25 January, 2010

The Great Andouillette Wreck

Andouillette ready for their close-up

I was facinated by the idea of getting the main ingredient of a beloved French sausage at Moo&Oink. I was charged by the idea of trumping some imaginary offal competition, by going lower on the hog than any other chef. I was broken by my own reality. It was a challenge the entire way and in the end both the sausage and I self destructed.


I had never really shopped for chitterlings but I knew where to get them, it's a straight shot, bout a mile or so, across 183rd ST, to Moo & Oink. I found a four and a half pound bucket. I didn't think I needed that much, and it cost 10 bucks. But that's all they had, so I went for it.

Chitterlings, Damien Hirst Style

When I got it home, I opened the frozen bucket and was confronted by a familiar odor: Eau de Slaughterhouse. Ok...I set the mass in water to thaw. After a couple of days of ignoring my guts I rinsed them. Rinsing and draining was no big deal but when I weighed my chitterlings I was down to two pounds. This sausage is starting to get expensive and still smelly.

rinsing chitterling

spices for marinade

marinating chitterling for andouillette

I built a marinade of typical pickling spices and white wine. I let it go for a couple of days.

mincing chitterling for andouillette

Andouillette is serious business in France. For stuffing the sausage you either lay the chitterlings in long strips and draw over the casing or you can mince it.


There are many different recipes, I went with something simple, Onion, salt, pepper and mace.

Then finally it's simmered in a court-bouillon for 3-5 hours. This is when sausage and chef came undone. I knew I shouldn't cover a simmering sausage, but I was afraid the liquid would reduce too much. About a half an hour is all it took. I continued to cook the decimated links for three hours, just to sample the disaster. Edible, but still no one had any interest in the result. You see, from start to finish, there was the smell. Sure after all the processing and cooking it had been transformed, muted, even complimented, but still the hint. I could see beyond it, but what's the point if no one else wants to? At least I got a nice bucket out of it.

Here are links I found useful while developing the recipe:

The Troyes Andouillette (a regional tourism website)

Andouillette on Wikipedia

Andouillettes.com (nuff said)

Gilbert Lemelle (The Vienna Beef of Andouiellettes)

Andouillette Recipes from a Culinary School (PDF)

Book Sources (Links to WorldCat)

Charcuterie and French pork cookery by Grigson

The Great Book of Sausages by Hippisley Coxe

Larousse Gastronomique by Montagné

And the indespensable:

The sausage book : being a compendium of sausage recipes, ways of making and eating sausage, accompanying dishes, and strong waters to be served, including many recipes from Germany, France, and Lancaster County, Pennsylvania and committed to paper by Gehman.


j labrown said...

Sometimes it's not the thing you fling but the fling itself... You are my hero for the attempt at this sausage. Sorry it wasn't what you expected but you can certainly count this up as good experience.
keep up the good work!

Rondell said...

Oh look who trying to get down with some chitlins. Boy! The only way to cook them delicious nibbles is to fry em in a pan and serve em side some collard greens. Don't turn my favorite southern meal into a fancy feast now.

Foodycat said...

So andouillette is sausage casing packed with intestine? Why on earth would someone want to eat that? Surely the best use for intestine is to be the sausage casing, not the filling!

CMH Gourmand said...

Any less than 100% successful attempts and all slam dunk sausage successes can be shipped to Columbus for deconstruction.

Anonymous said...

to make it simple, add the same amount of tripe as u have the chitterlin, and rather than poach ur protien in casing, braise them before u case the saucage. this takes about 8 hours reduce the liquid from this till the liquid is alsec. let everything cool, grind all add liquid as well as onion, garlic, thyme, and mace. poach in a light bouillion and your ready to go.
My fav way to prepair is to dredge saucage in flour, eggwash and panko breadcrumb and fry. serve with a little dijon.
If you can find foiegras, i have a variant that i add 1 part fresh foie to 9 parts of the other protien, i do this after i braise the other protiens.