Wild Recipes

Cajun Elk Andouille Sausage

Latest posts by Brandon Dale (see all)
4.0 from 1 vote

I grew up in South Louisiana in the heart of Cajun County, a land well known to produce some of the most flavorful and robust cuisines that make up so much of one’s thoughts when the words “Louisiana” and “food” are brought up. Boiled crawfish, dirty rice dressing, jambalaya and of course gumbo are a few local legends.

But no other single dish or ingredient sparks as much joy, and controversy, as what I consider to be backbone of so many of the wonderful flavors of Cajun cooking: andouille sausage. I learned how to make sausage with my Grandmother, and she taught me the basics of the process with a simple venison country Cajun sausage that she and my uncle passed down to me. This andouille recipe is a variation of that, as it includes a lot of the basic elements of a standard andouille (spice, paprika, smoke, garlic) with some of the more classic elements found throughout Cajun cooking like onion, celery, and green bell pepper (also known as The Trinity).

The best part of andouille is its versatility. Served in a gumbo, used a flavoring base for stews, or stand alone on a charcuterie board or in a duck blind, few sausages can compare with the full-of-flavor punch that andouille brings time and time again.  

Serving Size: 20 links

Time to make: 6 hours

Also works with: Any ground meat

Special Equipment: Meat grinder, sausage stuffer, sausage casings, smoker

Serve with: Gumbo, pasta, charcuterie

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Cajun Elk Andouille Sausage

Recipe by Brandon Dale
4.0 from 1 vote
Course: Wild Recipes
Servings

8

servings
Prep time

5

hours 
Cooking time

1

hour 
Cook Mode

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Ingredients

  • 3.5lbs elk, cubed

  • 1.5lbs Boston pork butt (pork blade roast) OR any cut of pork with high fat content OR straight pork fat

  • 2 large green bell peppers, diced

  • 1.5 cup diced celery

  • 1.5 large yellow onions, diced

  • 10 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 teaspoon Instacure

  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 0.5 cups ice water

  • 2.5 tablespoons kosher salt

  • 1 tablespoon Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning

  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika

  • 15 feet natural hog casing

Preparation

  • Cube your elk and pork, toss with all of the spices and let marinate for at least 3-4 hours to overnight in the fridge.
  • At least 2 hours before grinding, place all metal portions of the meat grinder into freezer as well as the cubed seasoned meat so it can begin partially freeze firm. Prepare the sausage casings by letting them soak in warm water.
  • Sauté the onion, bell pepper and celery until translucent but still crisp. Add in the minced garlic and cook until tender, but not burnt. Place in freezer to chill until cold.
  • Ensure everything is very cold before grinding. Add the ice water to cubed elk and pork. Mix well and grind 4 lbs of the pork-elk mixture on a coarse grind setting. To ensure a good mix of pork and elk, you can use a 1 cube pork to 3 cubes elk when grinding or grind separately and mix well in a large cold bowl.
  • Roughly hand chop the remaining 1 lb of the pork-elk cubed mix to a rough dice and add into the ground mix. This will give the andouille texture and chew.
  • Stuff sausages following your sausage stuffer’s instructions. I like to make links that are 4 to 5 inches long, as 2 to 3 of these in a vacuum-packed bag makes for a good serving size for 2.
  • Hang the sausages to air-dry for 1 hour at room temp or overnight in the fridge. Use a sterilized bobby pin or sewing needle to pierce any places where air is trapped underneath the casing.
  • Setting your smoker at 215 °F, smoke the andouille sausages to an internal temp of 155 °F. I’ve used hickory, maple and apple wood all with great results to get a nice smoke flavor on the skin of the sausages. I also like a darker smoke than most lightly smoked andouilles. Traditionally all andouille is smoked, but I often save some fresh sausages for use in stews or grilling.  
  • Once cooled, store in vacuum seal bags, freeze, enjoy and share with others!

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Brandon Dale

Brandon grew up in South Louisiana camping, kayaking, hunting and fishing, and he is an avid fly-fisherman and hunter. Now living in NYC for graduate and medical school, he finds solace in the woods and waters of the Upstate NY, Hudson Valley, Long Island and Vermont.

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