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:
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:
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.
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:
And the final result:
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...