LOUKANIKO: Traditional Greek Sausage Recipe

LOUKANIKO: Traditional Greek Sausage Recipe

Loukaniko sausages are famous in Greece, there are many different versions depending on which region you go to but the base of it remains the same; pork, lamb, garlic, coriander and a fruity Greek twist of citrus peel.

Like with many Greek things Loukaniko sausages are ancient and go way back. The best way to describe this sausage is Greece's answer to the British farmhouse sausage.

You'll find loukaniko sausages are either fresh or cured, partially dried, or even, occasionally, smoked. But one common thread between all their magnificent iterations is that they're almost always grilled, usually until they develop a nicely charred, crispy casing.

If you can't get to Greece for your holidays this Summer, this is most probably the next best thing... Always enjoyed with a glass of Red Wine. 


  • 1.35kg pork shoulder, cubed
  • 0.45kg boneless leg of lamb, trimmed of silver skin and cubed
  • 0.45kg pork fatback, cubed
  • 45g kosher salt
  • 5.6g Cure 1 (Optional: If Drying or smoking your sausages)
  • 30g extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 whole leeks (about 1kg), (Dried Leeks also available) 
  • 9 minced medium garlic cloves
  • 45g freshly grated orange zest from about 3 oranges
  • 15g coriander seeds, toasted and finely ground
  • 15g freshly ground black pepper
  • 15g tablespoon dried oregano
  • 5g teaspoon dried thyme
  • 115g red wine, chilled
  • 45g red wine vinegar, chilled
  • Hog casings, soaked in warm water 3-4 hours prior to use
  • 1 chunk of medium smoking wood, such as oak or alder (optional)

These sausages are good to eat fresh but some recipes call for smoking the links, or at least drying them for a couple days. If you do this, add a small teaspoon of cure No. 1, a nitrite that helps the flavor and protects the sausage from bacterial issues while it smokes at low temperatures.

  1. Put the pork, lamb, and back fat into a large bowl and toss with kosher salt and cure 1. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. 
  2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add leeks and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and reduced in volume, 10-15 minutes. Let cool completely, then add leeks to bowl with meat and toss to distribute evenly. Chill for an additional 20 minutes in the freezer or fridge.
  3. Grind meat and fat mixture through your chilled Mincer fitted with large plate (8mm), into a large bowl set in another bowl filled with ice.
  4. Add garlic, orange zest, coriander, black pepper, oregano, and thyme. Give your meat mixture a really good mix together to bind in all the flavours and ensure all the flavours are well distributed.
  5. Add the cold red wine and vinegar and mix until liquid is incorporated and sausage is uniform and sticky. Mix for around 3-5 minutes by hand.
  6. To get an idea of the flavour, make a small sausage patty; place the rest of the sausage mixture in the refrigerator. Cook the small patty in a small frying pan over medium-high heat until cooked through. Taste and adjust the seasonings of sausage if necessary.
  7. Stuff sausage into hog casings and twist into 6-inch links. They are now ready to grill on the BBQ.

Further Instructions if Drying or Smoking 

  1. If smoking: You can hot smoke them using a Bradley smoker or cold smoke them with a ProQ Cold Smoker. Be sure to finish them off on the BBQ or grill until you get a crispy casing.
  2. If Drying: 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. Once dried kiss them on the BBQ and ensure they are cooked all the way through they are 72°C. 
      When serving these beautiful sausages, squeeze a little lemon juice over the top along with some premium quality olive oil. 
    2 months ago
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