Autumn makes me think of a hot pot over a fire or stove eye, which makes me think of Louisiana, and when I think of Louisiana that gives me good vibes because there you can find gumbo, etouffee and all sorts of delicious food.
Louisiana’s food offerings are rich in tradition thanks to the amazing variety of influences. Creole and Cajun are the most well known, of course, joining others including Spanish, Indian, West African and European. You can look for days online at tons of recipes, stories and more about both, about restaurants great and small from New Orleans to Lake Charles to rural gas stations where folks swear the boudin and crawfish pistolettes are the best anywhere.
Case in point: a few years ago while visiting Lake Charles, I asked a friend there where she would recommend stopping for boudin, crawfish pies and cracklins. She gave me directions to a gas station and said I’d pull in and think she had sent me to some sketchy place, but it was legit. And she was right. I sat in the parking lot there and ate two crawfish pies, a stick of boudin and then dove into the cracklins on I-20 east toward Baton Rouge.
Whether you love restaurants with home-grown chefs putting new ideas in action or a simple pot of red beans for your rice, you can find it in Louisiana. And, thankfully, most of the food there works well with deer meat. Substitute or add it for pork sausage — some folks there just add a little of everything — and enjoy.
Here’s a great recipe from Weston for Venison Andouille Sausage that is easy to make and will give your dishes some kick.
Venison Andouille Sausage
Andouille is a highly seasoned Cajun sausage perfect for making good use of trim and less tasty cuts. It’s also easier to make than it is to pronounce. Armed with a meat grinder and a smoker, we made ours in less than three hours (which is pretty darn good for a smoked sausage from scratch). This recipe makes 3 pounds.
– Ingredients –
2 ½ lbs venison, cubed
½ lb pork fat, cubed & frozen
5 cloves fresh garlic, minced
2 tablespoons smoked paprika
1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon hot chili powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon roasted ground coriander
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
– Tools –
Weston Meat Grinder
Weston Sausage Stuffer
wood chips for the smoker (we used pecan for this recipe)
Mix all of the seasonings. Use your Meat Grinder to grind the meat and fat through a coarse plate. Combine the ground meat with the seasonings, then grind it through the medium plate.
Preheat your Smoker to 250°F. Soak wood chips for 30 minutes. Fill the water bowl & wood chip box of the Smoker, then smoke at 250°F for two hours (or until the internal temperature has reached 155°F), under heavy smoke. To achieve heavy smoke, we recommend opening the side dampers ¼ of an inch, and keeping the top damper closed. It’s important that you keep the water bowl full and change the wood chips if they ash.
Use your Andouille in gumbo, jambalaya, or let it cool and freeze it in vacuum bags until you’re ready to use it.
*After stuffing and before smoking, it’s not a bad idea to vacuum seal the sausage and refrigerate it overnight to allow the flavors to bloom and marinate throughout the sausage. We were making a quick sausage, and so we went straight to the smoker. Our Andouille was awesome, but yours will be even better if you let the sausage marinate.
For more fantastic wild game recipes, preparation tips, awesome kitchen tools and more, visit the Weston blog here and poke around.
Get Your Kitchen Fired Up!
If you’re interested in more great venison recipes, you’ll darn sure want to have “The Sporting Chef’s Better Venison Cookbook” in your kitchen or deer camp. Wild game chef and hunter Scott Leysath has packed this 176-page book with great info, photos and more.
You’ll get his insights on venison preparation and recipes for everything from soups to roasts. It definitely should be in your collection, and would be a great Christmas gift, too! BUY IT HERE NOW