Archive for May, 2015

Pig’s Blood!

I went to the local Chinese grocery and stumbled upon a refrigerator case positively loaded with plastic tubs of fresh pig’s blood. I can try making blood sausages again! I also found pheasants, so I can try a recipe for a friend, and my daughter’s favourite guava candy (thus saving me a trip to the giant Chinese grocery at the other end of town). Sadly, there was no carp, so I may still need to make that trip. Apparently carp is a reasonable substitute for tench, and I would also like to test a tench recipe for that friend. Maybe I will try this recipe, from A True Gentlemwoman’s Delight (W.I., Gent, 1653, by Susan J. Evans, Falconwood Press, 1991, p0. 10.

To make Black Puddings.

Take your bloud when it is warm, put in some salt, and when it is cold houghly, put in your groats well pickt and let it stand soking a night, then put in hearbs, which must be Rosemary, large Savorie, Penniroyal, Thyme and Fennel, then make it soft with putting of good cream, hot until the bloud look pale, then beat four or five eggs whites and all, and mingle it, then season it with Cloves, Mace, Pepper, Fennel seeds, then put good store of Beef Suet in your stuffe, and mince your fat not to small.


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Today I tried pork sausages from Nyewen Coock Book (translated by C. Muusers and published on-line in July 2013).

Pork Sausages. Take pork meat that is fully grown. Cut parsley (in it). Eggs are chopped finely on a (work)bench. Then take cinnamon, ginger, saffron and a little pepper. Make it into powder and mix it in, and with this stuff (the sausages).

I used 1 lb ground pork, 2 Tbsp parsley, 1 jumbo egg, finely chopped, 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ground ginger, 1/4 tsp ground saffron and approximately 1/4 tsp pepper.

I chose those proportions because most recipes of the period tend to list ingredients in decreasing order of quantity, even if no exact amounts are given. Oddly, there is no salt in the recipe. It is almost certainly an oversight because salt is essential to preserving sausages, but I did it without to see what happens. Most have gone directly into the freezer, but I have saved two to boil and grill.

The next recipe was recipe 25 in Das Kuchbuch der Sabina Weserin.

If you would make good bratwurst. Take four pounds of pork and four pounds of beef and chop it finely. After that mix with it two pounds of bacon and chop it together and pour approximately one quart of water on it. Also add salt and pepper thereto, however you like to eat it, or if you would like to have some good herbs, you could take some sage and some marjoram, then you have good bratwurst.

I used 1 lb pork, 1 lb beef, 1/2 lb bacon, 1 c water, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp marjoram, 1 tsp sage, and about 3/4 tsp pepper.

As a side note, according to the Bratwurst Museum (http://www.bratwurstmuseum.net) there are 42 kinds of bratwurst in Germany. According to the On-line Etymology Dictionary, the word bratwurst comes from the old (12th C) High German word brato, which means lean meat, finely chipped calf or swine meat, and is related to the Proto-Germanic words bred-on- “roast flesh”. German folk etymology derives it from braten “to roast, bake, broil, grill,” and the Bratwurst Museum does note that Thuringian bratwursts must be roasted or grilled, and that to fry it is a sin.

Finally, I made another 1lb of Thuringian bratwurst, because it’s the best!

I’m getting more efficient at stuffing sausages on my own, but it really is a two-person job. I could have used these fellows in my kitchen today:

preparing sausages

The image of a man preparing sausages in a butcher’s shop is from the early 14th C, and is found in the Bodleian Library, University of Oxford, Ms. Douce 5, f.7.

I am out of pork for the moment, so I’m back to transcribing recipes and stocking up on ingredients.

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Pudding of porpoise

This recipe, from Harleian MS 279, is reproduced in Take a Thousand Eggs or More Volume Two, by Cindy Renfrow (self published, 1990), page 122. I do not intend to make it, of course, but it shows the range of animals that were cooked and preserved. 40. Pudding of porpoise. Take the Blood of him, & the grease of him self, & Oatmeal, & Salt, & Pepper, & Ginger, & mix these together well, & then put this in the Gut of the porpoise, & then let it seethe easily, & not hard, a good while; & then take him up, & broil him a little, & then serve forth. Renfrow speculates that this is a recipe for haggis made with the stomach of a porpoise instead of a sheep, but it is possible that Gut is being used literally and refers to the intestines. This would be consistent with the other early pudding recipes I have been finding (more to come on those). I couldn’t find a medieval picture of a porpoise, though I did find many whales. I loved this image from 1555, though. I can’t identify any of the fish for certain except for the huge flounder! It comes from the University of York’s Environment Department, in its gallery “An Unnatural History of the Sea”. fishing

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From the Opera of Bartolomeo Scappi  (1570)

  1. To make mortadella (the largest of all sausages, originally made in Bologna) from lean meat of a domestic pig’s leg, wrapped in a caul.

