Andouille was a great favorite in nineteenth-century New Orleans. This thick Cajun sausage is made with lean pork and pork fat and lots of garlic. Sliced about ½ inch thick and grilled, it makes a delightful appetizer. It is also used in a superb oyster and andouille gumbo popular in Laplace, a Cajun town about 30 miles from New Orleans that calls itself the Andouille Capital of the World.
(about 6 pounds of 20 inch sausage, 3 to 3½ inches thick)
Soak the casing about an hour in cold water to soften it and to loosen the salt in which it is packed. Cut into 3 yard lengths, then place the narrow end of the sausage stuffer in one end of the casing. Place the wide end of the stuffer up against the sink faucet and run cold water through the inside of the casing to remove any salt. (Roll up the casing you do not intend to use; put about 2 inches of coarse salt in a large jar, place the rolled up casing on it, then fill the rest of the jar with salt. Close tightly and refrigerate for later use.)
Cut the meat and fat into chunks about ½ inch across and pass once through the coarse blade of the meat grinder. Combine the pork with the remaining ingredients in a large bowl and mix well with a wooden spoon.
Cut the casings into 26 inch lengths and stuff as follows: Tie a knot in each piece of casing about 2 inches from one end. Fit the open end over the tip of the sausage stuffer and slide it to about 1 inch from the wide end. Push the rest of the casing onto the stuffer until the top touches the knot. (The casing will look like accordion folds on the stuffer.)
Fit the stuffer onto the meat grinder as directed on the instructions that come with the machine, or hold the wide end of the stuffer
Fill the hopper with stuffing. Turn the machine on if it is electric and feed the stuffing gradually into the hopper; for a manual machine, push the stuffing through with a wooden pestle. The sausage casing will fill and inflate gradually. Stop filling about 1¼ inches from the funnel end and slip the casing off the funnel, smoothing out any bumps carefully with your fingers and being careful not to push the stuffing out of the casing. Tie off the open end of the sausage tightly with a piece of string or make a knot in the casing itself. Repeat until all the stuffing is used up.
To cook, slice the andouille ½ inch thick and grill in a hot skillet with no water for about 12 minutes on each side, until brown and crisp at the edges.
Ellen Cleary From: Rich Harper
Your Andouille is ready. Bon appetit!
Related recipes: Meats, Sausage
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