The Meatwave: Barbecue & Grilling Recipes, Reviews, Tips, and Tricks

Lamb

Tue Aug 11, 2015

Orange and Leek Loukaniko

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Loukaniko

One thing I'm missing from my old base of Astoria, Queens is all the great loukaniko. Now strictly speaking, loukaniko is a Greek term for pork sausage, but it most commonly refers to orange-spiced sausages, for which every restaurant in the neighborhood seems to have its own unique recipe. These variations span a spectrum of seasonings like fennel, coriander, oregano, thyme, and marjoram; some are made from pork, others lamb, and still others, a combination of the two. You'll find loukanika 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.

With so many top-notch loukaniko choices around every corner, I never saw much point to making my own. But eventually, inspiration struck, and I became determined to make a sausage that would capture my favorite traits of the very best loukaniko sausages in Astoria. To kick things off, I took some cues from cook and writer Hank Shaw to get me started on the right path.

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Tue Aug 4, 2015

Sheftalia (Cypriot Sausages)

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Sheftalia

I love making sausages. Or rather, I've loved making sausages ever since I made the upgrade from my KitchenAid sausage stuffer to a true vertical stuffer—one that transforms sausage-stuffing into a simple, almost effortless chore. I've created a lot of sausage recipes and over the years my links have only improved. As much as I hope those beautiful images of chorizo, merguez, and tomato and basil chicken sausages will influence others to try their hands at sausage making, I know the investment in both time and expense is likely more than the average home cook can or will take on. I always finish with a disclaimer that all my sausage recipes can be formed into patties rather than stuffed, but let's face it: an uncased sausage just isn't the same.

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Tue Jul 21, 2015

Mini Gyro Burgers

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Mini-gyro Burgers

I have to start out this post giving credit where credit is due—these mini-gyro burgers are a direct inspiration from MP Taverna in Astoria, Queens mixed with a Greek-America gyro loaf recipe devised by my editor at Serious Eats, Kenji. Although the translation of trying to make a really good gyro-inspired burger ended up being pretty direct, the road to it came with some learnings on building a small-scale burger for the grill, and striking just the right balance between this being able to be considered a burger, but still taste distinctly like a gyro.

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Tue Mar 31, 2015

Moroccan-Spiced Rack of Lamb

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Moroccan-spiced Rack of Lamb

Holidays call for a little splurging. And when it comes to Easter, lamb is an obvious, splurge-worthy choice. I usually end up going with the leg, but after years of holiday leg of lamb recipes, I decided I owed myself a treat and picked up a rack of lamb instead. The question was, what flavors could I use to make it as delicious as possible?

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Tue Feb 24, 2015

Herb-Crusted Lamb Skewers with Dijon Mustard

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Spring Meatacular!

Last summer I went on a mission to create some the most flavorful skewers of meat as possible. That led me to awesome things like beefy steakhouse kebabs, sweet and salty yakitori, tangy mojo pork skewers, and a host of others I'll be sharing in the coming months. Of them all though, these herb-crusted lamb skewers tugged at my heart the most. I'm a man who gives preference to strong over subtle flavors, and with a heavy base like lamb that's built upon with spicy Dijon and a mixture of fresh herbs, these kebabs delivered so much for me to love.

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