How to Make Boudin
I've had a lot of requests for this one, so here's how to make boudin sausage like a true Cajun.
Cajun boudin, unlike the French version, is made from a mixture of meat, rice, and fresh herbs that is spiced up considerably with red pepper.
Learning how to make boudin can be broken down into 3 basic steps: Cooking the meat, adding the rice and spices to the meat, and stuffing the sausage links.
- Take 3 1/2 lbs of pork shoulder and 1 1/2 lbs of pork or beef liver and cut it all into 2 inch pieces after it has been trimmed.
- Put the meat into a pot on the stove top and add 1 cup of chopped celery, 1/2 cup of chopped bell pepper, 1 large chopped onion, 2 teaspoons of kosher salt, and 1 teaspoon of cracked black pepper.
- Cover the meat and herbs/spices with water, add heat, and simmer the mixture until the meat is tender enough to fall apart.
- Take the meat out of the pot with a slotted spoon and allow it to cool, but keep the cooking liquid for later use.
- Now grind the cooked meat through the medium plate of your sausage grinder.
Adding Rice and Spices
- While the meat is cooking is a good time to prepare the rice for the sausage. Take 2 1/2 cups of white rice, rinse it in cold water, and add it to a pot with 4 cups of water. Add 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and bring the mixture to a boil, then cover and let the rice simmer for about 20 minutes on very low heat.
- To the ground meat, add 1 cup of chopped scallions, 1 cup of chopped fresh parsley, 1 finely minced small white onion, 2 tablespoons of dried red pepper flakes, 2 teaspoons of dried thyme, 1 teaspoon of dried oregano, 2 teaspoons of medium grind black pepper and 1 tablespoon of kosher salt.
- Add all the cooked rice to the meat and spice/herb mixture and stir it together very thoroughly. You want to make sure everything is incorporated, or you will end up with unpleasant pockets of spices in your finished sausage.
Stuffing the Boudin
- Set your sausage stuffer up with 35-38 mm natural pork casings or small beef rounds. I have used collagen casings for boudin in the past, but haven't had the best of luck with them. They seem to be a bit too tender, and are easy to burst during the stuffing process.
- Check that your meat and rice mixture isn't too dry. If it is, add some of the reserved liquid from the meat cooking until you have a pudding-like consistency. If your sausage mix is too dry, you will have a difficult time stuffing it.
- Stuff your sausage and tie it off into 4-6 inch links. Let the links air dry, and then refrigerate or freeze them for future use.
O.K., now that you've learned how to make boudin, try a batch in your own sausage kitchen. Your family and friends will love it.
I find that the best way to cook up boudin is to either steam it or simmer it in water or broth.
You can grill or fry the links if you want them to have a nice brown color, but the sausage has a real tendency to crack and split open when served that way.
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