Aieeee! Yes folks the Cajun has landed! This is the first ingredient that I am going to highlight because many traditional Cajun dishes including red beans and rice, gumbo, and jambalaya among many others typically will contain a pork sausage and this usually means andouille sausage.
Andouille is pronounced ahn-Doo-Wee, and is made with coarse cut pork shoulder, shank, or butt and pork fat, is highly spiced with cracked black pepper, onions, and garlic, making it very flavorful. It is smoked with hickory, pecan, oak, sugar cane, or even mesquite wood fired smokers. The sausage is hung in large meat smokers and is typically left in the cool heat (175 degrees) for up to 8 or more hours. Once smoked the sausage takes on a very dark almost midnight color and tone. You can smell the deep rich flavors and smoky aroma even before you pick up a piece or cut through it. This is the real deal! A true andouille is stuffed into the beef middle casing and this makes the sausage about 1 1/2 inches in diameter, making it a very large sausage in comparison to most smoked sausages. The famous sausage is French in origin and was brought to the New World by the French colonists, and some German immigrants too. According to the St. John Parish Andouille Fesitval web site:
“It is interesting to note that the finest andouille in France comes from the Brittany and Normandy areas. It is believed that over half of the Acadian exiles who came to Louisiana in 1755 were originally from these coastal regions.”
Each year in October the Andouille Festival is held in LaPlace, Louisiana which is in St. John Parish, or about a 40 minute drive west of New Orleans.
Andouille can be purchased my mail order from Jacob’s World Famous Andouille and Sausage, when you click to their site, be prepared to put on your dancing shoes as some good ole’ Cajun music starts up and you will want to do the “Two Step” toute suite!