Andouille Sausage

Andouille Sausage

Andouille sausage is what makes many Cajun recipes so good and contrary to what many people think, andouille is not spicy.  If you live near a real Cajun boucherie great.  Buy some from them, it's worth it.  For most of people buying from a Cajun boucherie is not an option and supermarket andouille is the only thing that is available.  If all you can get is supermarket andouille feel free to use it, but know that homemade andouille will make whatever you put it in better.  The picture above is what our andouille looks like after 6 hours on the smoker. 

6 lbs
pork butt, trimmed
4 tbl
minced garlic (don't go to all the trouble of mincing the garlic yourself, buy it in the produce section already peeled and minced)
1 tbl
granulated garlic
2 tbl
1 tbl
ground coriander (grind it yourself, it makes a big difference)
1 tbl paprika
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp
cayenne pepper
1 tsp
chili powder
⅛ tsp
dried thyme
ground bay leaf (grind it when you grind the coriander)
tsp dried sage
cold dark red wine (port or cabernet sauvignon work well)
32-35 mm
natural hog casings

Trim about half of the fat cap from the outside of meat but leave the rest.  Traditionally andouille was stuffed with small pieces of cut up meat instead of using a grinder. giving andouille a texture that other sausages don't have.  Cutting up pounds of meat is a lot of work, so I use a grinder with the coarsest disk I could find.  It looks like this and does a great job.  The texture is perfect.  Cut the meat into pieces small enough to feed into your grinder

After grinding, add the sausage seasonings and wine to the meat and blend by hand. Be sure to mix thoroughly to ensure the ingredients are spread evenly throughout the meat.  Stuff the casings using a sausage stuffer.  Do not use the blade in meat-grinder with a stuffing tube as grinding the meat a second time grinds it too fine.  After stuffing the casings, put the links in the fridge overnight uncovered to dry the sausage and "set" the casings.  The next put the meat on the smoker and let it sit there for 5 hours at 200F.  Don't add water to the smoker. I cook the andouille without smoking it as I don't like the way the smoke hides the wine taste in the sausage.  If you want your andouille smoked traditionally it is smoked using pecan and, if available, sugar cane.  Cook the andouille until the internal temperature in the links is 165 to 170.  Don't go past 170 as it will start to dry out.   After the andouille has been smoked, let the links cool to room temp.  Then put the links on wax paper and put the links in the refrigerator overnight.  When the links are cooled they can be put in zip top bags or vacuum sealed in bags.  Properly sealed, andouille will keep for a year in the freezer.