I've made a few of this fellow's recipes...Pretty good.
Thanks. While I don't recall exactly what's in the hour drive 'good' andouille, I'm pretty sure there was no jalapeno pepper. Still, though, the brown sugar inclusion got me thinking about some form of sweetener, so I'm glad I saw that recipe.
For anyone interested, I went with a slightly modified version of this:http://www.nolacuisine.com/2005/11/14/andouille-sausage-recipe/
I basically felt that the garlic and black pepper were overkill, so I dialed them back. I chose this recipe because the simplicity appealed to me. Ruhlman is everything but the kitchen sink. I scaled everything back for 2# of meat and added 1 t. of liquid smoke.
I just took a taste of it this morning when I got up, and, I have to say, it's pretty good. Definitely better than the $10+/lb whole paycheck stuff. It yielded 1.5# from 2# of meat. Final price/lb = $2.12. Considering that whole paycheck could easily be $12/lb, I'm very happy with that.
I was incredibly conservative with the liquid smoke (some recipes add triple this for sausage that's still going to be smoked), so I might add more next time. I only eat andouille in gumbo, so the true test will be how it tastes in the finished product.