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