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Blood Sausage

  • Author: Jill Baker


Blood sausage is probably one of the most challenging charcuterie projects for most people, as obtaining a bucket of blood, keeping it liquid and pouring it into skins in your kitchen is well beyond the comfort zone of a lot of cooks. That said, if you’re untroubled by the fact that it’s blood then homemade black pudding is one of the most rewarding things to make – for the simple reason that most of the commercial stuff is radically over-spiced and loses all its subtlety.
Excerpt taken from Charcuterie from Scratch by Tim Hayward


Units Scale

2 1/4 lbs. (1 kg) Pig’s Blood (see note)

12 oz. (350 g) Coarsely Diced Pork Backfat

10 1/2 oz. (300 g) Whole Milk

2 1/4 oz. (60 g) Oatmeal

1/2 oz. (15 g) Salt

3 Medium Onions

Large-Gauge Sausage Casings (about casings)


Mix the blood with the rest of the ingredients apart from the casings and pour or spoon into the skins. Don’t overfill, as the filling will expand as it cooks. Try to leave some slack in the skin before tying off, but also ensure there are no air pockets. A centimetre or so of ski, squeezed flat and empty, before the knot should do the trick.

Gently poach the puddings in water just short of a full simmer for 90 minutes, at the end of which time they should be firm and cooked through. Allow the cool in the poaching liquid.

The puddings should be sliced cold and fried before serving. They can be stored under refrigeration for a day or two but should be vacuum-packed or plastic-wrapped and frozen if you want to store them for longer. If you freeze the pudding in slices you will find they defrost quickly.

You can serve your black pudding in the classic manner, fried crisp of the outside and surrounded by the supportive elements of a “Full English Breakfast.” Profoundly unpatriotic as it may seem, I like mine crumbled and fried with equal quantities of cubed chorizo, stirred into lightly scrambled eggs and served rolled in a burrito. To be really elegant, slice thinly ad serve fried with slices of sharp, acidic apple, such as Cox’s Orange Pippin (Early Windsor, Fiesta or Kidd’s Orange Red).


This recipe and it’s contents are an excerpt taken from Charcuterie from Scratch by Tim Hayward
Purchase the book here.

Note on Blood Sausage; There are places where you can get into a three-month debate on seasonings and a stand-up fight over serving blood pudding. It’s regarded as a national dish in parts if Ireland, Spain, rural France and the North of England…all places where the finer points of culinary debate can be ferociously defended. I tend towards a Morcilla style but only because my friend Rachel McCormack, an expert of Catalan food, scares me so much that I follow her advice.
Morcilla is often made in smaller-gauge skins and twisted to form small, almost spherical puddings which are fried whole after poaching. If you fancy this, reduce the poaching time accordingly; 45 minutes as a starting point.

You can vary your flavourings to reflect your preferences.

Note on pig’s blood; (if not using your own from harvesting); Your butcher may be able to supply pig’s blood if you ask nicely and well in advance. Traders dealing with pork at farmers’ markets are always a good bet to. They usually have some sort of relationship with the abattoir and may well be sympathetic to your experiments.
In order to prevent clotting, the blood should have a little vinegar added and preferably be stirred regularly. If you can’t get your hands on fresh blood, you should be able to buy the pasteurized and dried variety from a butcher’s supply house. There’s no shame in this. Food hygiene regulations mean that many artisanal manufacturers are now using the dried product.