Get ten pounds of the above meat without any bone, skin or gristle, which meat has both fat and lean. Beat it with knives on a table, adding in eight ounces of ground salt, six ounces of dry sweet fennel, four ounces of crushed pepper, one ounce of ground cinnamon and half an ounce of ground cloves; everything should be mixed together with your hand. Add in four ounces of cold water, mint and sweet marjoram beaten with a little wild thyme. Let that sit in an earthenware or wooden vessel for four hours in a cool place. Get that pig’s caul, with any hairs thoroughly cleaned off (ie dirt from handling), and softened in warm water. With the mixture and the caul make up mortadelle in the manner of tommacelle (ie wrapped into small balls). When they are finished, let them sit in a dry place for two days in winter. Then cook them on a grill, or else in a pan with melted rendered fat. The tommacelle can also be cooked on a spit interspersed with bay leaves; and mortadella can also be put lengthwise on a spit surrounded with sprigs of rosemary. Whichever way they are cooked, they need to be served hot.

With that same stuffing mixture, you can fill pork intestines which have first sat in salt. When they are filled, they can be left sitting for two days in winter, then they can be boiled. After the lean meat has been beaten you can also make saveloy sausages of it using the caul or intestines – for every ten pounds of it putting in a pound and a half of grated Parmesan cheese, an ounce and a half of ground cinnamon, another ounce and a half of ground pepper, and eighth of an ounce of saffron, half a beaker of cool water and three ounces of salt. When you have mixed all that together, you make the saveloy sausage with the caul or the intestines and cook them as above.

You can also make tommacelle with it, in a caul, adding in eight ounces of raisins and eight ounces of egg yolk. In winter those tommacelle will be much better after two days.

I shall not say anything about mortadella and other salamis that are made from that meat because they have never fallen within my professional concern (ie these were likely purchased from a local tradesman).

Note that the second tommacelle recipe (for saveloy sausages) is very similar to Lancelot de Casteau’s recipe for Mortadelle.


1 lb pork

1/8 cup minced fennel

1 tsp pepper

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp clove

I completely forgot about the marjoram and thyme, so I have sprinkled it over the resting sausages. I dislike mint, so just left it out of the recipe.

I tested yesterday’s bratwurst that I accidentally made with fennel instead of caraway, and they taste just fine. I now realize the difference between the bratwursts sold in Canada and the ones I like from Germany – Canadian bratwursts are more like the Danish recipe, with beef. Thuringian wursts are the best! I plan to make lots of these – it is entirely possible that family members will be getting bags of bratwurst for Christmas and birthday presents.

Here is a picture of today’s sausages in the smoker. On the top rack, we have bratwurst that has bee boiled, then dried in a warm oven overnight. To the top of the lower rack I have placed Martino’s sausage, that rested overnight in the refrigerator. Towards the bottom is the simple Menagier de Paris recipe. It is supposed to dry near the fire (but not in too much smoke) for four days. It will have to settle for about eight hours of smoking in my modern smoker.


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Tired feet are only because I stood in my kitchen for most of the day, when I’m supposed to be resting following foot surgery. But what a successful day!

Blood sausage second try – this time I used a modified modern version that had elements of the one found in The English Housewife, but spicing that approached that in Bartolomeo Scappi.


A scant cup of pig’s blood (it was all I had, and it was too watery for the lovely black colour I had hope to get)

½ tsp salt

2 c water

¼ c steel-cut oatmeal

½ medium yellow onion, finely chopped

¼ c milk

½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

¼ tsp poudre fort

I should have included ½ c finely diced pork fat, but forgot to include it!

I cooked the oats for 15 minutes in the water for 15 minutes. Next time, I would add a bit more water and cook them longer. They were supposed to be just tender, but I found them to be a little underdone.

Pour the blood through a fine sieve to remove any lumps, then put it in a bowl with the fatm, onion, milk, pepper, poudre fort and salt. Add the oatmeal and mix, then stuff casings and boil the sausages for 10-15 minutes.

I found the recipe to be a little too peppery and it didn’t have the rich flavour and mouth-feel of blood sausage, but that would probably be fixed if I included the fat!

