Sunday, May 27, 2007

Black Pudding - King of Breakfast

After finding black gold in Chinatown, I scoured my cookbook collection for suitable black pud recipes. My first stop was obviously Fergus Henderson's incredible 'The Whole Beast - Nose To Tail Eating'. He calls it blood cake and dishes up the pudding with fried eggs. I did look at two others for further inspiration. The Bible contained countless variations for black pudding/boudin noir and I also thumbed through porn-heavy Boulevard and found a sound variation by an Irish chap called John Desmond. His BP recipe used a 7 cup dish for the final baking. I did have a 7-cup terrine dish by Pyrex so it seemed that my weights and measures should match the Boulevard recipe roughly, but I did make a few substitutions.

You will need, for a large pud able to serve about 6-8 dudes for breakfast or dinner:

1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic
2 tbsp port
1/2 tsp each of mustard, fennel and cumin seeds
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 crumbled bay leaf
1lb in total of pork meat and fat - I used 1/4 lb of chilled streaky bacon and 3/4 lb of ground pork
1 1/4 cups of fresh pigs blood
1 1/4 cup of cereal(s) - I used a cup of cooked rice and 1/4 cup of corn meal
1/2 cup of mixed fresh herbs - I used sage, tarragon, parsley, thyme, oregano.
1 tbsp Maldon sea salt
1 tsp smoked paprika pepper
1 tsp ground black pepper
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 large beaten egg

Sweat the onion in the oil for a few minutes until soft and add the port. Cover, and cook for about 20 mins on low heat, taking care not to brown the onions. Allow to cool and reserve. Take the fennel mustard and cumin seeds, bay leaf and red pepper flakes and warm in a skillet over a low flame until they release some of their oils into the air. Allow to cool, whizz in a spice blender with the bay leaf until powdery and reserve. Chop the bacon into the smallest pieces you can , and add to the ground pork in a bowl. Combine with all the other ingredients and mix very well for a few minutes with a spoon or your hands if you're brave. Preheat the oven to 325 F. Put the mixture into the terrine dish, cover tightly with foil and then into a large hotel pan. Add boiling water until it come 2/3 of the way up the terrine dish, and back for 1 1/2 hours. Remove from the ban marie, and allow to cool for 2 hours, before refrigerating overnight.

I woke up with a start and all I could think about was carving my creation up and serving it as part of the traditional Full English breakfast. OK, it wasn't the FULL English, a few items were not present - sausage, mushrooms, maybe some beans. I sliced some of the loaf and cut some small rounds from it. I popped them under the grill for a few minutes with tomatoes, bacon and fried an egg and hey presto. I reached for the HP, made some tea and toast and got stuck in. Tremendous.

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