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Guide to Enjoying Cajun Boudin Sausage: Tips and Tricks

Have you ever stopped at the gas station for a snack? What about a snack of giant sausage links served in a box? Meet boudin. In Southwest Louisiana, you’ll find this sausage nearly everywhere — gas stations, convenience stores, and roadside groceries all sell boudin faster than they sell bottled water and chips. While it may be a fresh delicacy to outsiders, this Cajun comfort food is so heavily woven into the fabric of the culture that many people in Cajun country eat boudin nearly every day.

Boudin, unlike most sausage, is a mixture of precooked ingredients stuffed into a casing. Pork is the main ingredient, and traditionally the contents of boudin were determined by what was left over from the pig, including the liver and heart. These days, most boudin is made with pork shoulder, and the quantity of liver is slightly reduced. Onion, celery, bell peppers, herbs, and spices are mixed into the heavily seasoned pork, and the final ingredient of cooked rice is added to the blend. This mixture is then stuffed into a sausage casing and is ready to be cooked.

Boudin can be prepared in a few different ways, and the cooking method often comes down to personal preference. How you prepare this atypical sausage depends entirely on how you want to eat it. Most people enjoy boudin as it comes by squeezing it out of the casing, but you can also get creative with other recipes, like this one for fried boudin balls.

Ways to cook and enjoy Cajun boudin

boudin sausage open

The boudin you’ll find at a gas station in Acadiana is usually steamed. By steaming boudin, the rice and meat mixture maintains some moisture, but the exterior casing does too. Most people don’t eat the casing, especially if the boudin has been steamed. But here’s the fun part: You can cut the boudin in half, and gently squeeze out the contents like a push-pop — it’s utensil-free and easy eating when you’re on the go. The second method for cooking and eating boudin involves simmering the sausage in water to heat it through. Be careful with this technique and don’t boil the boudin, as the casing is thin and will explode or fall apart if the boil is too high. Simmering creates a similar texture to steaming, as the interior of the boudin will turn out moist and the casing will be firm enough to squeeze out the contents.

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You can also bake or grill your boudin. Both methods add another dimension to the casing of the sausage as it crisps up, browns, and caramelizes. Add some grainy mustard or remoulade sauce and enjoy the whole sausage, skin and all. Still a little skeptical of the boudin casing? Eat it tamale-style with a knife and fork by splitting open the whole sausage and digging into the Cajun goodness.

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