For Memorial Day, I decided to make an appetizer with a Greek flare and figured smoked lamb wrapped in bacon with Greek Spices would be quite tasty. I didn't plan on calling them Loinks--lamb and bacon (oink), but a minor setback forced me to dip them in barbecue sauce. Therefore, they became Loinks--a takeoff from Moinks and Smokin's Boinks.
I started with a 3 lb boneless leg of lamb coated with olive oil and then rubbed with Greek spices then sprinkled and patted with more of the Greek spices.
Here's my Greek spice recipe:
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon thyme
If you prefer simple, Cavender's Greek Spices work just as well. You can find it in any grocery store.
Smoker preheated to 235* with 4-5oz cherry. Place the leg of lamb into smoker after a 20 minute rest from the refrigerator. It was removed from the smoker when internal temp hit 132* (2.5 hrs).
Let the leg of lamb rest for 45 minutes under loose foil to allow juices to redistribute and to let the meat cool. Cut leg of lamb into 1.5" cubes and sprinkle again with olive oil and the Greek spices (once cubed, most of the cubes will not have spices on them).
I partially cooked the bacon in a pan so it would crisp up better in the smoker without drying out the lamb. Wrap the cubed lamb with the softly cooked bacon and run a toothpick to hold the bacon in place. Don't sprinkle again with the Greek spices so the bacon will contrast the spiced lamb.
Place the bacon wrapped lamb back into the smoker for apprx. an hour, smoker still at 235*. Pull when the bacon looks done.
At this point they were moist and flavorful, but they turned out almost black and didn't look appealing. That's when I decided to dip them into Sonoma Valley Barbecue Sauce (delicious by the way) and place them back into the smoker to set the sauce, about 15 minutes. Now they became Loinks.
The Loinks were the hit of the party. Received comments like fantastic. Delicious. Absolutely delightful. Wow. I made 32 of them (well actually 36 but the cook taste tested along the way). My buddy Bill had 10 of them.
I'm doing this again since it's been requested for the 4th of July party at another friends. But I still want to make it straight Greek style at some point. Think the cherry wood added the dark color? May just cook the bacon a little longer in the pan next time so the appetizer doesn't spend so much time in the smoker, yet the bacon gets smoke and done.