Boudin Blanc

It comes as no surprise that when the French turn their attention to sausage the results are elegant. Don’t confuse this version with Louisiana’s Cajun-style boudin made from rice and pork scraps. The ingredients of the original French version are pristine and subtle.

1/4 lb bacon fat
3 cups onions, sliced thin
1 cup milk
2/3 cup French bread crumbs
1/2 lb lean boneless veal
1/2 lb skinned, boned breast of chicken
1/8 t allspice
1/8 t nutmeg
1/8 t ginger
1/8 t cinnamon
1 T chopped parsley
2 t salt
1/4 t pepper
1 egg
3 egg whites 1/2 cup whipping cream

Render half the bacon fat until all the fat is expressed. Add onions and cook slowly until clear. While bacon is cooking, pour milk over bread crumbs in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir gently and constantly with a potato masher, cooking until mixture thickens to resemble a pudding. Set aside.

Cube veal and chicken, mix with onions, and grind once. Mix dry spices thoroughly in a small bowl. Add all spices to the meat mixture and grind two more times. Transfer ingredients to large bowl and beat with electric mixer for 2 minutes, add egg, and beat 2 minutes more. Add egg whites and beat 3 minutes. Add bread crumbs, stirring. Pour in cream a little at a time, beating between additions. The mixture should have the consistency of sticky roll dough. Stuff mixture into casings forming 1-by-5-inch sausages. Refrigerate overnight.

Place boudins in heavy saucepot and cover with equal parts milk and water. Bring liquid to simmer and poach slowly for 25 minutes. Drain boudins, cool at room temperature, and refrigerate. Before final cooking, prick each boudin in three or four places with a needle to prevent bursting. Bush with melted butter and grill or dredge in flour and fry in butter at a slow temperature. Use within three or four days or freeze. They make a splendid summer meal with a mint jelly or sweet gherkin garnish, mild coleslaw, French bread, and chilled white wine.

This recipe is one of several featured in the August 1978 article The Missing Link .

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