Chaurice Sausage

Here’s another sausage recipe we’ve made a few times and enjoyed:  Creole Chaurice Sausage.  The recipe comes from the Times-Picayune Creole Cookbook from 1904.  Andouille is the Creole sausage that everyone’s heard of, but a well-made chaurice deserves as much recognition.  Its name indicates Spanish roots related to chorizo.  Chorizo has evolved along divergent paths, so chaurice doesn’t taste like the more commonly available Mexican chorizos, but it does share similarities with some Spanish fresh chorizos.

I ran into one issue of ingredient ambiguity.  I don’t know for sure what they meant when they required red pepper (later referred to as pimento).  I am pretty sure they weren’t talking about the pickled mild cherry peppers that get stuffed into olives.  In fact, the small dosage strongly implies that the intention was to use a powdered ingredient.  Following the Creole-Spanish connection again, they could be referring to pimentón (similar to smoked paprika) or pimientos (sweet bell peppers).  I went with Smoked Paprika, but do what you like.  No Creole ever scorned smoking; so even if this isn’t canonical it’s still good.

What else changed?  (1) I increased the salt.  (2) Instead of mixing lean pork and fatty pork, I just use our standard 70/30 ground pork.  But extra fat wouldn’t hurt.  (3)  I’m using cayenne that probably isn’t as hot intended.  Rachel and I love spicy food, but the kids are only coming around to it slowly, so we need to increment the heat in imperceptible steps.  (4) I added beer.  You don’t need it, but all sausage benefits from some kind of booze.  One for the sausage, one for the sausage maker.  A friend joked with us that whenever she reads online recipes, she sees comments that say “I made this recipe, only I substituted x and y and z“.  By the time the substitutions are all listed, there isn’t anything left from the original.  Well, maybe mea culpa for that meme.  But I still think this is consonant with the original recipe.

When I first read the recipe, I was stumped because the garlic content was so low.  Then, in looking at other recipes in the cookbook I realized that the “clove” is actually what I’d call a head or a bulb.  The cloves in my recipe below are true cloves (the little pieces, not the whole head).   Speaking of garlic, most sausage recipes need a lot of it.  Peeling garlic is a tedious task; or it was, until I found this tip.  To think of all the hours I’ve spent peeling, peeling, peeling…  Nevermore.  Just smash, shake, and done.

Chaurice Recipe

Ingredients:

10 pounds ground pork

3 large onions, minced

12-15 garlic cloves, minced

5 Tablespoons Kosher salt

1 Tablespoon ground black pepper

1-1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

1-1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

3/4 teaspoon allspice powder

2 sprigs thyme, minced

5 sprigs parsley, minced

3 bay leaves, minced

6 ounces cold beer (or ice water)

Procedure:

Mix the pork with the dry ingredients, then add the minced herbs and beef and mix again.  Stuff into sheep or hog casings.  Let sit overnight in refrigerator to self-marinade and to dry down a bit.

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