Americans should not confuse this version with the version of Boudin Blanc made in Louisiana one. The Louisiana version — Boudin Blanc Creole — has rice in it; European versions have milk in them.
The meat used in Boudin Blanc can be either minced pork, minced pork and veal, or chicken. The meat is finely-ground and mixed with bread and cream, then seasoned with spices such as marjoram and sage.
The sausages used to be mostly made for Christmas, but they are now made and sold year round. In France, truffles may sometimes be included in the ingredients, particularly at Christmas. In Belgium, for the Christmas and New Year period, they’ll add mushrooms, raisins, and pineapple.
There are many different recipes in different regions:
|Avranches||Onions, lard, chicken breast, cream, bread crumbs, pork, eggs, salt, pepper. (Avranches is in the Manche department, Normandy, on the Mont St-Michel Bay)|
|Castres Tarn||Half lean pork, half egg panade flavoured with herbs, wrapped in caul, baked in oven|
|Catalan or Pyrénées||Greyish white, added eggs and a good deal of herbs|
|Classic (made thoughout France)||White lean meat from pork and veal or chicken, pork fat, milk, eggs, sometimes truffles, in pork intestines, 5 to 6 inches (12 to 15 cm) long|
|Havre and Normandy style||Light yellow, lots of pork fat with no lean, very fatty, often milk, eggs, bread crumbs, a starch of some kind or rice flour|
|Mazamet Tarn||Half pork rind and half panade mixture based on egg, poached in water|
|Rethel, Ardennes||Lean meat, pork fat, milk, eggs, no starch or bread crumbs. Has IGP status since October 2001. In Rethel, a “boudin blanc” festival is held each April.|
|Richelieu (made throughout France)||Chicken. Sometimes truffles. rich, formed into balls, wrapped in caul fat.|
|South-West||Pork, breadcrumbs, starch, eggs, a good deal of herbs, beef intestines. about 1 1/2 inches in diameter|
Regarded as particularly good are those versions made in Normandy and in the Loire valley.
The sausages are sold already cooked, and just need heating. You can reheat them in a slow frying pan with a small amount of butter, or bake them in a moderate oven with butter, quartered apples and a splash of Calvados, giving the apples a head start.
They are often served with mashed potato and apple sauce (often referred to as “deux purées de pomme.”)