Photography by Rush Jagoe
There are countless iterations on boudin, it is a fine food to experiment with—you can customize it to your liking. How is that for encouragement? The most basic understanding of this meaty delight is that it is a type of sausage. A mixture of meat and seasonings (usually including pork and often organ meat) is ground together and then mixed with additional seasonings and rice. At least that is how it is traditionally made in Cajun cuisine. French and Belgian versions call for milk and eggs in lieu of rice—known as boudin blanc. Either way, the whole shebang is then stuffed into casings to make sausage. The Cajun influence in Louisiana has resulted in the popularity of boudin balls, where the ingredients are rolled up and fried in oil (sans casings). Crawfish, shrimp, and gator versions are also abundant. In New Orleans, due to the myriad cuisines that converge there (Acadiana, Cajun, Creole, French), you’ll find some of the best boudin to be had. It’s one of those dishes, à la the roast chicken, that is hard to completely mess up but also hard to make utterly sublime. Stephen Stryjewski, executive chef at Cochon, is reliably capable of the latter, as evidenced by the boudin balls serves at Cochon topped with pickled peppers. Here he walks us through the traditional boudin methodology…including the proper way to eat it.
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