Irish Blood Pudding
The word 'blood' connotes yuckiness, especially when someone tells you it's in something you're about to eat. But believe you me, these puddings/sausages are a staple in any good Irish breakfast and many a Newfoundlander’s breakfast. If you can put aside your queasiness and try these puddings, you will become a convert very quickly.
It’s not easy to find pork blood these days. However, if you make friends with a local butcher, you can be sure they can source it for you. I like to use larger beef middles to form the puddings, so while you are at the butcher, ask for some beef casings, too.
Irish Blood Pudding
1 stick butter
3 lb. onions, peeled and finely chopped
2 cups beef suet
12 cups breadcrumbs (or Newfoundland Purity factory hard tack, crushed fine)
4 cups pork blood
2 large eggs, beaten
1 T fresh ground black pepper
3 T salt
½ t cayenne powder
½ t ground allspice
¼ t ground cloves
1 T thyme
1 t oregano
1 t paprika
25 feet of beef casings, approximately 1.5 in. in diameter
Heat butter on medium heat in a sauté pan, add onions and sauté for 8 - 10 minutes till soft and translucent. Transfer onions to a large bowl. If you can find the hard tack, ensure you crush them. If you have pieces the size of a pea, don’t worry about it. Add the remaining ingredients except the beef casings. Stir until well blended.
Now it’s time to make your puddings. I like to use a larger size beef casing, approximately 1.5 inches in diameter.
However, you could actually bake the pudding in glass loaf pans if you choose. If you go this route, bake them in a preheated 300 degree oven in a bain-marie (also known as a water bath or double boiler) for 1 - 1 ½ hours until firm to the touch. Before baking, cover the pans with foil wrap to prevent the puddings from drying out.
If you want the traditional method, use the beef casings. Set up your sausage stuffer using the large funnel. Oil the funnel with a little vegetable oil and slide the beef casing on over the funnel. Start stuffing your casing tying or twisting them every 5 - 6 inches, or whatever size you like. Use a pin to burst any air bubbles in your sausage. Now you are ready to poach.
Bring a large pot of water almost to a boil. Temperature should be no more than 190 degrees F. Put the sausages in the 190 degree F water. The temperature will immediately fall. Poach for 25 - 30 minutes till firm to the touch while trying to maintain roughly 170 degrees F.
Do not let the water come to a boil. Your puddings will burst open. Your puddings are done when firm to the touch or the internal temperature of your puddings are 150 degrees F, then remove from the pot and let cool.
The best way to serve these puddings is to slice them into thin slices, about ½ inch thick. Pan-fry till crispy on both sides. Enjoy as part of your own Irish or Newfoundland breakfast.