My master plan for Christmas dinner involves a few preliminary projects—one of which, making sausage, has been checked off the list. My friend Rob and I have made sausage together before, and he readily agreed to an afternoon making pork sausage with garlic and red wine. In fact, he upped the ante by suggesting that we also do a batch of Andouille. I didn’t have to think twice about that. Holy crap, yes.
We used the Andouille recipe from our trusty guide, Charcuterie by Michael Ruhlman.
When making sausage, three sets of hands are even better than two, so Rob’s girlfriend Gillia pitched in too. Sausage making is a companionable sort of process, with time for conversation to ebb and flow, punctuated by occasional flurries of activity. While hands stayed busy, there was time to enjoy the sensory experience.
The fresh spices, garlic, and the metallic tang of raw meat filled the air. The colors were vivid when stirred together—brilliant red meat and white onions and fat and deep yellow mustard. This mixture came out of the grinder a rich pink and white.
After the Andouille was spiced and ground and tucked away in casings, Rob put the links in his smoker.
Now I have plenty of fresh pork sausage with garlic and wine, and plenty of Andouille tucked away safely in the freezer, just as the urge to squirrel away food and nest for the winter comes on strong.
And what a lunch the Andouille sausage made the next day. Hot, fresh, and spicy.
Next: Fresh homemade Andouille sausage is put to good use in Jambalaya
Elsewhere: The discussion on Toast by Nigel Slater is still going strong over at Edible Books