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Boudin

Boudin is a collective term to refer to different boudin sausages. Boudin as an Anglo-Norman term generally refers to any of these three things: sausage, or more specifically – blood sausage, or entrails (the innards or internal organs of livestock like pigs, cattle, goat, etc). This is already a hint of what to expect from a sausage called boudin. Traditionally, the internal organs of the pig, like the heart or liver, are ground and mixed with scrap meat to make boudin. In some places, boudin is blood sausages because pig’s blood is a major ingredient used in making the boudin. Boudin noir, boudin valdotain, and boudin rouge Antillais (Antillean red boudin) in Guadeloupe are all blood sausages because these have pig’s blood. The other types of boudin are made from pork and other ingredients like vegetables and rice.

For those who are not used to eating blood sausages, there are other types of boudin one can enjoy. There are different kinds of boudin blanc – or white sausage – and each one tastes great, like the French or Belgian boudin blanc, or the Cajun boudin blanc which is pork mixed with rice, or Boudin blanc de Rethel which contains pork meat, fresh eggs, and milk. For a more complete meal, try boudin vert made from pork meat and vegetables like cabbage or kale. Brown-rice boudin uses brown rice instead of white rice. Other types of meat can be used to make boudin, which explains why there are crawfish boudin, gator boudin, and shrimp boudin.

Boudin Trivia

  • Aphtonite, a cook in ancient Greece, was the first recorded maker of boudin. 
  • Something similar to boudin was mentioned in Homer’s Odyssey – a sausage made of blood and fat which was roasted.
  • Boudin is considered the most famous Cajun sausage.
  • Pork is the normal meat content of boudin, but some makers use different ingredients, from shrimp, crawfish, duck, and venison, to the more exotic rabbit or alligator.

Boudin Buying Guide

Where to buy boudin sausages? Your first stop should be the supermarket or grocery. If it is not available there, look for specialty stores, butcher shops, or delicatessen selling exotic meats. Your last option is ordering online. Ordering online is convenient, but buying from the store is still better because you can inspect the product before you pay for it.

If this is your first time eating boudin, you should buy in small quantities first because there is a chance you may not like it, and should this happen, it is a good thing you didn’t buy a lot.

If this is your first time buying boudin, and you don’t know which brand to buy, ask friends for recommendations or read online reviews on the best local boudins. Unlike other sausages manufactured by popular and well-known commercial brands, boudin is largely a local product and the best brands are those made by local makers.

Check the expiration date or best-before date. If you are planning to cook it later, make sure to buy boudin sausages with an expiration or best before date suitable to the date you are planning to cook it.

Check the packaging for signs of tampering or product safety issues. The safety and quality of the product may have been compromised during transport and handling. In any case, do not buy boudin sausages with damaged packaging. Report this to the store attendant so that it is checked, and if necessary, removed from the freezer to avoid having customers less attentive to details buy it.

Boudin Production & Farming in Texas

Boudin is ubiquitous in Texas. Meat markets in Texas, especially in East and Southeast Texas always have a regular supply of boudin for sale, made by local boudin makers. If you are looking for stores selling boudin in texas, here are a few of them: Boutte’s Boudin in Lumberton, Devillier’s Boudin in Baytown, Big Doobie’s Boudin and Cracklins in Port Arthur, Boudin Specialty Meats in Hurst, Crooked Eyes Boudin Corner in Rockport, The Best Boudin Period in Borger, Creole Boudin Shack and Julian’s Boudin and Cracklins which are both in Houston, and Saucier’s Cajun Boudin and Specialty Meats in Humble, to name a few.

Pesticides, Additives, and Chemicals:

Many boudin brands use as a selling point the desirability of being preservative-free and free from artificial ingredients, hormones, and nitrites (even gluten-free for some boudin sausages). Still, it is important to know that many different kinds of preservatives and additives are used in making sausages which can be used in making boudin sausages also. Some of these are found in the packaging.

  • Citric acid – This is used to control the acidity of the sausage.
  • Collagen casing – This is used as a sausage casing.

