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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Papa Legba Rides Again

This is an old favorite, but I did a few things differently this time. I originally made this with canned black beans, but the past few batches I've been working from dried beans. I've also tended to overcook the beans. If you simmer long enough, they burst and thicken the broth, but a straight 90 minute boil (after an eight hour soak) leaves the beans with a lot more body. I might try moving a small portion of the beans to the blender and returning them to the pot in the future to get the body of the broth up without compromising on the texture of the beans themselves.

I also smoked my own andouille this time. The smoked version I've relied on in the past was unavailable, so McGonigle's non-smoked version was smoked on my Weber with mesquite chips. Weber kettles make poor smokers, but I didn't have to worry about the sausage actually cooking through as it would be simmered in the soup, so I mainly picked up smoke flavor.

I put more chipotle powder in than I should have. It's good, but the heat is obscuring other flavors, though I used enough cilantro in the pork stock I based the soup on that I can taste a hint of that.

So basically:

2 gallons pork stock
2 lbs black beans, soaked 8 hours
2 lbs smoked andouille sausage
1 onion, chopped
1 tbsp. minced garlic
3 ribs celery finely chopped
1 carrot finely chopped
dribble of olive oil
Chipotle powder to taste

Sautée the onions & veggies in the olive oil, then melt the pork stock into the pot. Add beans, simmer for an hour; add sausage and simmer another 30 minutes.

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