Cajun Boudin (Sausages)
Updated: May 6
The Cajun boudin is a type of sausage traditionally made with a mixture of ground pork, liver, rice and seasonings. Its history dates back two centuries or more to the Acadians who migrated to Louisiana from Nova Scotia, so there is a nice connection to Atlantic Canada here. There are many versions of boudin, ranging from very mild to hot. This one here is considered a white boudin. There is also a red version, so called because of the addition of pork blood along with the ground pork, liver, rice and seasonings.
My brother Bud spends a lot of time in the US, especially in the Texas and Louisiana area. He has eaten his share of boudin. On his last visit here in Newfoundland we created this recipe together, taking the best ideas from a bunch of other recipes and improving from the previous batches we had made in the past. We both like them spicy, so we have a fair amount of cayenne powder and jalapeños. Feel free to reduce the amount if you wish.
Cajun Boudin (Sausages)
Yields: approximately 50 four-inch sausages (boudins)
10 lb. pork shoulder
2 lb. chicken livers or pork liver, sliced
6 lb. onions, peeled and coarsely chopped
3 bunches green onions, white parts separated from the green tops
6 jalapeños, seeds removed, finely chopped
5 T sea salt
7 bay leaves
4 T cayenne powder
3 cups uncooked long grain rice
20 feet of natural hog casing
Cut pork in long strips about 1 inch square and 5 - 6 inches long. Place in pot big enough to fit the pork, barely cover with cold water. Add sea salt, bay leaves and cayenne powder. Bring to boil, cover, reduce heat to simmer and cook until tender, about 90 minutes. Add liver and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Remove pork and liver with slotted spoon. Set aside to cool.
Add chopped onions and white parts of green onions to stockpot and cook on low heat for 20 minutes uncovered. Add jalapeños and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove onions and peppers to a bowl to cool.
Reduce stock to 7 ½ cups. Add rice, cover and simmer for 20 minutes until rice is cooked and all the stock is absorbed. This should yield about 5 pounds of cooked rice. While rice is cooking, finely chop the green onions. When rice is cooked, remove cover and set aside to cool.
Now it’s time to grind the pork, liver, onions, jalapeños and finely chopped green onions. Mix everything together in a large bowl. Set a large pan or bowl underneath your grinder and use a coarse grinder plate. Grind your pork strips, liver, onions, jalapeños, and finely chopped green onions. Add cooked and cooled rice to ground mixture and mix together. Taste and adjust seasoning.
Bring a large pot of water almost to a boil. You’ll use this to poach the sausages.
Rinse and soak about 20 feet of natural hog casings. Using a sausage stuffer, stuff mixture loosely into casing. Twist or tie into sausages every 4 inches or so. When you start twisting the sausages, twist every other sausage in the opposite direction.
To poach the sausages, you want the water simmering at no more than 175 degrees F. Gently put sausages in water and poach for 10 minutes, keeping the temperature of the water between 165 - 175 degrees F.
If you wish, you can smoke some of the sausages now at 200 degrees F or less for an hour or so after poaching.
Although the boudins are now ready to eat, they are better if baked in an oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or so.
After enjoying them over the course of a few days for breakfast, I will normally vacuum seal the rest in batches of 3 or 4 for the freezer, where they’re good for several months.