Monday, March 14, 2011


I posted my Mint Chocolate Cupcake recipe for St Patricks day, but really missed Mardi Gras.  Even though late, I thought I would post a Cajun recipe today.

Boudin stems from Boudin Blanc dish as served in France.  Boudin Blanc are sausages made out of pork, chicken and veal. Additional ingredients such as milk, cognac and spices add flavor to the meats.  That type of sausage is very perishable and a little expensive to make.

When the French Acadians (today's Cajuns) were pushed out of Britain and arrived in Louisiana, they needed to adapt to the new surroundings. The Boudin Blanc was not a very feasible meal, especially when the main meat for the area was pork.  Pork was the first ingredient used in Cajun Boudin.  Then boudin ingredients evolved with time, with rice being added after it started being cultivated.

This recipe is best made in two days and yields about 12 sausage links.  The pork, liver cooking and grinding was done the first day and the rest the second day.  Also, I chose to use the cellulose sausage casing, which can be purchased through Cabela's.  Cellulose casing is probably the easiest to use. It does not require any soaking time like natural hog casing.

Lastly, should you not want to go through the sausage link process, you can also use the filling and create appetizers called boudin balls.  The filling recipe makes a total of 5 cups. It makes a lot of boudin balls, so you may want to halve the recipe.

courtesy of Homesick Texan Blog

1/2 lb chicken livers
2 lbs pork shoulder (cut into 1 inch cubes)
4 cloves minced garlic
1 bell pepper (seeded and chopped)
1 stalk diced celery
1 chopped medium onion
2 jalapenos, chopped without stems or seeds
2 chopped green onions (green part only)
1 tsp each of thyme, oregano and paprika
salt, black pepper and cayenne to taste
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 servings or 1 cup uncooked minute rice
10 ft of casing sized 32-35 mm (for sausages)
3 cups cracker crumbs (for boudin balls)
enough vegetable oil for deep fryer (for boudin balls)

First day:
Put chicken liver in microwave safe bowl and fill with 1 cup of water.  Microwave for a total of 4 minutes, draining water out of bowl every minute and refilling with fresh water 3 times and then cooking without water for the last minute.  Set aside to cool.

Fill a large pot with 2 inches of water and then add the bell pepper, celery, onion, garlic and pork. Place over  medium high heat and let come to a boil uncovered.  Then turn down to a simmer and let cook uncovered for another hour and 45 minutes.

After the pork is fully cooked and tender, drain and reserve broth for later use.  Mix the cooked chicken livers into the pork mixture. Grind or coarsely dice the meat filling. This can be done with a food processor, meat grinder or by hand with a knife. 

Cover the bowl of broth and the meat filling and place in fridge until next day. 

Second day:
Take the broth out of the fridge and measure out one cup into a microwave safe bowl.  Heat in microwave for 1 minute.  Remove the filling from the fridge and add the heated broth, stirring until no excess liquid is left. Set aside.

Cook the rice as directed on package.Add the rice, jalapenos, thyme, oregano, green onion and parsley to the filling and mix with a wooden spoon until evenly distributed.  Stir in pepper, salt and cayenne according to taste. The filling should be moist and slightly sticky.  If it appears to dry, add in more broth until you reach desired consistency.

To form the sausages, take out sausage stuffer and slide all the casing over the horn of the stuffer.  Push all casing on the stuffer except a few inches.  Tie a knot on the end than push the filling through the stuffer.  As the filling comes through the horn, the casing will have to be guided so air does not form.  My stuffing horn was quite a bit smaller than the diameter of the casing.

As you fill the casing, note that each sausage should be about 5 inches long. At the end of the sausage, twist the casing and then you can resume making another sausage.  The alternative is to twist, cut and tie each end of the sausage to separate so you can cook for individual servings.

Once the links are formed, they can be prepared by poaching in boiling water for 10 minutes.  Steaming and grilling are other options.

Regarding the preparation of the boudin balls, follow all instructions above ending with adding the cayenne. After making meat mixture, fill a deep fryer with vegetable oil and preheat to 350 degrees. Then form all the filling into 1 inch balls, placing each on a baking sheet lined with parchment.  Take each ball and roll in cracker crumbs, placing back on parchment.  Once all are covered in cracker crumbs, drop balls into hot oil and cook until golden brown.  This should only take about 2 minutes.