Fried Boudin Balls with Creole Mustard Dipping Sauce

Boudin is integral to Cajun food culture in Louisiana and Texas, with roots as far back as the 17th century, when the French and Germans settled in the area. Recipes have been passed down through generations; the seasonings and meats vary per family preferences and traditions. These Fried Boudin Balls boast pork, rice, liver, and seasonings that are shaped into balls and fried for a crispy exterior and a light, almost creamy interior. It's important to use pork shoulder with a good amount of fat to achieve that richness, as well as liver. We use chicken livers instead of pork livers and panko breadcrumbs instead of crushed crackers, but swap in pork liver and crushed crackers if you prefer. Don't skip refrigerating the pork mixture for at least 30 minutes before forming the Boudin Balls; it needs that time to firm up so it doesn't fall apart when fried. You can let it sit up to 12 hours in advance of frying; the flavors will meld that much more. Once fried, the golden brown Boudin Balls are garnished with smoked paprika and fresh parsley and served with a tangy, spicy Creole mustard dipping sauce as a popular party and tailgating snack.

Fried Boudin Balls with Creole Mustard Dipping Sauce
Photo: Photo by Fred Hardy / Food Styling by Ali Ramee / Prop Styling by Christina Brockman
Active Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs 30 mins
Servings:
8

Ingredients

  • 1 ¾ pounds boneless pork shoulder (untrimmed), cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces

  • 2 cups amber beer (from 2 [12-ounce] cans)

  • 6 ounces chicken livers, rinsed (about 1 cup, 4 livers)

  • 1 ounce medium-size (8 ounces) yellow onion, chopped (1 cup)

  • 2 ounces medium (1 ounce each) celery stalks, chopped (1 cup)

  • 1 small (7 ounces) green bell pepper, chopped (3/4 cup)

  • 5 garlic cloves, roughly chopped (2 tablespoons)

  • 2 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided, plus more to taste

  • ½ teaspoon black pepper, divided

  • 1 cup uncooked white basmati or jasmine rice

  • cup mayonnaise

  • 3 tablespoons Creole mustard

  • Hot sauce, to taste

  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus more for garnish

  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika, divided, plus more for garnish

  • ¼ teaspoon, plus 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, divided

  • ½ cup (about 2 1/8 ounces) all-purpose flour

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 tablespoon tap water

  • 1 ½ cups panko

  • Vegetable oil, for frying

Directions

  1. Pat pork dry with paper towels, and place in a large Dutch oven or a large heavy-bottomed pot. Add beer, chicken livers, onion, celery, bell pepper, garlic, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of the black pepper. Add enough water to cover ingredients by 2 inches. Bring to a boil over medium-high. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer, undisturbed, until pork is very fork-tender, about 1 hour, 30 minutes. Stir in rice; cover and cook, undisturbed, until rice is tender, about 20 minutes. Set a strainer over a large heatproof bowl; pour pork mixture through strainer into bowl. Reserve strained liquid and solids separately. Let cool 30 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, stir together mayonnaise, mustard, and hot sauce to taste in a small bowl. Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate until ready to use.

  3. Finely chop cooled pork, vegetables, and rice on a cutting board. Alternatively, working in batches, transfer to a food processor, and pulse until finely chopped, 8 to 10 pulses. Return chopped pork mixture to large bowl; stir in parsley, 1 1/2 teaspoons of the paprika, 1/4 teaspoon of the cayenne, and remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Mix well using a spoon until mixture forms a very thick paste, adding some reserved strained liquid as needed to adjust consistency. Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate until firm, at least 30 minutes (or up to 12 hours to enhance flavor).

  4. Stir together flour and remaining 1/2 teaspoon paprika and 1/8 teaspoon cayenne in a shallow dish. Whisk together eggs and 1 tablespoon tap water in a separate shallow dish. Place panko in a third shallow dish.

  5. Scoop pork mixture by 2 heaping tablespoonfuls into balls (about 36 balls total). Using your hands, shape balls into slightly oblong golf ball-sized pieces. Working in batches, place boudin balls in flour mixture, gently tossing until fully coated; shake off excess flour. Place in egg mixture, turning until fully coated; let excess drip off. Place in panko, pressing gently to adhere. Place on a large rimmed baking sheet. Refrigerate balls, uncovered, while oil heats.

  6. Pour oil into a large Dutch oven to a depth of 1 1/2 inches (about 8 cups); heat over medium-high until a deep-fry thermometer registers 350°F. Carefully add about 10 boudin balls to oil; cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a large, rimmed baking sheet lined with paper towels; sprinkle with salt to taste. Repeat process 2 times with remaining boudin balls, ensuring oil returns to 350°F between batches. Garnish with additional parsley and smoked paprika and serve with Creole mustard dipping sauce.

Updated by Adam Dolge
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