Andouille is a type of smoked sausage that originated in France, though some believe it is originally from Germany. The sausage is made primarily from pork, with different ingredients added from different regions. It is usually dried and smoked, then boiled or steamed to achieve the end result. Andouille is especially popular in Creole and Cajun cuisine, where it is more heavily spiced than in other variations. It is one of the main ingredients in key Cajun and Creole dishes like jimbalaya and gumbo.
Traditional French andouille
Traditional andouille is made using the whole digestive tract of a pig, including the stomach and the small intestines. The chitterlings would be either diced or sliced thinly, before being combined with onions and seasoning. Wine is also sometimes included in the meat stuffing. The meat mixture would then be stuffed inside a casing made from the large intestine of the pig. The end result is a sausage that is very large in size
In traditional French cooking the andouille was not smoked but poached. It would then be left to cool and then served in thin slices. Andouillettes is a smaller version of andouille, where the small intestine is used to make the casing instead of the large intestine.
Andouille in Cajun, Creole, and American cooking
Andouille in the USA is usually made from pork butt – otherwise known as the upper shoulder of the pig. With a heavy Cajun and Creole influence, American andouille is heavily spiced before being smoked twice. The first smoking is of the meat filling, and then the andouille is smoked again once the sausages have been made.
LaPlace, a city on the Mississippi River in Louisiana is known as being the ‘Andouille Capital of the World’. Louisiana Cajun cuisine usually includes garlic, pepper, and wine to the meat stuffing. West of Lafayette, Cajun andouille is seasoned with cayenne pepper, and soaked in a bath of water and vinegar overnight. It is then stuffed into the casing and hung in the smoke house.
What’s the difference between sausage and andouille?
Andouille differs from normal sausage in both flavour and texture. While normal sausages are made from a minced meat stuffing, andouille differs in that the stuffing is chopped or sliced, giving it a chunkier texture. The flavour of andouille is also sharper and smokier than other sausage varieties, giving it a distinct flavour and odour.
What kind of sausage can you substitute for andouille?
If you haven’t got any andouille at home, you will want to substitute the ingredient with another sharply flavoured smoked sausage. Chorizo Chorizo is a good substitute for andouille’s distinctly smoky flavour. Polish kielbasa is another substitute that you can use. Although it does not have an intense smoky flavour, kielbasa does carry a similar richness to andouille.
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