Although technically a sausage from the Lyon area of France, Andouille is more commonly thought of as a New Orleans specialty. It is a smoked sausage that can be sliced and eaten cold, but is most often used to a imbue a rich depth of flavor in gumbos and bean stews.
As with any specialty sausage that is specific to a region, many will argue about the correct approach to making this sausage. We’re striving for a textured sausage which uses both ground and chopped pork, as well as minced garlic and diced onion to create an internal texture that is similar to its pellicled external texture.
The day or multiple days before the event, procure the following equipment:
• Chef's knife
• Cutting board
• Stand mixer
• Meat Grinder
• Sausage Stuffer
• Food preparation gloves
• Baking sheet
• Drying rack
• Pecan Wood Chips
• Meat Thermometer
• Butcher Paper or sealable plastic freezer bags
The day before the event, procure the following ingredients:
• 8 pounds pork shoulder
• 2 pound pork back fat or pork belly
• 1 large onion
• 1 head garlic
• ⅓ cup Kosher Salt
• 2 tsp. Instacure No. 1 curing salt
• ¼ cup black peppercorns
• 2 tbsp. paprika
• 1 ½ tbsp. cayenne pepper
• 2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
• 1 tbsp. ground mustard
• 5 sprigs fresh thyme
• 10 whole cloves
• 10 whole allspice berries
• 20 ft. Hog Casing
• 2 tbsp. white wine vinegar
Place 3 large mixing bowls and the Meat Grinder attachment in the freezer around 15 minutes before use. Keeping the equipment cold will help the grinding move quickly.
Measure out all of the ingredients from your shopping list, so that they are ready to work with in the subsequent steps.
At least 30 minutes before using the casing:
Add 4 cups water and 2 tbsp. white wine vinegar to a bowl.
Place the 20 ft. of Hog Casing in the water / vinegar mixture.
Chop the pork shoulder and pork back fat or pork belly into 1-inch chunks, and place them in the chilled mixing bowls.
Place each bowl in the freezer for 15 minutes to keep the meat as cold as possible through the preparation steps.
Dice the onions and mince the garlic. Measure out the ingredients to equal:
• 2 cups diced onions
• ⅓ cup minced garlic
Using a Spice Grinder, pulverize the black peppercorns, cloves and allspice, if purchased whole.
Destem the leaves from the thyme sprigs; you should end up with around 2 tsp. thyme leaves.
Prepare the Meat Grinder with the large die.
Mix the diced onions and minced garlic in with the diced meats.
Grind the meat, onion and garlic mixture through the grinder and allow to fall into a chilled mixing bowl.
Pour the spice mixture into the bowl of ground meat.
Put on some food preparation gloves and mix the spices into the ground meat until the meat is uniformly coated with the spice mixture.
Grab a handful of the meat mixture, form it into a small patty, and fry it up in a pan. Taste, and adjust the seasoning as needed.
Meanwhile, replace the remaining meat mixture in the freezer to keep it cold.
Prepare the Sausage Stuffer. Press the meat through the stuffer until the ground meat just barely pokes through the end of the spout.
Push the open end of the Hog Casing over the end of the stuffer, and continue to push the casing onto the stuffer until you reach the end of the casing. Tie a knot at the end of the casing.
Stuff the ground meat into the Hog Casings, twisting every 8-inches to make a link.
Place 2 drying racks each over top a baking sheet to catch any drippings. Put the andouille on the drying rack.
Now, we need to dry out the andouille's external casing to form a pellicle. This will provide a tacky surface to which the smoke will adhere during the smoking process, and will also serve as a way for the Andouille to retain its internal moisture.
Place the drying racks in the refrigerator overnight.
Smoke the sausages at a temperature of 180F using pecan wood until the sausages reach an internal temperature of 150F.
Once the sausages are near the appropriate temperature, prepare an ice bath. Transfer the sausages from the Smoker directly to the ice bath and chill.
Place the sausages in Butcher Paper or sealable plastic freezer bags and use a Sharpie to label the package Andouille: made March 5, 2015.
Refrigerate the sausages for up to 2 weeks or freeze the sausages for up to 2 months.
Slice the sausage thinly and eat cold, toss it on the grill, or cook it up in a gumbo, jambalaya or red beans and rice.