5 lbs. pork butt, divided
1 large onion, peeled and quartered
8 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp. kosher salt
2 Tbsp. plus 2 tsp. paprika
1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. cayenne
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
2½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp. Insta Cure No. 1 (optional)
¼ tsp. allspice
Sausage casings, soaked in water and rinsed
Special equipment: meat grinder and sausage stuffer attachments for stand mixer
Cut 3 pounds of pork butt into 1- to 2-inch chunks. Place on a sheet tray, cover with plastic wrap and freeze, along with the sausage grinder attachment, at least 30 minutes. (The meat and grinding equipment should be as cold as possible to prevent the fat from melting as its ground.)
Meanwhile, dice the remaining 2 pounds of pork into ¼- to ½-inch pieces. Set aside.
Place the onion in the bowl of a food processor and pulse 10 to 15 times. Scrap the onion into a bowl, mix in the garlic, and set aside.
In a separate bowl, combine the salt, paprika, cayenne, sugar, thyme, pepper, and Insta Cure No. 1 (if using), and set aside.
Affix the chilled meat grinder attachment to the stand mixer. Carefully feed the chilled mixture through the machine on a course grind.
Add the diced meat, onion and garlic to the ground pork and mix. Add the dry spices and mix until well incorporated. Fry a small patty in a saute pan until cooked through and taste. Adjust seasoning as needed.
Affix the sausage stuffer attachment to the stand mixer and slide the entire casing onto the nozzle, tying a knot at the end of the casing. Slowly feed the meat through the machine to fill the casing.
When the entire casing is full, remove and tie a knot at the opposite end. Carefully pinch the sausage and twist into links at 6-inch internals.
Meanwhile, preheat a smoker to 225 to 250 degrees or prepare a charcoal grill for low, indirect heat. Smoke the links at 225 to 250 degrees for 1 to 2 hours, until the andouille reaches an internal temperature of 150 degrees.
Sausages will keep 1 week in the refrigerator or up to 6 months in the freezer. Use in Chicken & Homemade Andouille Gumbo (Recipe here).