Black pudding is a unique regional form of blood sausage native to the UK and Ireland. It is made of pork meat, with pork fat or suet beef, and a cereal, usually oatmeal, oat groats, or barley groats. Along with the use of other herbs such as pennyroyal, the high proportion of cereal helps to differentiate black pudding from blood sausages consumed elsewhere in the world.
Blood puddings are often believed to be one of the oldest sausage types. Animals are usually bled at slaughter, and since blood does not hold unless it is prepared in some way, making a pudding of it is one of the best ways to ensure that it does not go to waste. While most modern black pudding recipes contain pork blood, this has not always been the case. In the past, sheep or cow blood was also used.
One English recipe from the 15th century used blood from a porpoise, in a pudding eaten exclusively by the nobility. Almost all of the traditional UK recipes include stirring the fresh blood, incorporating fat and some sort of rusk, and seasoning, before filling the mixture into a casing and boiling it. Natural beef intestine casings have been used in the past, but current commercially produced puddings use synthetic cellulose skins and are usually made from imported dried blood.
About English Black Pudding
Compared with continental blood sausages, the relatively limited variety of ingredients and the use of oats or barley to thicken and absorb the blood is characteristic of black pudding. Despite this, there are still regional variations of black pudding recipes across the country, with many butchers making their own individual variants.
Often breadcrumbs or flour are used to replace the oats or barley. Pennyroyal, marjoram, thyme, and mint are all common flavors as well. In Yorkshire’s North Riding, pennyroyal was known as pudding-herb for its use in black puddings.
Black pudding may be grilled, fried, baked, or boiled. It can also be eaten cold after being cooked in the production process. Throughout parts of northwestern England, it was customary to serve a whole black pudding boiled as a complete meal.
You can also add bread or potatoes to it. Elsewhere in the UK and Ireland, slices of fried or grilled black pudding are more generally eaten as part of a typical full breakfast, a practice that followed British and Irish emigrants around the world.
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