The Underrated breakfast King
Black pudding is usually made in large sausages which are then poached; you’d need a very large pan to do this, and there can be issues with leaking and bursting – it can also however be made in a loaf tin and baked in a bain-marie, which is what I generally do. If you prefer to make a sausage, make sure you tie it very well, get a friend to help with the filling, and poach it very gently in barely simmering water until it is firm to the touch. The best casings to use for this are the 40/43 beef runners.
Fresh pig’s blood is very hard to get hold of in the UK, unless you have a direct link to an abattoir, and needs to be worked with very quickly; for home, using dried blood is much more convenient to work with and you can grab it right from Weschenfelder. If you’re lucky enough to get hold of fresh blood, you can use a litre of it in the recipe below.
100g dried blood
700ml tepid water
1 large onion, finely chopped
A knob of lard or butter
150g pinhead oatmeal
4 allspice berries, ground in a mortar
½ tsp ground black pepper
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp dried marjoram
250g Pork backfat or lardo, diced
Preheat the oven to around 140C. Gradually whisk the water into the dried blood, mixing well to get rid of any lumps, and set aside. Line a loaf tin with clingfilm.
In a pan that will fit all the ingredients, melt the fat and gently sweat the onion with a good pinch of salt until translucent and very soft. Stir in the oats, herbs and spices.
Add the blood to the pan and cook very gently until it starts to thicken to a porridge consistency – this will stop the chunks of fat from sinking to the bottom. Take off the heat, stir in the fat and pour into the lined tin. Cover with foil.
Put the tin in a deep baking dish and fill it with boiling water about three-quarters of the way up the tin. Bake for around 1.5-2 hours, until firm to the touch. Allow to cool, then fry slices as needed until dark and warm through.