Updated: Oct 5
Black Pudding or Blood Sausage is enjoyed around the world although the ingredients and methods of preparation vary. We’re going to take a look at just two of them, our very own Black Pudding and Spain’s Morcilla.
Whilst the one common ingredient is the use of animal blood, the dry component parts of the rest of the sausage filling including the spice mix is often a cultural, traditional or individual choice.
Spain’s answer to our black pudding is a mile away from the slice you’ll get with your fry-up. It’s a spiced blood sausage, delicate, with a gentle tang. I have just taken delivery of another three sausages, read my review one even comes in a jar; and see the difference for yourself on my YouTube channel. Recipes vary across Spain from the loose, rice-flecked morcilla from Burgos, to morcilla de arroz, the variety made with onion and rice.
Let’s find out some more about Morcilla. The Spanish Black Pudding is my favourite ingredient of the moment. Morcilla, pronounced mor-thee-ya, is generally much less firm than our British black pudding and as such is either eaten in quite thick slices or it’s great for stirring through dishes.
Try it in fried potatoes with a poached egg and parsley, or tossed through lentils with finely chopped red onion, shaved fennel, mint and dill with a nice punchy cider vinegar dressing. It crumbles through, lending its flavour to the whole dish without overpowering. Another favourite way to serve morcilla is stuffed into squid – a classic combination. If you’re one of those who can’t bear the idea of black pudding, then morcilla may not be for you; most people who try it and love it before they know what’s gone into it.
Spanish Morcilla Frita is a dish that consists of frying black pudding with onions and other spices and then served on top of some crunchy bread. This is a typical dish found throughout Spain as a delicious and easy to make tapas. Top tip: you will be needing one of these pans or perhaps it’s bigger brother to make your life so much easier. A basic tool of the trade-in any professional kitchen, ovenproof and inexpensive. You will see me using them time and time again across my YouTube Channel
1 tbsp Spanish olive oil
1 Onion, sliced thinly
2 Cloves garlic
250g Black Pudding skinned and cut into thick slices
1 tsp Dried oregano
1 tsp Paprika
12 Slices of bread
2 tbsp Fino sherry
Sugar to taste
Salt and black pepper
Fresh oregano, chopped, to garnish
1. Heat up the olive oil in a large frying pan and fry the slices of onion and garlic with the dried oregano and paprika for around 7-8 minutes, until the onion has gone soft and is golden brown in colour.
2. Add the thick slices of black pudding (Morcilla) to the pan, increase the heat, and cook them for about 3 minutes without stirring them. Turn the slices over with a spatula and be careful not to break them. Cook for another 3 minutes until they are crisp.
3. Arrange the slices of bread on a large serving plate and add a slice of fried black pudding to each of them.
4. Stir the sherry into the onions and add a pinch of sugar to taste.
5. Heat the sherry, onion and sugar mixture, stirring constantly until it begins to bubble. Then season the mixture with salt and black pepper.
6. Spoon a small amount of the onion mixture onto each slice of Black Pudding.
7. Garnish the black pudding with the chopped, fresh oregano and then serve.
What’s Special about the Spanish Black Pudding?
Spaniards have a special love for pork and they are famous for eating the entire animal without wasting a bit. Perhaps Spain has a long history of making the most of one single animal. Perhaps they learned this during the civil wars when there had been a shortage of all kinds of food, so many culinary delights have oh so very humble origins.
Black pudding and Chorizo Clafoutis
120g Plain flour
Good pinch of salt
2 tsp Spanish olive oil
100g Black Pudding, peeled and crumbled
100g Raw Chorizo sausage, peeled and crumbled
2 Spring onions, thinly sliced including green parts
2 tbsp finely grated Manchego cheese
1. Preheat the oven to 240c and place in 200mm ovenproof frying pan in the oven to heat for about 5 minutes. This pan is my work horse, never wash it out or scrub it; simply wipe clean with paper towel. This allows the non-stickiness to build up each time you use it, I know it sounds odd and it took me some getting used too but it’s how the professionals do it in a commercial kitchen. Meanwhile, sift the flour into a large bowl, then add the eggs and salt and gradually whisk in the milk until a smooth batter forms.
2. Remove the hot frying pan from the oven, then add the butter and oil, swirling to combine. Once the butter has melted, quickly pour in the batter and sprinkle the black pudding, chorizo and spring onion over the top. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden and puffed. Sprinkle over the Manchego cheese and serve immediately.
Black Pudding Also known as Blood Sausage, Blood Pudding, Blood Cake
Closer to home, we are very familiar with the term Black Pudding; but perhaps less familiar with the two different types. Yes, that’s right there are two very different kinds of Black Pudding. Fresh and Dried. Almost all know that black pudding is made from blood. But few people know that their breakfast favourite is usually made from imported dried pigs blood, some from pigs reared in conditions we would not here in the UK.
The traditional English Black Pudding consists of oatmeal/pearl barley, onions, pork fat, pig’s blood, herbs and seasoning. It is the herbs, notably pennyroyal, that most characterised English Black Puddings; it is the inclusion of herbs that separates English Black Pudding from European versions, particularly the far creamier French variety [Boudin Noir].
There are a large number of English producers of black pudding however many of them are artisan, farmers or local butchers. It is, therefore, only consumers in the local region that have the opportunity to sample their puddings and I am lucky enough to be able to source this one locally from thefruitpigbutchery.
What’s your take on black pudding? Love it or loathe it, we really want to know what side you're on, please let us know in the comments section below.
I blog/vlog about everything PintxoTapas, the past and the future trends from San Sabastian being driven by Michelin starred chefs.
I am a self-taught semi-professional chef working in a 300 cover restaurant in Surrey UK. I love trying new things and testing them out with my family. Each recipe is tried and true, family-tested and approved, or sometimes not but you've got to push the boundaries. Inspired by cookbooks, other food blogs, TV chefs, and family recipes.
I try to make practical PintxoTapas recipes available on this site that can bring your family and friends together for an informal, but an amazing adventure into the world of Pintxo. As well as writing, I work on my YouTube channel and with suppliers to produce all sorts of video content, from interviews, how-to guides and recipe guides.
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