This is serious cold-weather food. I made it a little early in the season because I happened to have a pound of sausage links from Liehs & Steigerwald on hand and was looking for something to do with it. Tasty, tasty stuff — it does, after all, involved sausage fried in butter — and it benefits from being served with counterpoints. A crusty hunk of bread and a slightly bitter green salad dressed with a mustardy vinaigrette would complete things. That, and beer. Of course.
The recipe comes from The Prudhomme Family Cookbook, which is another one of those cookbooks I read on long summer drives as a kid. It’s a remarkable and wonderfully researched compendium of early 20c Louisiana foodways, and I was glad to see that copies are still easy to come by on the used market.
Fricassée de Patate Anglaise et Andouille
2 cups chopped onions, in all
5 tablespoons margarine (I used butter)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pound andouille smoked sausage or any other good pure pork sausage (I used kielbasa)
1 1/2 quarts Basic Pork Stock (I used chicken stock)
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper (preferably cayenne)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 pounds Idaho potatoes, peeled and sliced crosswise 1/2 inch thick, about 2 quarts sliced
Place 1 cup of the onions in a bowl. Have a wooden spoon handy even if you use a metal whisk to make the roux.
Heat the margarine in a 2-quart cast-iron Dutch oven over high heat until hot, 2-3 minutes. Using a long-handled whisk or wooden spoon, gradually stir the flour into the hot margarine. Cook, whisking constantly or stirring briskly, until roux is medium brown, about 5 minutes, being careful not to let it scorch or splash on your skin. Remove from heat and with a wooden spoon immediately stir in the reserved 1 cup onions. Continue stirring until roux stops getting darker, about 3 minutes. Set aside.
In a large skillet, heat the butter over high heat until half melted. Add the andouille and cook about 3 minutes, turning andouille and scraping the pan bottom occasionally. Add the remaining 1 cup onions, turn heat to medium, and continue cooking until andouille and onions are well browned, 6 to 8 minutes, stirring and scraping almost constantly. Remove from heat and set aside.
Bring the stock to a boil in a 4-quart saucepan over high heat. Add the roux by spoonfuls to the boiling stock, stirring until roux is blended in before adding more. Add the reserved andouille and onion mixture (including drippings), the parsley, salt, and red and black peppers. Return the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat, cover pan, and simmer about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Now add half the potatoes, re-cover pan, and return to a boil over high heat; then reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes more, stirring occasionally. Add the remaining potatoes, return to a boil over high heat, then simmer until all potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes more, stirring frequently so mixture doesn’t scorch. Remove from heat and serve immediately.