Next up was Maestro Martino’s version of lucanian sausage.


1 lb lean and fat pork

1 tsp salt

½ tsp ground fennel

½ tsp ground pepper

I mixed this up and it is currently resting in the refrigerator. I’ll put it into casings and smoke it tomorrow.

Then I made a similar recipe from Menagier de Paris (recipe 353).


1 lb pork (lean and fat)

1 tsp salt

½ tsp fennel

¼ tsp poudre douce

½ tsp pepper

I filled the casings but have put them in the refrigerator overnight so they can be smoked with the Martino sausages tomorrow. I fried a bit to test the spice levels and it was really tasty, even before smoking.

Then it was on to the Germanic recipes.

The first was from Das Kuchbuch der Sabina Welserin (a German cookbook from 1553, V. Armstrong, translation):

  1. How one should make Zervelat. First take four pounds for pork from the tender area of the leg and two pounds of bacon. Let this be finely chopped and add to it three ounces of salt, one pound of grated cheese, one and one half ounces of pepper and on and one half ounces of ginger. When it is chopped then knead the following into it, one and one half ounces cinnamon, one fourth ounce of cloves, on fourth ounce of nutmeg and one ounce of sugar. The sausage skins must be cleaned and subsequently colored yellow, for which one needs not quite one fourth ounce of saffron. Tie it up on both ends and pour in approximately one quart of fresh water. The entire amount of salt, ginger and pepper should not be added, taste it first and season it accordingly. It should be cooked about as long as to cook eggs. The seasoning and the salt must be put into it according to one’s own discretion, it must be tried first.

I mostly followed this recipe, though I didn’t colour the sausage skins yellow with saffron, and I didn’t taste test before filling the casings (which I normally do).


1 ¼ lb pork and pork belly, ground

¼ lb bacon (the proportions were wrong, but I didn’t have quite enough bacon)

4 oz grated cheese (I used havarti)

1 ½ tsp pepper

1 ½ tsp cinnamon

1 ½ tsp ginger

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp salt

½ tsp ground cloves

½ tsp ground nutmeg

Water to add to the mixture so that it is easier to stuff into the casings. This really made a difference, and I will be remembering to add water to more of my recipes.

Then it was time for bratwurst. The first is from Koge Bog, a Danish cookbook from 1616 (Martin Forest, translator)

XXU – To Make bratvurst. Take the meat off the shoulder and cut it into pieces. Pull the ligaments well off. Thereafter take a third part good tender beef and chop well small. Thereafter chop the two arts pork meat with the beef so that they are well mixed. Mix it well with salt, crushed pepper, half-crushed nutmeg flowers, marjoram, thyme and Danish cumin. The sausages should be made in the biggest pork intestines. When they are filled they should be put into clean water seething over the fire, and then quickly be taken out again and be hung overnight next to a warm oven to dry. And then be hung in the smoker in cold smoke. This way they are cured and can be eaten raw.


2 lb pork and pork belly

1 lb beef

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

1 tsp marjoram

1 tsp thyme

1 tsp crushed fennel (I should have used caraway seed, which is Danish cumin, but I thought caraway would taste funny. My mistake – I’ll be remaking this with caraway, as I discovered in the next recipe that caraway is an essential ingredient in traditional bratwurst, at least most of the time) water

I still need to boil this and dry it in my oven overnight, then I’ll throw it on the smoker tomorrow.

The last sausage recipe of the day was Thuringian rostbratwurst, for which a purity law dating back to 1432 has been found. According to an article in the Washington Post from December 2, 2007, it decreed that bratwurst in the city of Weimar be made only from “pure, fresh” pork. Forbidden were beef, internal organs, parasites and anything rancid. Thuringian sausages are the most popular in Germany, and are distinguished from the many other kinds of bratwurst by their distinctive spices: salt, pepper, marjoram, and other options such as mace, allspice, caraway, cardamom, garlic, or lemon rind.


1 lb pork

1 tsp salt

½ tsp pepper

¼ tsp nutmeg (I didn’t have mace, but nutmeg comes from the same tree and smells similar)

¼ tsp marjoram

I boiled and then grilled one for supper, and it tasted just like the bratwursts I remember from my youth in Germany. This recipe is a definite keeper!

