“What on earth is Dandoodle?” you might ask. I had the same question when a family friend named Yates, who lives all the way on the east coast in the state of Virginia came visiting, and said that’s what he was cooking us for dinner.
Dandoodle, also known as “Tom Thumb” is a sausage made by stuffing ground pork shoulder, sage, red pepper, and salt and pepper into the uppermost part of the pig’s large intestine. This gives Dandoodle a unique oval shape that’s quite larger in girth than sausages that use standard casings. They’re usually either smoked or dry-cured; the one he brought for us was dry-cured. It’s a delicacy that can mostly only be purchased from small butcher shops around Virginia and the Carolinas, says Yates.
It’s considered southern food, and is often served with cabbage or collard greens, yams, potatoes, beets, and most importantly, deviled egg. The deviled egg really is the key accompaniment, as the sweet-pickled yolk and boiled egg white really enhances the flavor of the sausage, which has strong, pungent, peppery sage flavoring to it.
I’d say Dandoodle is something you’d either love or hate. Again, the sage and the red pepper really do punch out, and the pig stomach casing does have you thinking there’s indeed “something” different about it, in an innards kind of way.
Do I like it? Heck yeah! I love it! But it’s gotta’ have all those sides in order to taste right. I couldn’t eat Dandoodle as a snack by itself. It needs the sweet contrast of the yams, beets and deviled egg to really shine. And when you eat it together with those things, it’s just fantastic!
So that first plate shown was prepared for us by Yates on his visit to Hawaii last year. This year he brought the same TYPE of sausage (same filling), but just not stuffed in the pig’s intestine. The ones he brought this year were stuffed in standard casings. So he gave me a bag to take home, and I finally got around to preparing them. Check it out…
I attempted to duplicate the same presentation Yate’s did for us last year. The only difference is that I used Bak Choi cabbage instead of round cabbage. Hey, that Bak Choi was fantastic with this dish! The slightly more pungent flavor married well with the spicy sausages. I found that they didn’t salt these enough though, so I had to add my own, which was no biggy. After that, they were great! He instructed me to boil them for about 15 minutes with the other veggies, then brown them in oil in the fying pan, so that’s what I did. Then sliced ‘em in half for plating presentation as shown above. Gotta’ admit, that does look pretty! And how did it taste? Awesome!
He said you can serve these breakfast style with eggs, but nah, I much prefer it with these accompaniments.
For the deviled egg, I hard boiled the eggs, then cut them in half, took the yolks out, and mashed them together with sweet pickle relish, mayonnaise, spicy brown mustard, minced onion and parsley, then filled the halved egg white back up with the “deviled” filling. I tell ya’, this is such a winner with the sausage. I think with ANY sausage, you should have a deviled egg with it. Pure genius.
Here’s how these “Dandoodle Knock-offs” look uncooked…
I know what you’re thinking, and no, this isn’t going to win any culinary beauty contest anytime soon. lol Main thing is they TASTE good!
Here in this (uncooked) cross-cut view, you can see the specks of red pepper flakes…
Here’s another angle of the finished plate…
I highly doubt you’ll find Dandoodle in any stores in Hawaii, or anywhere else in the US for that matter, besides Virginia and the Carolinas region. Still, I’d recommend using these same accompaniments with other types of savory, spicy sausages you CAN buy here at various markets. Especially those that have plenty of herbs and spices in them.
So next time you hear the name “Dandoodle”, you’ll know what that is. Big Mahalo to Yates for bringing these all the way over to Hawaii for us!
• The Best Dandoodle in the World