We are making (will have made) some andouille sausage this weekend, after a heck of a time finding some for the Thanksgiving holiday.  There was a lot of "fresh" sausage, but not the smoked kind we were looking for (except in the packages on the shelves).  So, here is what we did:

Cut the Meat

Cut into 1/4 to 1/2 inch cubes:

5# boston butt
1/2# pork fat

Spices

For the spices, we we like to mix the dry and wet separately, starting with the wet, then adding the dry over the mixed wet pork and spices.  That said, here is the list of spices we used:

 3 Tbsp salt (kosher, coarse)  1 Tbsp fresh thyme (3/4 dry)
 2 Tbsp black pepper  2 tsp chili powder
 1 Tbsp paprika  2 tsp crushed red pepper
 4 Tbsp chopped garlic 2 tsp dried oregano
 2 tsp file powder ~2 tsp cayenne pepper
 1 tsp ground cumin    
 2 tsp onion powder  1 tsp Prague #1 *

*See SmokingMeatForums.com and other sites for an understanding of using the curing salts Prague #1 vs Prague #2 

Grinding

We ground about 1/2 of our mixture at a coarse grind on the KitchenAid sausage attachment grinder and then mixed it with the remaining cubes to give a more authentic andouille texture.

Casings and Stuffing

Prepare either your hog casings or beef middle casings (we didn't have those, but many sites prefer them), slide them on the stuffer, and push out into either 6-inch or 12-inch links until you are done.

Resting

Put your sausages in the refrigerator, uncovered, for a few hours to overnight.  That will let them dry out, get a coating on them, and allows them to absorb more smoke.

Smoking

Here's the tough part if you don't have a "cold" smoker.  You want to apply smoke for several hours at about 130-F, then raise the temp up to about 170-F or so to get the internal temperature to about 155-F; not cooked all the way through, but enough for the preservation.  When you've done that, put them in an ice bath for a few minutes to halt the cooking.

Storing

We like to put two or four 6" links into ZipLocs in the freezer, just before eating the couple that are still on the counter waiting for dinner.

 

References

For this post, we used information from the following sites:

Nola Cuisine

Emeril from the Food Network