Venison Andouille

A heavily smoked and highly spiced cajun sausage, typically used as an ingredient for other cajun dishes (like jambalaya, gumbo, or in a crawfish boil). Though you can certainly serve it as-is.

It is traditionally made from fatty pork, ground very coarse, stuffed into beef middles (which are over 2″ wide).

Venison poses a bit of a challenge for us, because if ground that coarse it could be a bit chewy, depending on the cut. I recommend grinding the venison through a 1/4″ plate (6 or 7 mm), and the pork & fat through a larger plate, like 1/2″ to 3/4″.

Bottom line, traditional pork Andouille is a very fatty sausage, about 30/70. Don’t skimp on the fat% of the last third of your meat or the result could be a dry, crumbly disappointment.

It is most traditional to stuff into beef middles, though it is not uncommon to stuff into hog casings and form them into bratwurst-size links.

You could instead form these into patties and freeze, though for smoke flavor you must add liquid smoke before the final mix. I’ve never done that, but the consensus on the intarwebs is to start with no more than 1 teaspoon of liquid smoke per 5 lbs of meat, then tweak up or down next time if you like. If you’re not smoking the sausage it is safe to skip the Instacure — but I think it adds a nice flavor.
Print Recipe
Venison Andouille Yum
Servings
lbs meat/fat
Ingredients
Base
Sautee
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil — lard or clarified butter are best
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 8 Tbsp minced garlic — This is a REALLY garlic-forward sausage, half a cup in 5 lbs.. Reduce if that's not what you're looking for.
Dry Ingredients
Servings
lbs meat/fat
Ingredients
Base
Sautee
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil — lard or clarified butter are best
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 8 Tbsp minced garlic — This is a REALLY garlic-forward sausage, half a cup in 5 lbs.. Reduce if that's not what you're looking for.
Dry Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Sautee onions in oil/fat until they are soft, translucent and slightly browned on the edges. Toss in garlic just to heat, then chill well.
  2. While the onions are cooking, soak casings in warm water.
  3. If any of your dry ingredients are whole spices, toast and grind them (likely suspects at the top of the dry ingredients list).
  4. Mix all dry ingredients together.
  5. Cut the meat and fat into cubes and mix with the dry and sauteed ingredients. Stage in freezer until stiff but not fully frozen -- about half an hour. Stage the grinder parts in the freezer also.
  6. Grind the meat through a 1/2" (12mm) plate. Some folks may prefer a less coarse sausage, or a mix of fine and coarse. Fry up a small piece to taste test, especially to be sure you don't need a little more salt
  7. .Mix in your preferred liquid, and return to freezer another half hour or so.
  8. Mix the sausage by hand or in a mixer until it starts to turn tacky. If it looks too stiff to stuff (fun to say!) add more ice-cold liquid and mixing until you get the right consistency.
  9. Stuff the casings, then form into links. Expect some "exploders". You prevent them by stuffing a little on the loose side, so when you link them the extra pressure brings them up to proper firmness. Otherwise, the pressure can exceed the strength of the casing, thus "exploders". It's a matter of touch. Cut out the exploders and return their meat to the stuffer and re-stuff.
  10. When you're done, don't forget the bit left in the stuffer — which must be immediately formed into a patty, fried, and presented to the kitchen boss as a scooby snack.
  11. Hang sausages to dry. 1-2 hours at room temp, up to overnight if 33°F - 40°F. Go over them with a clean sausage pricker to release any air bubbles.
  12. Apply smoke and cook under low/medium heat (~175-200°F) until internal temp hits 160°F - no higher. Any 50/50 mix of fruitwood and nutwood is good for smoke, but serious andouille is smoked over a mix of pecan and sugar cane.
  13. Immediately chill in an ice bath, then dry and hang to bloom for a couple of hours. Then fully chill and package. Freeze any that won't be eaten in the next week or two.
Recipe Notes

This recipe presumes the meat mix is 2/3rds lean game, and 1/3rd fatty pork. It is very important not to skimp on how much fat is in the pork. If the pork is at all lean, replace some if it with fatback or fatty pork belly.

View online at KillerNoms.com/andouille

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