These additives help with curing the meat:

  • Ascorbic acid/Sodium ascorbate  
  • Sodium erythorbate

These additives are used to manipulate the texture and mouthfeel of the sausage:

  • Modified food starch
  • Phosphates

These additives are used to inhibit the growth of bacteria and enhance safety: 

  • Lactate/diacetate
  • Lauric arginate

These additives are used for improving or influencing the flavor of the sausage:

  • Dextrose
  • Autolyzed Yeast Extract
  • Hydrolyzed vegetable protein
  • Maltodextrin
  • Monosodium glutamate (MSG)
  • Sorbitol
  • Yeast extract 

Geography

Boudin is made and sold in France, Luxembourg, Belgium, and in the mountainous autonomous region of Aosta Valley in northwestern Italy. Boudin is also made in places where there is  Québécois, Acadian, Louisiana Creole, and Cajun cuisine. Boudin is also made and sold in the US, in places like Texas and California.

Packaging:

Boudin sausages are sold in vacuum-sealed plastic packaging. The packaging contains important product information like the name of the manufacturer and where the product was made, ingredients and nutritional data, expiration or best-before date, and storage and handling instructions, among other things.

Eating Boudin

How do you prepare boudin for eating? There are many different ways – boiling, poaching, steaming, grilling, microwaving, or even baking. Remember that, unlike other sausages, in boudin, the meat you stuff inside the casing is cooked meat. When eating boudin, make sure to heat it all the way through but avoid scorching or burning the outside of the cases so much the sausage will start to taste burnt. 

When you eat boudin, feel free to use your fingers to pick it up and bite into it, unless you are in a more formal dining setting which means you should use utensils to cut it into small pieces. An important aspect of eating boudin is deciding whether to eat the casing or not. It is edible and some eat it. But others prefer not to because they find boudin casing chewy.

Slice boudin into smaller pieces and use it as topping for pizza or filling for tacos. You can use it when you make a sandwich or as a meat component of any pasta dish.

Storage:

Boudin sausages should be stored in the freezer, where they will keep for three weeks. An important reminder regarding storage: once you’ve defrosted a frozen boudin sausage, cook everything. It is not advisable to freeze boudin sausage that has been thawed already. 

Make your own homemade boudin sausage

If you have guests coming over who haven’t tasted boudin, make this visit their chance to experience this unique kind of sausage you don’t just find anywhere. Boudin is pork and rice – two key ingredients that most people commonly eat. You will need a sausage stuffer to make boudin. Make sure to prepare and cook ahead of time because making boudin takes almost 4 hours long.  

Yield: 

This recipe makes 18 boudin sausages.

Ingredients:

  • 2 ½ pounds of ground pork
  • 1 pound pork liver, cut into pieces
  • 2 cups uncooked white rice
  • 1 ¼ cups green onions, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • ½ cup minced celery
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 4 teaspoons salt
  • 2 ½ teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 1 ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 4 feet hog casings (1 1/2-inch diameter)

Method
Step 1. Cook the rice. Combine rice with 4 cups of water and bring to a boil, and then simmer until water has completely dissolved. Once cooked, let it cool and set aside.
Step 2. Boil ground pork and liver in 4 cups of water in a saucepan, and then simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Once tender, remove from the saucepan and let it cool. What remains in the saucepan is a pork broth.
Step 3. Use the pork broth. Add green onion, chopped onion, celery, bell pepper, parsley, cilantro, and garlic, and season with salt, cayenne pepper, black pepper, and red pepper flakes.
Step 4. Add the pork and liver into the mix. Stir and let simmer until the water has nearly evaporated. 
Step 5. Add the cooked rice. Stir and set aside to cool.
Step 6. Start stuffing the sausage casings using a sausage stuffer. Prick the sausage with a needle every 4 to 6 inches.
Step 7. In a large pot, put water and salt and boil over high heat. and then let simmer. Add the sausage and cook gently until it is plump. This usually takes 5 minutes.

Nutrition

DV%

  • Serving Size: 1 Serving
  • Calories: 89
  • Carbs: 7.9g 3%
  • Sugar: 0.3g
  • Fiber: 0.2g 1%
  • Protein: 6.5g
  • Fat: 3.3g 5%
  • Saturated Fat: 1.2g 6%
  • Trans Fat 0g 0%
  • Cholesterol 39mg 13%
  • Sodium 213mg 9%
  • Vitamin C 8.3%
  • Vitamin A 26%
  • Calcium 0.8%
  • Iron 8.9%
  • Potassium 91mg 3%
  • Vitamin B6 0.2mg 14%
  • Magnesium 21.2mg 8%
  • Thiamin 0.3mg 33%

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