Venison Boudin

Boudin is a sausage originating with 18th century Acadian settlers in Louisiana. Traditionally, boudin is a mixture of pork, rice, and various spices, with regional variations of the dish varying widely.  Some versions of boudin include onions, garlic, parsley, and other herbs, while other versions may contain green peppers, celery, and even seafood. Ratios of the ingredients vary widely, with some versions of the sausage being much spicier than others.

Regardless of the specific ingredients boudin is a staple of Acadian culture and has been adopted in many other parts of the United States.  Our version, a mixture of venison & pork, enabled us to incorporate the liver, heart, and we’ll trimmed flank meat and turn it into a wonderful sausage steeped in Cajun tradition.

What you’ll need:

  • 2 pounds venison, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 3/4 pound venison liver, sliced and rinsed in cool water
  • 3/4 pound pork fat, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup chopped green bell peppers
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 3 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pink salt #1
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons cayenne
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 quarts of water
  • 2 seeded & diced jalapeño peppers
  • 1 cup finely chopped parsley
  • 1 cup chopped green onions tops, (green part only)
  • 6 cups cooked medium-grain rice
  • 1 1/2-inch diameter, casings, about 4 feet in length

How to make it happen:

In a large mixing bowl, combine the venison, liver, pork fat, onions, garlic, bell peppers, celery, 1/2 teaspoon salt, pink salt, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.

Place the mixture in a lidded container then refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

Add the mixture, the bay leaf, and the water to large pot, bring the liquid up to a boil then reduce to a simmer for 90 minutes, or until the venison, pork fat, and liver are tender.

Remove and reserve the meat, then strain and reserve 1 1/2 cups of the broth.  Allow the meat and broth to cool.

Once cool, use a meat grinder with a 1/4-inch die to grind the meat mixture, 1/2 cup of the parsley and 1/2 cup of the green onions together.

Place the ground mixture into a mixing bowl, then combine the mixture with the rice, remaining salt, cayenne, black pepper, parsley, green onions & jalapeños.

Using a kitchen aid mixer or your clean hands mix thoroughly for 3-5 minutes on low while adding the broth, 1/2 cup at a time.  The results should be moist & aromatic, with consistency that easily forms a meatball. 

For long term storage, transfer the boudin to a sausage stuffer and stuff the sausage into the casings making 3-inch links, then vacuum seal into four link packages.  The combination of hog casings and vacuum sealing helps the sausage retain it’s fresh consistency.

To poach the boudin bring 1 gallon of salted water up to a boil, then gently place the cased sausages in the water for about 5 minutes, or until the sausage is firm and plump to the touch.  When ready remove the sausages from the water and allow to cool slightly before serving.

Our favorite way to enjoy fresh, uncased boudin or boudin thawed overnight and removed from the casings is to make boudin balls.  To make the balls you’ll need about 4 tablespoons of flour, 2 beaten eggs, 8 tablespoons of breadcrumbs, and oil for frying.

Heat the oil to 350°F.  While the oil is heating gently from balls about 2 inches in diameter.  Next roll each ball in flour until thoroughly coated, then dip in the egg wash, and roll in the breadcrumbs.  For an extra crispy texture, re-egg wash, and give the balls a second roll through the bread crumbs.

Using a large spoon to prevent splashing, place the balls in the oil and fry for 2-3 minutes until golden brown.  Serve with a dollop of cane syrup.

If frying seems like too much hassle omit the breading, and bake the balls in the oven at 350° for about 30 minutes until a slight crust forms around the outside. 

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