A Delicious French Holiday Tradition
Hi! I’m Allison, and I’m an educator working in French food, culture, history, and art. If you’re a gastro-curious traveler or learner, I’m here to show you the A to Z of French food and culture!
A smooth transition to the modern sausage
Luxurious holiday feast
The very best thing is that boudin blanc has all sorts of variations on a theme: you can add mushrooms, foie gras, or even truffles for a luxurious holiday feast. Or how about Kampot pepper or ground galanga? I’ll let you know how those flavors turn out!
Boudin Blanc with Mushrooms
Also, most sausage recipes require buying and grinding fatback – what is that, anyway? But using a relatively moist cut like pork belly replaces this step. Gilles Verot, a charcutier with two shops in Paris, uses only pork belly in his boudin, and regularly makes over one ton of white sausage during the holiday season!
Finally, when it’s cool, you slice the terrine and sauté those slices in a bit of butter. I like to make this terrine-style boudin the day before I want to eat it, since it takes on a better consistency and more flavor.
- 8 ounces (225 g) chicken breasts, ground (ask your butcher)
- 8 ounces (225 g) pork belly, ground (ask your butcher)
- ½ tablespoon butter
- 1 ounce (30 g) mushrooms (I used 2 medium shiitake mushrooms), chopped finely
- 2 tablespoons dried mushrooms (a mix of morels, porcini), plumped for 10 minutes in hot water
- 2-3 small slices of excellent-quality bread (about 2 ounces or 55 g), toasted lightly
- 1 egg
- 2 egg whites
- a bit of butter for the mold
for milk infusion:
- 1 tablespoon butter
- ¼ of a small onion (30 g), finely chopped
- 1 2-inch piece of leek (white part only, 30 g), finely chopped
- ½ medium carrot (30 g), finely chopped
- ¾ cup + 2 tablespoons (210 g) milk
- ¾ cup + 2 tablespoons (210 g) heavy cream
- 1 clove
- ½ bay leaf
- 1 small branch fresh thyme, or a pinch of dried thyme
- 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
- ⅛ teaspoon white pepper
- a pinch of ground nutmeg
- ½ tablespoon Port
- Spread the ground meats around on a plate. Then wrap in film and place in the freezer for 1 hour.
- In the meantime, melt the ½ tablespoon of butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, and when it begins to foam, add the fresh mushrooms and lower the heat, sautéing slowly for about 4 minutes. Squeeze all the water out of the now-plumped (formerly dried) mushrooms. Chop them finely and add them to the sauté pan. Continue to sauté for 1 more minute, then set aside.
- Now make the milk infusion: in a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat, and when it begins to foam, lower the heat to medium-low and add the onion, leek, and carrot. Cook the vegetables, stirring often, for about 4-5 minutes. They should look softened, but not colored.
- Add the milk, cream, clove, bay leaf, and thyme, and bring to the boil over medium-high heat (watch this closely – milk can quickly boil over). Lower the heat to minimum, cover partially, and let simmer very gently for 20-30 minutes.
- Cut the bread slices into cubes about the size of your thumbnail. Preheat oven to 320°F (160°C). Strain the milk into a medium bowl and set aside.
- Remove the meats from the freezer and place them in the bowl of a food processor. Process them by alternating the pulse command and running continuously for about 3-4 minutes.
- Add the egg and egg whites, and continue to process. Then run the machine continuously, and very slowly and carefully pour in the still-hot milk. Continue to process, stop to add the bread cubes, and then continue until you have a smooth mixture.
- Add the salt, pepper, nutmeg, and Port, and pulse once more to mix.
- Stir in the mushrooms, and turn the mixture into a buttered terrine mold or loaf pan.
- Cover with aluminum foil or the terrine mold’s cover and bake in a hot water bath for 40 minutes, or until a knife poked into the center comes out clean.
- When ready to eat, slice the boudin into 1-inch slices (2.5cm), and sauté both sides of the boudin in a bit of butter over medium heat. Or roll cubes of boudin into puff pastry and bake according to pastry instructions. Bon app’!
makes 4-5 main course servings, or about 15-20 puff pastry bites