I started making my own Andouille a few years back because the stuff they sell in the grocery stores here in Michigan is a joke, you may as well break open a package of Oscar Meyer hot dogs for your Gumbo.
You know the kind I mean, basically Alpo, stuffed into a casing and injected with liquid smoke. I can’t use that garbage, so I make my own. Andouille is a cornerstone to many great New Orleans & Louisiana dishes, so you really need a good one! I would rather use a good quality Kielbasa, than a cut rate Andouille. The better the Andouille, the better the dish! Luckily, I enjoy making sausage, it is a very worth while investment of time if your finished product turns out well. Here is how I go about it.
I used a nice fatty, 5# boston butt, trimmed of tough connective tissue. Fat is good for sausage, especially Andouille. You want about 75% lean/25% fat. Here I hand chopped half of the meat into 1/4 inch pieces for texture, and ground the rest. The recipe:
Andouille Sausage Recipe
5# Pork (I prefer a Boston Butt) Trimmed of tough connective tissue and cut into 2 inch cubes.
Combine the following in a bowl:
2 tsp of Cayenne or to taste (Remember, if you make it too hot, every dish you make with it will be too hot! Start off with a little, you can add more after you taste the finished seasoning)
1 Tbsp Paprika
1/4 Cup Chopped Fresh Garlic
1/8 Cup Fresh Ground Black Pepper
3 Tbsp Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt
1 Tbsp Fresh Thyme leaves, chopped
1 tsp Crushed Red Pepper
1 healthy pinch Cure #1 (1 tsp. of “cure” per 5# of meat)
1/2 Cup Ice Water
Toss this mixture with the meat, making sure it is well coated. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 days.
**Note – Prague Powder#1 is used for wet curing meats, to retain color and freshness. It is a ratio of 16 oz. salt to 1 ounce sodium nitrate.
Chop half of the meat into 1/4 inch pieces and grind the other half with a coarse grinding plate. Mix the two together with:
1/8 Cup Non-Fat Powdered Milk (this is a binder)
Stuff the sausage into prepared Hog Casings (Beef middle casings if you can find them). Here is my method of Linking Sausage.
Tie each sausage link with kitchen string to make a loop for hanging. Hang uncovered in the refrigerator overnight. This step is to let the casings dry out to allow smoke absorption, very important.
I smoked this in an inexpensive upright barrel smoker, with charcoal as the heat source, and unsoaked Pecan chips for the smoke. The sausage was hung beneath the top rack, no water pan.
I smoked this at 130º F for 2 hours, then increased the heat to 165º F for another 2 1/2 hours, refreshing the wood chips as needed. The trick here, is to get as much smoke flavor into the sausage before it is actually cooked through, and too hot of a temperature will render the fat out of your sausage. I controlled the temp by the number of coals, and keeping them piled up and pushed to one side. When you spread your coals out the temperature will increase. I added more coals to reach the 165º F mark.
The internal temperature of the sausage should read 155º F on an instant read thermometer. Remove at this point and immediately spray with cold water. Hang at room temperature in front of a fan for 1 hour then refrigerate overnight, uncovered.
Portion and store in vacuum sealed packages in the freezer.
Other recipes for Sausages and Seasoning Meats at Nola Cuisine:
Here is my Latest Batch of Andouille Sausage!
Chaurice Sausage Recipe
Cornbread and Andouille Sausage Recipe
Pickled Pork Recipe
My post about my visit to Jacob’s Andouille.
Check out Egullet’s, Eating Louisiana Andouille page, with pics from Wayne Jacob’s, and Jacob’s Andouille, in the Andouille capital, Laplace, Louisiana.