Truthfully, my first attempt solo at Andouille. I have helped before, I have done it "under-supervision", but these were years and years ago. I decided to embark upon this quest and see exactly how hard it is to make good Andouille. Since its been awhile I really don't have a lot to fall back on. Bear with me, yes I am opinionated, but if you see something wrong or a better way to do it, jump right in.
First the butts were on sale (pfffft sure, right) last week so I bought a few. I am not like Woodcutter though Sams doesn't deliver my crates and cases, I don't have a forklift anymore to unload 'em from the tractor trailer anyway. <chuckles>
I saved 20 lbs of butt from the freezer. Using only 10 here.
First mistake, I was too smart to listen, I am not hard headed, lets just say independently willed! I bought hog bungs instead of 43MM+ casing. In the olden days it was the large intestine that they used for Andouille. It was the last cut scraps from the bones before they became soup. I got a 10 piece bag of hog bungs from Butcher & Packers. There is just no tactful way to say it, on one end was a sphincter that still had hair around it, and for over 1/2 the length it was just thick to even be considered casing....LOL After washing, they really had a special air of distinction to them also. I understand now why they are advertised for liver and onions type stuffing. So after my first meat headed mistake and just being to dang lazy to call and get some delivered..... we are now going to make Andouille sausage. <sighs>
OK, first we start with a BUTT. I split a pack, deboned it. and cleaned it. BTW it has a 24th due day.
I deboned it, I would like to interject that I sharpened knives last night, and I even impressed myself. It was so sharp I cut myself by just looking at blade.
First I sliced the butt into steak like pieces, that is one slice, no sawing, not double slice. Had to hold the knife up so it didn't cut thru the cutting board!
Made the steaks into 1/4 to 3/8 inch strips, lickily split, seriously counting my fingers after every cut!
Cut the strips transversely.
Bowl is filling up with nice pretty uniformly sized meat and fat. Here is my second mistake. I should have moved all the meat to the reefer to stay cold except what I was immediately working on. Oh it still sliced, but ....... well the fat pieces even though nicely cubed, seemed to stretch the fatty mesoderm which was holding it connected. Maybe it was connective tissue, Doh! I can definitely see I don't want this stringy stuff in my Andouille sausage. I see my task is near completion so again I aired and pressed on.
Spices, I measured out enough to do 10 pounds, I removed 1/4C from it and held in reserve.
I also made my cure using .4 oz. of cure. I have worried for days about this. .4 ozs. I do some research and see that most folks are doing 1t per every 5 lbs of meat for Andouille sausage. In my infinite wisdom I decide to weight out 2t of cure and it comes out to just barely .05 ozs. So I am now again more happy with life.
So I mixed the spice into the meat, I realized that it wasn't as dang warm as I thought it was......After thoroughly mixing it, I poured in the cure and started mixing again.
Its all mixed except for the 1/4C of seasoning I reserved for just before stuffing tomorrow. Its in the reefer now making happy happy noises, sounds like a party.
Will continue tomorrow. Its going to be a busy day!