Technically speaking, Andouille is a sausage from the Lyon area of France that is made entirely of pork intestines and stomach. Flavorwise, it tastes like you're licking the floor of a barn.
Andouille is more commonly thought of as a New Orleans specialty, and is very similar to another kind of French sausage called Andouillette. 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 pork that has been ground with the larger die, as well as minced garlic and diced onion to create a coarse internal texture.
Day 1: 3 hours
Day 2: 3 hours
• 8 pounds pork shoulder
• 2 pound pork belly
• 1 large onion
• 1 head garlic
• ¼ 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. yellow mustard seeds
• 10 whole cloves
• 10 whole allspice berries
• 5 sprigs fresh thyme
• 1 cup water
• 4 cups water
• 2 tbsp. white wine vinegar
• 20 ft. hog casing
• 5 lbs. crushed ice
The cayenne and red pepper flakes make this a pretty fierce sausage; tone it down if you're concerned for the health of your friends and family.
If you're buying the meat pre-ground from the butcher, ask them to coarsely grind the meat.
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.
Using a spice grinder, pulverize the black peppercorns, mustard seeds, cloves and allspice.
Destem the leaves from the thyme sprigs; you should end up with around 2 tsp. thyme leaves.
Whisk the salts, black pepper, paprika, cayenne, crushed red pepper flakes, mustard, cloves, allspice and thyme into the water.
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.
To be authentic, Andouille is made up of about 75% ground meat and 25% finely diced meat in ¼-inch chunks. Whether the meat's fully ground or partially ground - it's all good.
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 sausage into the hog casings and wrap the sausage into a long coil. Once finished, tie off the other end of the sausage. Twist the sausage into links every 8 inches.
Place 2 cooling racks each over top a baking sheet to catch any drippings. Put the Andouille on the cooling 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 cooling racks in the refrigerator overnight.
Smoke the sausages at a temperature of 180°F / 82°C using pecan wood until the sausages reach an internal temperature of 150°F / 65°C.
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 28, 2017.
Place in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, or the freezer for up to 2 months.
Slice the sausage thinly and eat cold, toss it on the grill, or add it to a batch of gumbo, jambalaya or red beans and rice.