Finally, I decided to try using some of my growing sausage collection in an actual recipe. I made the Menagier de Paris recipe for cabbage. As you may recall, it is: “If you prepare cabbage on a fish day, boil it, cook it in warm water, and add oil and salt. Item, some add meal. Item, instead of oil, some put butter in. On a meat day you might add pigeons, sausages and hare, coots and plenty of bacon.”  I chopped up some cabbage and boiled it in salted water with a handful of steel cut oatmeal. I then added some oil and braised it slightly. In a separate pan, I fried some bacon and sliced Bolognese sausage, then mixed everything together. Here’s how it looked before stirring it up, along with some of the Menagier de Paris sausage on the left, lucanian sausage from Apicius on the right, and my horn stuffer at the bottom:



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Black pudding (also known as blood pudding, boudin noir, kiszka) traces its roots to ancient fresh sausages composed of pig’s blood mixed with thickeners. Recipes evolved according to culture and cuisine. Where and when were the first blood puddings made? Jean-Francois Revel credits Ancient Greece: “Aphtonitas, the inventor of blood sausage.” in Culture and Cuisine: A Journey Through the History of Food (p. 29).

What is black pudding? “Black pudding is a sausage…made from pig’s blood with some thickening agent, such as cereal, and spices. Its name–a reference to the darkened colour of the cooked blood–is of long standing…The synonymous blood pudding is equally ancient, but nowadays much less usual. In England, the Midlands and the North are the great areas of black pudding appreciation; Bury in Lancashire is often claimed as the black pudding capital. But black puddings form an essential part of the basic peasant cuisine of many other European countries…Elsewhere in Europe a black pudding is a blutwurst (Germany) or a kashanka (Poland).” —An A to Z of Food and Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 31)

“Blood sausages, sausages filled with blood, with cereal or other vegetable matter to absorb this, and fat. The most familiar type is the black pudding or boudin noir, English and French terms for much the same thing. It is pudding in the old sense of something enclosed in a sausage skin. The black pudding is probably the most ancient of sausages or puddings. Some would claim this distinction for haggis, but the earliest mention in literature is of something tending more towards black pudding, at least in its filling. Book 18 of Homer’s Odyssey, around 1000 BC, refers to a stomach filled with blood and fat and roasted over a fire. The reason of such dishes is clear enough. When a pig is killed it is bled, and a large amount of blood becomes available. This has a very short keeping time if not preserved. Putting it into one of the vessels which the entrails of animals conveniently furnish, along with other offal with a limited keeping time, is an obvious solution. The oldest detailed recipe for black pudding, in the compilation attributed to Apicus (material of the first few centuries AD), calls for lengths of intestine, rather than a stomach, as the container. It is a rich recipe with no cereal, but chopped hard-boiled egg yolks, pine kernels, onions, and leeks. Common black puddings of the time were probably made with cereal. In medieval Europe it was not unusual for even relatively poor families to own a pig, which was slaughtered in the autumn. Black puddings were therefore made everywhere.” —Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 82)

“Sausages were also a great favourite; indeed from Greek times they appeared to have been a staple of the kitchen in all countries. Perhaps the reason lies in their economical way of using all the odd bits of the carcass and once well seasoned, moistened with tasty fat, the smoking and drying intensifying the flavour; they become an addiction in a country’s food, reflecting the tastes of a region in their use of particular flavourings. Some aspects of the Roman Lucanian sausage had remained with the Anglo-Saxons…This is a highly seasoned sausage with pepper, cumin, savory, rue and mixed herbs packed into the cleaned intestine and then smoked…Late autumn was the time to make black puddings, which became a delicacy to be eaten on feast days. There could be puddings of porpoise, mixed with oatmeal, seasoning and blood, or of capon’s neck where the stuffing was forced into the neck then roasted with the bird…How much spice was used in recipes must have been a personal choice partly dictated by economics.” —British Food: An Extraordinary Thousand Years of History, Colin Spencer [Columbia University Press:New York] 2002 (p. 90)

“When the pig was killed black puddings were…a great mainstay of the [Medieval] peasant kitchen and would remain so for the next 600 years. Out of the annual pig killing came such dishes as brawn, souse–the ears, cheeks, snout and trotters a pickled in brine or ale–as well as the puddings, enjoyed as festive food around Christmastide.” —ibid (p. 94)

