Creole/Cajun Andouille Sausage in a Slow Cooker


Creole vs. Cajun? Hmmm…I’m not sure of the proper label for this one. (I need to read up on the difference between the two.) Regardless of how it’s classified, this big-batch meal is a flavorful hit, which features andouille sausage, red peppers, black beans, and a rich tomato sauce. It’s best served with a starch, such as rice, or grits, if you’re serious.

I adapted this recipe from Sandra Lee’s Andouille Sausage Creole, which is a stove top dish. However, I wanted a slow cooker meal so I took her formula and modified it to fit.

As I mentioned, I don’t know much about Cajun cooking, but I do know that roux (the mixture of a fat and flour used as the base of sauces) is a very important component in Cajun cooking. The preferred fat in Cajun roux is cooking oil, instead of the French standard, butter. Roux adds a rich flavor and I don’t think the stove-top roux step should be skipped. The richness of flavor can’t be replicated in the slow cooker by simply tossing oil & flour in and turning it on. This is why it all begins on the stove.

I should also mention that the “holy trinity” of Cajun cuisine includes onions, bell peppers, and celery. However, in this dish I skipped the celery and just added some celery salt (gasp!). If you’re doing a proper Cajun dish, I’m sure 1/2 cup of celery wouldn’t hurt anything.

Bam?

Creole/Cajun Andouille Sausage in a Slow Cooker

Ingredients

1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1-1/2 cups chopped onions
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 large red pepper, chopped
1/2 cup celery (optional)
3/4 cup sliced green onions
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1/2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (optional)
1-1/2 pounds andouille sausage, sliced (Cajun flavored or regular)
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

Add after cooking time complete:
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley leaves
1 (19.75-ounce) can of black beans, drained and rinsed
Salt & pepper to taste

Serve with rice or grits.

Directions

Combine oil and flour in a heavy pot; cook over medium heat, stirring, until mixture is golden about 10 to 15 minutes. Add onion, garlic, red pepper, celery and green onions. Cook, stirring often to coat for a few minutes. Transfer to the slow cooker.

Stir in tomatoes, tomato paste, celery salt, seasoning, 1/2 cup of water, red pepper flakes, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and sausage. Cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours.

Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice and black beans. Salt & pepper to taste. Garnish with parsley and serve over grits or rice.

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