Chilled Oysters with Grilled Hot Lamb Sausages

This recipe is fast and easy because you can buy both ingredients (buy merguez-type or little spicy breakfast sausages if you don’t want to make the sausage yourself), and by the time you have opened the oysters, the sausages are done.

This dish comes from the coast of Bordeaux, and the inhabitants there figured out long ago that perfection is to eat a piece of hot, grilled, spicy sausage and then swallow a fresh, very cold, salty oyster. The contrast of the two kinds of heat with the cold oyster is tantalizing.

Ingredients

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

Method

Put the lamb, veal, and pork fatback through the medium-fine blade of a meat grinder. The fat must be cold, so that it will not emulsify in the mixture (making for dry and tough sausage).

Mix the meat, chilies, cayenne, thyme, marjoram, salt, and pepper together by hand, being careful not to overmix the sausage (same problem of dry and tough). Fry a small piece to taste the level of seasoning.

Refrigerate the sausage meat for 4 hours to develop the flavors.

Wash the unopened oysters in cold water and keep them cold.

Start a charcoal fire, or heat the broiler.

Form the meat into 2-ounce patties. Open the oysters, put them on platters of shaved ice, and garnish with lemon wedges.

Grill the patties on both sides and serve with the oysters.

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