I love a good sausage, whether it’s wurst, chorizo, or a good ol’ British banger (stop that tittering at the back). I love ‘em all. So, when I came face to face with a cabinet of sausagey curiosities during a recent trip to Lille, I couldn’t resist.
I walked out of the impressive Wazemmes market with a big bagged stuffed with all manner of meaty goodies, chief among them boudin blanc, a mighty Lyonnaise sausage and two andouillette. They may have smelt a little funny, but boy they looked good.
Dark brown and full to bursting, the andouillette brought to mind dense gamey goodies, were it not for the strong scent. Once home, I scoured the recipe books for an andouilette recipe. All the while ignoring that sharp, pungent smell leaking out of the fridge.
I looked online, in my books and everything indicated that yes, they may smell foul, but they sure taste great. “That’s lucky” I thought and carried on looking for a recipe, ignoring the sharp, increasingly foetid fumes leaking out of the coffin – er – fridge.
Having finally found one, I set to work. I slathered mustard on them, I poured over wine, I sliced onions and it all looked (if not smelled) promising. Right up to the moment that, still ignoring that eye watering scent of death, I sliced into meaty sausage and took a bite.
Mrs GW put down her fork, worrying that I might have poisoned us with bad meat. I, having partaken of a number of stomach related dishes recognised the clearly faecal hint of intestine. Never one to shy in the face of a culinary challenge, I swallowed hard, tried not to breath in and carried manfully on through the taut bag of innards.
Some intestine I’ve eaten has had me rhapsodising (I’m look at you Chilli Cool). But this? This was bad. I had to admit defeat two thirds of the way through. It was really really bad. It wasn’t off, it didn’t make us sick, in fact I felt fine, apart from sections of my nose and tongue that seemed to have died in protest at what they encountered.
The sausage of dish of death
Feeds one hungry bin or two brave diners
This is from the otherwise admirable 365 good reasons to sit down to eat by Stephane Reynaud. The man is a great cook, but even he can’t make these taste good.
2 bags of doom/Andouillette
1 bay leaf
1 sprig of thyme
1 tblsp soft brown sugar
4 tablespoons of grain mustard
1 large glass of white wine
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat the oven to 160oC.
Spread the andouillettes with the mustard and put them in an oven proof dish.
Put the sugar in a non-stick pan over a low heat until it liquifies into caramel. Pour in the wine and deglaze the pan.
Peel and cut the shallots in half and put them in the oven proof dish and tuck in the thyme and bay leaf. Pour over the wine.
Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes. Serve, hold your nose, supress a shudder and try to eat.