Andouille: An Underrated Flavor Bomb

Shrimp, Andouille, and Grits. Source:  Jpellgen

Shrimp, Andouille, and Grits. Source: Jpellgen

I’d like to introduce you to your new spirit animal: Andouille Sausage. If you haven’t tried this amazing thing, find the nearest place that serves or sells it and start running in that direction. Run. Don’t walk. Andouille originated from France and/or Germany and was brought to the United States by French immigrants in the late 1600’s. The early versions of Andouille in the United States were made with traditional French recipes. Over time, however, people started to incorporate local ingredients and popular cultural cooking methods into the original French Andouille recipe to form a Cajun-style Andouille.

The original Andouille is very mild but the Cajun-style version is smoked and spicier. The original version is made with pork, pepper, garlic, wine, onion, and herbs. It’s savory and can be eaten alone. On the other hand, the Cajun-style Andouille is made with pork, fat, salt, black pepper, and garlic. Then, the sausage is smoked over pecan wood and/or sugar cane from anywhere between 4-14 hours. The recipe sounds SO beautiful. It's like POETRY in the form of a sausage. 

Cajun-style Andouille is primarily used as an ingredient in a main dish, like gumbo or étouffée, rather than being served on its own. But, that shouldn't stop you from eating it as a main dish. Some similar tasting sausages include Italian smoked sausage (Ndulla), Mexican Chorizo, or Kielbasa sausage. Andouille is delicious when added to stews and soups because it adds a nice, spicy, meaty flavor to the dish. Sometimes, Andouille is chopped up and added to potatoes or grits.

Grits, Andouille, and Poached Eggs. Source:  Spektrograf

Grits, Andouille, and Poached Eggs. Source: Spektrograf

Today, Andouille is made with pork meat from the thighs and shoulder rather than the traditional internal organs. The sausage can also be made with synthetic casing rather than actual intestine. As we’ve discussed, there are many variations of the sausage because different cooks and companies tend to use their own combination of spices and vegetables. However, as long as the sausage is made with pork and has a relatively spicy flavor, it can be served and considered as an Andouille sausage. 

The day you taste this sausage will be the same day you start to praise it. And, if you're cool like me and you like to praise your food, you might want to know about the yearly Andouille festival in LaPlace, Louisiana, where a Miss Andouille is crowned as a ceremonial queen. Becoming Miss Andouille should be on everyone's bucket list just because Andouille.

If you're reading this, that means you actually read the whole guide.. so thank you for reading. I'm curious how you've been pronouncing Andouille in your head but just in case your French is as bad as mine, it's actually pronounced AN-DOO-EE or AN-DWEE :) I was reading about Andouille and pronouncing it AN-DOU-ILL-EE until I realized that was wrong.

If you want to try andouille in the city, here are some places that serve it:

  1. Rosamunde Sausage Grill

  2. Meat Hook

  3. der Kommissar

  4. The Pullman Kitchen

Jonathan NgoGuide, SausageComment