Greek white wine, which gets some its flavour from being exposed to tree or pine resin.  Alex was tasked with tracking down the Retsina for the sausages.  During the COVID-19 Pandemic, it seems that everyone has been keen on drinking Retsina, so most places were sold out, but he found a 2 litre bottle at an international wine shop in Leichhardt.  

The recipe only called for 1 cup of Retsina.  So with the majority of the Retsina left unused, we also threw together a sausage-making cocktail featuring Retsina, cumquat juice (from all of the cumquats we zested), Amaro Montenegro and soda water.  Surprisingly refreshing.

  • 3kg of pork shoulder and belly, for a perfect fat content.
  • 1.5 kg of lamb shoulder.
  • Natural sausage casings.
  • 2 onions, finely chopped.
  • 12 cloves of garlic, minced.
  • 1 cup of Retsina, preferably from a 2 litre bottle.
  • 4 tablespoons of fresh thyme leaves, chopped.
  • Rind from 30 cumquats (or 2 oranges).
  • 2 tablespoons of salt.
  • 2 teaspoons of black pepper.
  • 2 teaspoons of cumin.
  • 2 tablespoons of ground coriander seed.
  1. Chop the pork and lamb up into small 2 inch pieces, fat and all, and place on trays in the freezer, until slightly frozen and icy (approximately 1 hour).
  2. Sauté the onion and garlic until translucent.
  3. Grind up the salt, pepper, cumin and coriander in a spice grinder or mortar & pestle.
  4. Remove the meat from the freezer, and put through a meat grinder.  We used a meat grinder attachment for a KitchenAid.
  5. Mix the onion, garlic, spices, salt, cumquat zest and retsina into the minced meat.  Allow to rest for 30 minutes.
  6. Fill sausage casing with the mixture. 
  7. Twist into links, and you're done!