Blood sausage has been on our bucket list for some time, however, we were under the impression that it was very difficult to locate a commercial source of blood. The option of using deer blood has been tossed around the table a few times and always sounded like a reasonable undertaking while talking hunting at the neighborhood pub, but the beer bravado inspired idea is more problematic to execute in the field. Furthermore, I am not a fan of head shots on deer. Alas, the idea of making blood sausage has always seemed so close yet so far away from being realized until recently, when we discovered that there was a source of fresh pig’s blood that had been right under our noses this whole time. One of our local Asian markets in Memphis, from which we frequently shop, sells pig’s blood in a tucked away corner of the meat department. A convenient discovery with just enough time before St Patrick’s Day!
We followed Dave Bowers’ recipe for Black Pudding, which is actually a recipe to make “Blood Cake”, though we concludes that it would stuff into a sausage casing easily enough. The ingredient list is very simple and Old World:
- 4 cups fresh pig’s blood
- 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 1/2 cups steel-cut (pinhead) oatmeal
- 2 cups finely diced pork fat (or beef suet), finely chopped
- 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 cup milk
- 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
We also added a bit of Nutmeg and Cinnamon. The process itself was remarkably simple, though quite messy. The finished product was excellent and a big hit during our St. Patrick’s Day dinner that featured corned venison and hash. Oddly enough, the taste is something akin and very familiar to traditional, American Thanksgiving food: A warm, “turkey and gravy” flavor, if you will.
One a side note, I found the leftovers to make excellent Pre-Workout breakfast fare (currently in a rigorous training schedule for a backpack style, Elk hunting trip to Colorado this Fall). Blood sausage/blood cake/black pudding has everything you need to get going in the morning. Though, steel cut oats are not considered “Paleo”, many people who adhere to the Paleo diet, especially athletes, use steel cut oats (and sweet potatoes) as a source of energy.
So, if you can get your hands on some fresh pig’s blood (we highly suggest scouring the Asian markets), don’t be intimidated to give this one a try. Even if you lack sausage stuffing experience or even charcuterie/sausage making experience in general, the blood cake is a very simple undertaking so long as you are willing to deal with the cleanup 🙂