Lukanka is a unique Bulgarian cuisine. It is a spicy salami, similar to sujuk, but it often has a stronger flavour. Lukanka is semi dried and is of a flattened cylindrical shape, with a brown-red interior and it is in a skin, which is usually covered in a white fungus. Inside a mix of small meat pieces and fat, give the Lukanka a grainy texture. The salami is usually finely sliced and served cold, as an appetizer or starter.

Traditionally, Lukanka salami is made of beef, pork and spices (which include black pepper, salt, cumin), this is all minced together and then stuffed into a casing of long dried cow intestine. Once the stuffing of the mixture is complete, the cylindrical Lukanka salami is hung up to dry for approximately 40-50 days within an area that is well ventilated. Whilst the salami is drying, it is also pressed so that the flattened shape is formed.

The quality of taste of the lukanka depends on the natural characteristics of the region that it is produced in, and these are formed under the influence of the typical microflora of the local geographic environment. There are many regions in Bulgaria well known for the production of lukanka. Most of these are located in central Bulgaria, at the foot of the Balkan mountain range, most notably the Smyadovo, Panagyurishte, and Karlovo regions. “Karlovska lukanka” is a Protected Designation of Origin approved by the Patent office of the Republic of Bulgaria for lukanka from the Karlovo region.

Below is a recipe so you can try making your own Lukanka salami/dry cured sausage:

2 lbs minced meat (any variety, we recommend using more pork)
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
2 tablespoons savory
hog casings (or other sausage links casings)
Mix all the ingredients together well.
Leave the mix in the fridge for approximately 24-48 hours.
Stuff the casings and make them compact, make sure there is no spacing/excess air inside.
Roll the stuffed casing with a rolling pin, to give the flat look, and hang them in a cool, dry place, preferably with no direct sunlight.
Roll the Lukanka daily for about two weeks, trying to press out any excess air, use a needle to let air out if necessary.
Consume when dry enough.
*All raw meats can be dangerous to health if not treated/cared for properly. Please consult a specialist before attempting this recipe.