Rougail Saucisses

Caris and rougails

Caris is not exactly curry but both are related since Reunionese cuisine has several roots, mainly Indian, French, Malagasy, Chinese. No recipe is the ‘property’ of any ethnic group, for instance samosas are mainly sold by the Chinese despite their Indian origins.

Objectives

Here are simple recipes of Reunionese caris and rougails. These dishes are accompanied by rice, legumes (beans, lentils, etc.) and also brèdes, i.e. green leaves or shoots, sautéed or in broth, such as chards, turnip shoots or catalonia (in Italy), while in Reunion, it will be more shoots of chayotes (chouchous), pumpkins etc. 

It is also possible to accompany these dishes with mango or tomato rougail or achards (a version for the dummies is presented here).

These recipes may be found in many books (in French) including, for example, Le grand livre de la cuisine Réunionnaise (sorry for the advertisement on Amazon): some Reunionese will not agree with the addition of tomatoes in the poultry cari and the use of turmeric (curcuma) in the rougail sausages can be discussed… Lovers of séga (one of the two local musics with maloya) will listen to “the assassin put turmeric (curcuma) in the brèdes mourongue” (translation of the title) which demonstrates the culinary differences on such a small territory (50 kms x 50 kms). You could also watch with profit the videos of the late Christian Antou. 

Generic sauce base

Onions: 250g

Garlic: 4->6 cloves

turmeric (curcuma): ½ -> 1 teaspoon. The best turmeric (curcuma) is obviously from Reunion, falsely called ‘saffron’ over there

Ginger -> 20g -> 40g

oil (ex: olive): 3 tablespoons, a little more if the onions stick

The onions are browned in oil. Garlic is then added, followed by turmeric (curcuma) and herbs (allspice leaves or bay leaf or thyme). 30 seconds maximum after adding the turmeric (curcuma), add 25 cl of water and crushed ginger, if necessary. Everything cooks gently for 20 minutes. No salt or pepper.

The sauce can then be frozen. Each block is enough for 4 people and is suitable for the following quantities:

  • 400 to 600 g of meat or fish
  • A small can or even a large can of beans
  • 250 g of homemade lentils or legumes.

To use a block, simply pass the box under a trickle of warm water. The ice cube of sauce will then be used as is. 

Rougail sausages – boucané (smoked pork)

Count 400 to 600 g of material for 4 people. Montbéliard sausages (French specificity) are suitable. The smoked pork does not come from the belly but rather from the ribs, the loin or even the blade. For those who live in the south of Paris, the best Reunionese sausages can be found at the Charcuterie Vayaboury (the owner is the daughter of my brother’s charcutier in Saint-Denis, Réunion).

Desalination

Allow 5 minutes in boiling water for Reunionese sausages, probably less for Montbeliard. A second desalination is possible, depending on the sausages. In both cases, the sausages will be desalted whole and not pierced. They will then be cut into sections (two to four depending on the size). You can press it down with a fork to remove excess fat. Boucané that is still frozen can be desalted directly. 

The boucané will be desalted in blocks for 5 minutes, possibly at the same time as the sausages. Then, it will be cut into small pieces of 2 to 4 cm and desalted again for 5 minutes.

Start the sauce

While desalting the sausages and boucané, you can prepare the sauce as described above or use a frozen sauce base. In the latter case, pour the still-frozen block of sauce stock into a small pot, along with a small or large tin of tinned tomatoes (for example from the Cirio brand), depending on whether you like a rougail with a lot of sauce or not. Cut the tomatoes into pieces.

In season, you may prefer fresh tomatoes (count 400 to 800 g, preferably peeled).

Fresh or canned tomatoes can be cooked gently until the bottom of the sauce has defrosted (approximately 10 mins). You can mash the sauce using a potato masher.

Adding sausages and/or boucané

The sausages and boucané will be added to the sauce and cooking will continue for another ten minutes. Add water if necessary. Check their cooking.

Taste and season with salt and pepper if necessary (reminder: no added salt or pepper so far, at any time, since the sausages and boucané are already salty). It is possible to add bird peppers (remove the seeds if you are too sensitive to the hot spicy taste).

Leave to stand for 20 minutes to 2 hours and reheat before serving. This rougail should not be prepared too much in advance (it is possible but brings nothing, if not the possibility of degreasing it a little).

