For years I have wanted to make the Gumbo Shop‘s Turkey and Hot Sausage Gumbo. One of the first steps is to make turkey stock using the stripped turkey carcass, which makes the day after Thanksgiving a great time to make this gumbo! It calls for 1.5 lbs of the leftover turkey meat, too, which should make leftovers more exciting than usual. I had my mom buy a slightly larger turkey than usual and we are getting ready to make gumbo!
The sausage dictated by the recipe is Chaurice, a fresh, spicy Creole pork sausage that is similar to but not to be confused with chorizo. I went to Seisel’s Meats looking for the sausage because, as they proclaim, they are “San Diego’s meat specialists for the serious cook.” I figured if anyone in San Diego was going to have Chaurice, it would be Seisel’s or their sister store, Iowa Meats. Sadly, they did not have the Chaurice. They recommended that I consider substituting chorizo, but I wanted to try this recipe without substitutions.
Even more disappointing was the fact that they informed me that the Sausage King in Mission Hills closed a couple of months ago. While I do not know if they would have carried Chaurice, I do know that this incredible source for handmade German sausage will be sorely missed. Sausage King Manfred “Fred” Spenner died of natural causes in June at the age of 82 after making sausage at the same location for almost 50 years. Although NBC reported that talks were underway between Spenner’s widow and a couple of long time employees about continuing the business, I do not know if they will reopen.
At any rate, I digress. Without Chaurice from either Siesel’s or the Sausage King, I decided that my only acceptable course of action was to make the sausage myself. I wish that I could say that the sausage you see above is some of my handiwork. In fact, it was made by my dear husband, Gregory. He quite enjoyed making it and I can’t wait to find out how it turned out.
Seisel’s provided me with the natural hog casing and meat curing salt that I needed along with 3 pounds of Boston Butt. For the Chaurice sausage recipe and instructions on how to link homemade sausage, I turned to Nola Cuisine. The instructions are thorough and easy to follow. This was our first attempt at homemade sausage and if their appearance means anything, then Gregory did an excellent job. He was able to link about 2.75 of the 3 lbs. The remainder he plans to cook up for breakfast in the morning.
The Gumbo Shop doesn’t have the recipe for the Turkey and Hot Sausage Gumbo online, but they do sell their cookbook there. Believe me, it is a must for your bookshelf if you enjoy New Orleans cuisine. There isn’t a recipe in there that hasn’t been fabulous. They are a bit time consuming, but they are worth every minute. And the Gumbo Shop is accommodating and helpful as well. I once called them and was put through to the kitchen to speak to the chef when one of my gumbos when horribly wrong. I can not say enough about them or their food. If making these things from scratch seems like a bit more than you can handle, or if you can’t get all the ingredients that you need, you can always order direct from their website. They do not sell and ship everything from the cookbook, and the Turkey and Sausage Gumbo was not available by mail order when I looked earlier this week. In fact, I wonder if some things are only available online seasonally as I do not see the Aligator Sauce Piquante as an option at this time but I have had it shipped to me in the past. Any of the prepared foods that you might order from them will arrive frozen and in rather large amounts. They also sell some spice mixes and other merchandise.
I’m really looking forward to Thanksgiving now, and I’m excited to make this gumbo!
The Gumbo Shop, 630 Saint Peter Street, New Orleans, LA 70130. (504) 525-0747.
Seisel’s Meats, 4131 Ashton Street, San Diego, CA 92109. (619) 275-1234.
Iowa Meat Farms, 6041 Mission Gorge Rd.San Diego, CA 92120. (619) 281-5766.