“Much of Roman cookery was highly spiced; and nowhere were the spices more prominent than in the sausages and black puddings of the period. Made usually in the cleaned intestine or caul (omentum) of pig, sheep or goat, they were a sophisticated development of the more primitive haggis. Some were produced for immediate eating, but others were smoked a long while above the hearth before they came to table…The tradition of sausage making lingered on in northern Europe after the end of the western Roman empire. The Anglo-Saxons developed their own versions. Although their recipes have not survived Lucanian sausages appear in a Latin and Anglo-Saxon vocabulary as part of a list of pig products…The Norman Conquest brought the sausage varieties of Norman-French cookery into English cuisine…Sausages were made from the lean pork; and black puddings from the animal’s blood. The town cookshops often sold sausages and black puddings, and at least sometimes tainted meat was used in their manufacture. The best and also the safest were those made at home…Black puddings were also made at pig-killing time and the favourite season for this was late autumn. The animal’s blood was blended with minced onions and diced fat, spiced with ginger, cloves and a little pepper, and stuffed into lengths of intestine. The puddings could be kept for up to three days, and were boiled in water before being eaten. In Britain puddings, rich with blood, fat and spices, became quite a delicacy, to be eaten on high days and holidays. The word pudding, moreover, soon took on a wider meaning than that of blood-sausage, and came to be associated with the idea of stuffing of any kind…The pudding of porpoise was a dish for the nobility. The pig was the source of puddings for common folk. Take the blood of the swine, and swing it, then put thereto minced onions largely with salt, and the suet of the god minced’, begins an Elizabethan recipe…[Early modern period] Both black blood-puddings and sausages continued to be made from the traditional ingredients…Both black and white puddings were well liked in Tudor and Stuart times…” —Food and Drink in Britain From the Stone Age to the 19th Century, C. Anne Wilson [Academy Chicago:Chicago] 1991 (p. 308-315)

Brid Mahon’s Land of Milk and Honey: The Story of Traditional Irish Food and Drink offers these notes on Celtic traditions:

“Most households killed a pig at certain times of the year, and in the more substantial farms seeral pigs were usually killed on the same day. Certain superstitions were once observed regarding the time of killing. A pig should never be killed unless there was a letter R in the month, which meant in effect that pigs were seldom slaughtered during the summer months. In the counties of Mayo and Galway it was believed that killing should take place under a full moon. If the animal was killed when the moon was waning the meat would reduce in size, while if the killing was done when the moon was waxing or full the meat would increase. Killing the pig was an important social occasion, for it meant full and plenty for all. Each neighbour who came to help with the pig killing brought a handful of salt for the curing, and when the work eas done each would get a share of the puddings and the fresh pork. The slaughtering was done by the men, but it was the women who were responsible for curing and smoking the hams and bacons…Whe the pig was killed the blood was collected in a vessel and used to make black puddings. In Ring, Co Waterford, they described the old method used:

Long ago when they killed pigs they kept the intestines to make puddings. They washed them clear in a running stream and they were left to soak in spring water overnight. The casings were cut into fifteen inch lengths, tied at one end. Salt, lard, oatmeal, finely chopped onions, spices, peppers and cloves, together with a cup of flour were mixed with the pig’s blood which had been collected in a bucket. Each pudding was three-quarters filled and tied at the end. It was dropped into a pot half-filled with water which had been brought to simmering point, cooked for about an hour, then taken up, allowed to cool, and divided amongst the neighbours. This was always done. When needed for use puddings were fried in a pan.” —Land of Milk and Honey: The Story of Traditional Irish Food and Drink, Brid Mahon [Mercier Press:Cork] 1998 (p. 58-9)

Kiszka: Polish Blood Pudding Blood sausages and puddings such as Polish kiszka have ancient roots. According to the food historians, pork products of various sorts were very popular in medieval Poland:

“In medieval Poland, two distinct types of pigs were raised for general consumption and there were doubtless a number of gradations between the two extremes. The first was called the “great swine,” a half-wild, half-domesticated razorback often illustrated in medieval manuscripts. The other–small, mean, and not easily domesticated–was known in Polish as “swamp hog”…Archaeological evidence confirms the high proportion of pork in the Polish diet at this time [1380]…Specific pork products mentioned in period texts include scoldre or soldre (ham), salsucia (sausage), and farcimina (blood pudding or blood sausage–called kiszka in modern Polish). Blood sausage was introduced to Poland before A.D. 1000 from German-speaking areas. It is known that beer was supplied to the royal kitchens for the purpose of preparing a blood soup called czernina or juszka in old Polish and referred to as iusculum in Latin. Blood from ducks, geese, and pigs was used…The farcimina, according to Szymon Syrennius’s discussion in connection with millet kaska, “are used for stuffing blood sausages of pork and beef, having first been cooked in the fat. Farcimina appears in much earliers sources in a similar context, so there is little doubt as to what is meant by it. Similar sausages using various tupes of grain stuffings are still made in Poland today…Regarding methods of preparation, fried pork must have been popular because Polish texts often mention frying pans.” —Food and Drink in Medieval Poland: Rediscovering a Cuisine of the Past, Maria Dembinska, translated by Magdalena Thomas, Revised and Adapted by William Woys Weaver [University of Pennsylvania Press:Philadelphia] 1999 (p. 88-90)