Legumes

If just-made sauce stock is used, the legumes will be cooked directly in it, adding water or not, depending on whether canned legumes is used or not.  Crush the legumes a little bit (see photo below). If using frozen gravy stock, follow the instructions below. 

Use the sauce base or pour a block of still frozen sauce base and a small box or a large box of canned beans into a small pot. Pepper. Add water if necessary. Cook for 10 minutes after the sauce base has thawed. Taste before salting because the boxes are often already salted. Red beans go best with meat and white beans with fish, shellfish and seafood, but this is not an absolute rule.

It is possible to use beans (fresh or dried), lentils or other legumes that have been cooked beforehand. Avoid canned lentils or coral lentils.

Crush the sauce using a potato masher (a little) to thicken the sauce and soften the beans (less important for lentils) 

Fish or shrimps cari

Count 400 to 500 g of material for 4 people .

Start the sauce

Use the sauce base or pour a block of still frozen sauce base and a small or large can of canned tomatoes into a small pot, depending on whether you like a curry with a lot of sauce or not. In season, you may prefer fresh tomatoes (allow 400 or 800g, preferably peeled). Cut the tomatoes into pieces.

Fresh or canned tomatoes can be cooked gently until the base of the sauce has defrosted (about 15 to 20 minutes). You can mash the sauce using a potato masher.

It is possible to add bird peppers (remove the seeds if you are too sensitive to them). Add water if necessary. Taste and salt and pepper. 

Adding fish or shrimp

They will be added to the sauce, even frozen, and cooking will continue depending on the fish or shellfish. Check their cooking.

Serve fairly quickly. 

Poor man’s vegetable achards for dummies 

Raw material

A bag of about 250g of an assortment of vegetables in a bag, for example, in France, with the crunchy plate of Florette with white cabbage, carrot (these two ingredients being essential), frisée, red pepper (the latter being recommended)

You can add a few sprigs of raw cauliflower or a few raw or lightly steamed green beans, preferably slivered (cut in half, or even more, in the direction of the length).

For the seasoning:

  1. a small or medium onion, finely cut
  2. two cloves of crushed garlic (you can add more if you like)
  3. two to three tablespoons of neutral oil (not olive or rapeseed)
  4. fifteen grams of crushed ginger ( you can add more if you like)
  5. a tablespoon of vinegar (preferably red)
  6. a teaspoon of Hilly for instance Espelette pepper (it is still a spicy recipe…). Normally it is recommended to add some ‘real’ hot pepper but OK most of these recipes readers will be European ….Nevertheless, it is also possible to put some hot pepper cut in pieces without the beans and to take it out before adding the vegetables to get a spicy oil
  7. Half a teaspoon of turmeric (curcuma)
  8. A level teaspoon of salt

Preparation

  1. Fry the onions over medium or low heat WITHOUT BROWNING
  2.  Reduce the heat
  3. Add the garlic 
  4. Add more oil if necessary
  5. After 30 seconds, add the ginger and the turmeric (curcuma)
  6. After 30 seconds maximum (turmeric burns easily), turn off the heat
  7. Add the vegetables in a bag, the cauliflower (optional), the chilli and the salt and mix well
  8. Pour everything into a deep dish
  9. When the dish is cold, refrigerate
  10. Add the vinegar at least two hours before serving (you can add it after the salt if you want)
  11. Adjust the seasoning if necessary before serving

It should look something like this.

Brèdes

We’ll keep it simple here, “Italian style”. Roughly chop the shoots or leaves, peel two or three cloves of garlic and cut them in half. Fry the garlic cloves in the oil and just before they brown, add the leaves. Cook covered or not (up to you). You could also use some cari sauce and put the bredes in it.

Serving

Fill the plate with rice, evenly: the rice must absorb the sauce from the cari or rougail, legumes and brèdes. Serve the other preparations, each one having to occupy its own space on the rice.

For example, don’t serve as below.

Below goes roughly:

Wine

No great wine for these dishes. For example a basic Bordeaux, a Beaujolais, red for sausages or boucané or a beer. In Italy, an everyday Barbera, even frizzante. Maybe a Dolcetto. But nothing sweet.

For fish or shrimp, not too strong dry white or a light red. 

No rum, consumed only as an aperitif or digestive.

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