Grilled Spicy Lamb Sausage with Oysters


This dish comes from the coast of Bordeaux. The sausages are usually finger-size, and the idea is to eat a piece of the hot, grilled, spicy sausage and then to swallow a fresh, very cold, salty oyster. The contrast of the two kinds of heat with the cold oyster is tantalizing, and when washed down with cool white or young red wine, the effect is very stimulating.


  • pounds lean lamb meat, shoulder or leg
  • ½ pound lean veal meat
  • ¾ pound pork fatback, very cold or frozen
  • 2 fresh serrano chilies, seeded, finely chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped
  • ¼ tablespoon fresh marjoram leaves, finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 48 small very fresh oysters
  • 16 wedges lemon


Put the lamb, veal, and fat through the medium-fine blade of a meat grinder. The fat must be cold, so that it will not clog up the grinder and will make it easier to handle the sausage meat.

Mix the meat, chilies, cayenne, thyme, marjoram, ½ teaspoon salt, and pepper together by hand, being careful not to overmix the sausage so that it doesn’t become pasty. Fry a small piece and check the seasoning. Refrigerate the sausage meat for 4 hours to develop the flavors.

Wash the oysters and keep cold.

Start a charcoal fire or heat the broiler.

Form the meat into 2-ounce patties and set aside. Open the oysters, put on ice, and garnish with lemon wedges. Grill the patties on both sides and serve on a hot platter.