Smoked sausage is a familiar food item throughout Acadiana, and not a festival goes on without a booth serving up a sausage po’boy. It doesn’t get any simpler and don’t look for me to complicate it…much.
First, the basics: My bread is classic – a soft po’boy bun from Evangeline Maid Bread in Lafayette. And my smoked pork links are from the smokehouse of Kermit Lejeune’s sausage-making operation in Eunice, Louisiana in St. Landry Parish. Nothing complicated so far.
But, I will admit that there are several twists on this classic that I believe intensifies the flavors in multiple directions. First, I brown my sausage links in a hot grill pan, and then I braise them in beer. I like the introduction of the beer bath to help plump up the sausage into a moist and flavor-filled link.
And I like the compliment of dueling sauces (mustard-spiced and barbecue sweet) that create two layers of flavor. Zatarain’s Creole mustard cut with a little Blue Plate mayonnaise has just the bite this sausage needs, and my barbecue sauce of choice for this sandwich—Pig Stand.
Made in Ville Platte, Louisiana by the Lafleur family, Pig Stand barbecue sauce is sold throughout Acadiana, and the vinegary sweetness of this South Louisiana favorite pairs perfectly with this sausage po’boy.
Finally, I crown this bad boy with griddled Vidalia onions steamed in the beer braise. Unlike the bite of regular yellow onions, the sweet Vidalias have a smooth finish that mellows out this sandwich. Oh yeah, this simple sausage po’boy only gets better with a few tasty additions. Pop the top on a cold one and give it a try; you’ll love it.
- 4 (6 to 8-inch) links smoked sausage
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 bottles of beer
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 medium Vidalia onions, peeled and sliced
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup Creole mustard or brown mustard
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 4 soft po'boy buns, such as Evangeline Maid
- 4 tablespoons butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons vinegar-based barbecue sauce, such as Pig Stand
- With a sharp knife, slice open the sausage lengthwise without going all the way through.
- In a skillet with a lid over medium-high heat, add the oil. Add the sausage and brown on both sides, laying it flat. Add the beer and cover, and lower the heat to simmer. Cook for 30 minutes. Remove the sausage and keep warm. Pour off the liquid and reserve.
- In the same skillet with a lid over medium-high heat, add the oil and the onions. Cook until the onions brown and begin to caramelize, about 10 minutes. Add ½ cup of the beer braising liquid and cover to let steam for 5 minutes. Uncover and add the sugar and Cajun seasoning along with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Cook uncovered until the liquid evaporates and turn off the heat. Keep warm.
- In a mixing bowl, add the mustard and mayonnaise. Stir to incorporate and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Place the buns on a baking sheet and brush the interior and exterior with melted butter. Move to the oven and bake until crispy, about 10 minutes. Remove and keep warm.
- For serving, slather the inside of the bun with mustard sauce. Place a sausage in the center, open it up, and pour the barbecue sauce along the inside of the link. Pile on the onions. Serve more barbecue sauce on the side with potato chips and an ice-cold beer.
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