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Louisiana gumbo

House sausages star at Louisiana-strong Williams Soul Food – Colorado Springs Independent

click to enlarge MATTHEW SCHNIPER

  • Matthew Schniper

Delivery only; 719-761-7023, williamssoulfoodllc.com

Williams Soul Food has been around for two years as a Louisiana-flavored catering outfit that’s also offered food delivered.

They’re working on launching a sit-down spot with a retail market in the Mission Trace Shopping Center soon, with hopes of also getting a food truck going. Owners Ernest and Jackie Williams make their own sausages, including super-legit boudin.

After attending culinary school, Ernest cooked on an oil rig, and he tells me his uncle in Breaux Bridge taught him to slaughter hogs and make head cheese and more as he was growing up. He likes to smoke with hickory and mesquite, for extra smoke flavor, utilizing a walk-in smokehouse to hang sausages. I order a chicken and sausage gumbo with shrimp, which comes with two sides: smothered cabbage and string beans. And I add a boudin link and beef sausage. Everything’s phenomenal.

The dry beef sausage is so dark it looks like blood sausage, but it’s mainly colored by paprika, tastes strongly of campfire, and isn’t shy on spice. The boudin cuts soft inside beef casing, a wet mix of rice with pulled pork butt and much of the same spice profile. Sausage bits infuse both of the sides, which aren’t afterthoughts, but highlights in themselves, salty and meaty.

The dark roux gumbo starts with the classic Cajun trinity and continues with more smoke flavor from the house meats. Some bits of herb float in a little oil suspended on top and the overall flavor dives deep, making for a mouth-bomb of earthy, spicy splendor. “I’m putting my heart and soul into it when I cook,” says Ernest, fully sincere.

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