Thursday, January 19, 2012

An Introduction to French Sausage Making.

I've collected and researched a lot of different recipes over the last few years, but none of them have fascinated me more than recipes coming from France. There are a few different types of sausages that come from there and they all have their own methods of cooking.

First off, all of the recipes that I'm going to share with you are going to call for 'Quatre-Epices.' Everyone has their own recipe for this blend of spices and all vary quite a bit, but each recipe calls for these ingredients: White Pepper with Nutmeg, Cloves, Cinnamon, and Ginger.

The first recipe I have for you is a fairly basic sausage..  These ingredients are simple, but the end result is truly delicious:  2# Pork, 2# Chicken, 1# Veal.  Sticking with Ruhlman's suggestion, I always start with 1 1/2 ounces Kosher salt for each 5# sausage, but amounts will vary with every batch. 2 Tsp Quatre-Epices. 1 cup Parsley, 1 cup White Wine, 1 Tsp Black Pepper.

In a bowl large enough to comfortably mix everything, combine ingredients. 

Mix well until you've reached the primary bind. Do you see how the meat is bound together in a single mass? This is what you're going after. You want all of the ingredients to be evenly mixed and dispersed so that each bite is the same as the last. 

Before you use the casings, make sure they've soaked for at least an hour. Replace the water multiple times and run clean, cool water through the casings at least once. Casings are packed in salt and I would hate if my recipe was botched by carelessness. 

By coiling the sausage as it comes out of the stuffer, you're able to contain your mess and the aesthetic is greatly enhanced. To me, this is another added bonus of crafting my own sausages; the experience is awesome!

Look at that. Seriously. Really look at it. 

The links should be around 6" long and as taught as the casing allows. 

Allow the links to settle, cut and refrigerate. To cook these, fry them in rendered Duck Fat or butter or both!

Now for the Boudin Blanc. 

Here, as with the Saucisse, We're going to use a mixture of Pork, Veal and Chicken - totaling 5#.
1 1/2 ounces Kosher salt, 2 Tsp Quatre-Epices, 2 Tbs Parsley, 2 cups minced onions, a dozen eggs and a pint of Heavy Cream.

Grind meat's one time and put them in the freezer, once they're nearly frozen grind them again. 

Once you've ground your meats, roughly mix them with the parsley, dry spices and onions. 

In a few small batches, add the egg and cream mixture. I used a potato masher to mix the eggs/cream in with the meat. 

After the eggs and cream are mixed in with the meats, start whipping them together. START SLOWLY. 

After a couple minutes of mixing, place the bowl back into the freezer, repeat this process until the mixture becomes homogeneous, the color should be constant and the mixture will be quite viscous. 

I would absolutely suggest wearing latex gloves while handling this mixture. 
Loosely stuff the sausage into the casings. If you link the sausages to tight, they will burst while cooking. I was shooting for 8" links for these. 

To cook Boudin Blanc, bring 1 part Milk to 2 parts water to a boil. Gently lower a few links at a time into the liquid and simmer for ~30 minutes. This would be a great time to take a break and drink some wine. 

Once the sausages are done, fry them in butter, duck fat or a mixture of both. Enjoy!

There's a real nice lineup of posts waiting for you all, so stay tuned!



  1. This is great! Love your blog

  2. Holy crap, Reece. You are an inspiration.

  3. I made this, was lovely.
    thank you

  4. I am from a French home. I do not remember all this Hoop-La.. We had a meat grinder attached to the counter top and we ground up fresh pork added some garlic, basil, parsley, powdered bay leaf, cognac and some allspice. My Grandmother would give it a good sniff and then would add pepper, salt and whatever she thought was was fabulous. Then she would make spinach balls and bake them for dinner with a tossed salad!

    1. I forgot to add that on top of each sausage ball was a piece of bacon on top to drip a little fat on ............On my goodness I can smell it right now!

    2. One more thing....We grew fresh spinach in the garden you must steam your spinach and squeeze dry before making spinach balls. make then just a little larger than golf balls. I add a little melted real butter as the fresh pork has no fat in it. so it needs a little boost of flavor!

    3. fresh pork has no fat in it? does old pork? I think they both do.