Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Smoked Andouille

Smoked Andouille

After an impromptu trial run, our brand-new Weber Smokey Mountain (WSM) was ready for some real action. But what to smoke? Pork Butt? Ribs? Chicken? Brisket? If you check out the discussion forums on The Virtual Weber Bullet website, those are all typical choices. But apparently, we aren't "typical". We wanted Andouille Sausage!

We haven't been super happy with the Andouille we've been able to get here in San Diego. It has had more emphasis on heat, rather than the super smokey, ham-y goodness that we experienced in New Orleans. We decided it would be a good thing to try to make our own.

For this batch we followed the Hot Smoked Andouille recipe from Charcuterie pretty much unaltered. Here are the spices getting mixed in:

Smoked Andouille

This version of Andouille includes pork shoulder meat seasoned with a fair amount of fresh onion and garlic, plus just a little cayenne, thyme, mace, clove, allspice and dry mustard. The procedure is basically the same as for making Italian Sausages, except that the meat mixture gets put through a smaller die giving it a finer texture.

After stuffing the mixture into casings, we improvised a drying rack in our dining room by cutting a bit of wooden trim to an appropriate length and suspending it between a couple of chairs. The sausages were hung for about 2 hours to dry - smoke adheres better if the casing is dry and a little tacky:

Smoked Andouille

To hang the sausages in the smoker, I turned the top rack over so the handles were underneath the grill, and suspended the sausages between the handles. Not the most elegant method, but it worked well.

Smoked Andouille

I used Pecan as the smoking wood and tried to keep the fire low and slow. These kind of sausages can be a little tricky since you want them fully cooked (hot smoked), but you do *not* want the fat to heat up so much that it melts away. Fortunately, I managed to keep the smoker temperature under 200°F for just under 4 hours, cooking the sausage to a final temp of 150°F.

Just out of the smoker:

Smoked Andouille

And the final result:

Smoked Andouille

We couldn't be happier with how these guys turned out. They taste fantastic. I think there is going to be some pretty nice gumbo in our future...

10 comments:

  1. Those look fantastic Michael! I did get a nice laugh when I thought about what would happen if I hung some sausage to dry between 2 chairs at our house.....they'd be gone in a second!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yep - our setup was definitely not pet-proof!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Looks great! What casings did you use? I know there's some different varieties out there. Did you use the kind that need to be removed after cooking? I'm new to sausage making.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Jeff, We always use natural hog casings for our sausages. I like the snap they give to the finished product and they're pretty simple to use. They come packed in salt and last a really long time if you keep them sealed in the refrigerator. We get ours from a local butcher, but you can order them online as well. In case you're interested, we've got some pictures of them in our post on Making Sausage.

    I hope you enjoy your forays into the sausage world - it can be really fun!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks for the reply. I'm going to give Andouille a try this weekend. I don't need much of an excuse to fire up my Cookshack smoker. I love "Charcuterie" by Ruhlman and Polcyn. I've used several of the recipes from their book and have had great results....

    ReplyDelete
  6. My first crack at sausage making was a success! The Andouile had great flavor and texture. I added 1 Tbsp of red pepper flakes to kick it up a notch which turned out to be right on the money. I'll definitely be making more sausage....

    ReplyDelete
  7. Glad to hear you gave it a try, Jeff. And it's even better to hear that it turned out well! Cheers~

    ReplyDelete
  8. That's a very inventive mod, hanging the top grate upside down to smoke sausages. I'm going to have to try that.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Andouille looks great! I have a Big Chef electric smoker, works well. I also have a bullet type smoker. I was thinking of cutting some notches in the top of the rim and fitting a hardwood dowel in there to hang sausages. In Louisiana they smoke Andouille with Pecan wood and sugar cane. Might try to drizzle some Steens cane syrup on the Pecan chips!

    ReplyDelete
  10. ChefJ71, Notches in the rim for a hanging dowel is a great idea. I'm always worried that my smoke-stick will slide off the rack when I'm carrying it... As for sugar cane, it must give a tasty hint of caramel. I'd be a little worried that a syrup would burn and be bitter, but since cane is hard to come by, it's probably worth a shot!

    ReplyDelete