People seem to have a love/hate thing with Andouillettes. Me? I love them. I’ve been eating them for years, both in England and in France. It was inevitable that one day I’d have a go at making them. There's a bit of a back story to this experiment, and because there might be sensitive folk here it's over on my blog if anyone has any interest in it!
The lack of formulations for Andouillette drove me to improvise, as did the availability of certain ingredients. Now, if you’re a rabid Frenchie with a certificate from the Institute of Andouillettes, don’t bother telling me I’m wrong. The goal was to make something with the taste and texture of what I’d happily accept as an Andouillette.
Recent research in Lyon indicated some pork meat content in the better ones. There was also some undercurrent of bacon in there.
The experiment was an initial small batch, so it's simple to scale up.
500g pig’s stomach
500g pig’s large intestine
500g pig’s uterus
500g pork shoulder
200g smoked bacon lardons
2 tsp Quatre Epices (mine is 6 parts black pepper, 1 each of ginger, cloves and nutmeg)
2 hefty pinches of salt
I coffee cup of rough red wine
One onion studded with cloves
I popped the stomach, intestine and uterus into a large saucepan, added milk till they were covered, and then chucking in the onion studded with cloves. This was simmered for around 30 minutes.
Drained the innards and mince on a very coarse plate along with pork shoulder and lardons. When mincing innards, they do splatter a bit, so cover the outlet with your hand. I didn’t, and have a sheen of uterus up the walls.
Once minced, added the Quatre Epices, two generous pinches of coarse salt and put into the fridge for 24 hours to allow the spices to infuse.
The next day add the red wine and stuff. I used hog casings. Typically, Andouillettes would go into something larger, but I’d only made a small amount as a trial, and it seemed simpler to use smaller casings.
Once stuffed, the sausages went back into the fridge to rest for another 24 hours.
So, what are they like? The spicing is delicate, which will allow any sauce to add its magic without having to be too powerful so it can fight the spice. It could take more, but for me the taste of the sausage shouldn’t be too spiced.
The texture is very good, with enough bite without being chewy, but also not so soft it feels like a ground product. You know there’s innards in there!
The taste? Well, it has the balance and depth of pigness that good Andouillette has!