Survey of black pudding recipes through time

[Ancient Rome: Apicius] “Black Pudding Botellum sic facies: sex ovi vitellis coctis, nucleis pineis concisei cepam, porrum concisum, ius crudum misces, piper minutum et sic intestinum farcies. Adidies liquamen et vinum et sic coques.

“Blood sausage is made as follows: 6 hard-boiled egg yolks, finely chopped pine kernels mixed with onion, finely sliced leek. Mix raw blood with finely ground pepper and fill a pig’s intestine with this. Add wine and liquamen and cook. (Ap. 55)

“Take 1 litre of blood, 6 hard-boiled egg yolks, 1 small leeek, 1 onion, 200 g pine kernels and 3 teaspoons of finely ground pepper. Season the blood with salt. Chop the onion and the leek finely in a food-processor. Add the mashed egg yolks, then the blood, and mix thorougly. Funnel the mixture with the coarsely chopped pine kernels into a pig’s intestine, then twist in into sausages. Put the sausages into cold white wine with garum and bring it slowly to the bpil. Simmer until they are cooked.” —Around the Roman Table: Food and Feasting in Ancient Rome, Patrick Faas [Palgrave Macmillan:New York] 1994, 2003 (p. 260-261)

[1393] “Item, pour faire boudins, aiez le sang du porc recueilli en un bel bacin ou paelle, et quant vous aurez entendu à vostre pourcel veoir deffaire, et fait laver très bien et mis cuire vostre froissure, et tandis qu’elle cuira, ostez du fons du bacin les coles du sang et gettez hors; et après, aiez oignons pelés et mincés jusques à la montance de la moitié du sang, avec la montance de la moitié de la gresse qui est entre les boyaulx, que l’on appelle l’entrecerelle5 des boyaulx, mincée menue comme dés, ensemble un petit de sel broyé, et gettez ou sang. Puis, aiez gingembre, clou, et pou de poivre, et broiez tout ensemble. Puis, aiez les menus boyaulx bien lavés, renversés et essangés6 en rivière courant, et pour oster la freschumée,7 aiez-les mis en une paelle sur le feu, et remuez; puis, mettez sel avec; et faites seconde fois, et encores troisième fois: et puis lavez, et après renversez et les lavez, puis mettez essuier sur une touaille; et les pousser et estraindre8 pour seicher. (L’en dit l’entrecerele et sont les gras boiaulx qui ont gresse dedens que l’en arrache à un coustel). Après ce que vous aurez mis et adjousté par esgales portions et quantités, pour autant de sang [p. 126] moitié d’oignons, et pour autant de sang, au quart de gresse, et puis quant vos boudins seront de ce emplis, faites-les cuire en une paelle en l’eaue de froissure, et picquiez d’une espingle quant ils s’enflent, ou autrement ils crèveroient. Nota que le sang se garde bien deux jours, voire trois, puis que les espices sont dedens. Et aucuns pour espices, ont poulieul,9 grant sarriette, ysope, marjolaine, queullis10 quant ils sont en fleur et puis séchés, pilés, pour espices. Et quant à la froissure, mettez-la en un pot de cuivre pour cuire au feu, tout entière et sans sel, et mettez le long de la gorge dehors le pot, car par la froissure s’escumera; et quant elle sera cuite, si l’ostez et pour faire le potage la regardez. Pour faire boudins de foie, prenez deux morceaulx de foie, deux morceaulx de mol, un morcel de gresse, et mettez en un bouel11 avecques du sang: et au surplus comme dessus. Nota que l’en fait bien boudins du sang d’une oé,12 mais qu’elle soit maigre, car de la maigre les boyaulx sont plus larges que de la grasse.” —Le Menagier De Paris

English translation of above recipe: “Item, to make black pudding, have the pig blood collected in a fair basin or pan, and when you intend to see your pig destroyed, have the lights washed very well and put on to cook, and as soon as it is cooked, take from the bottom of the pan the sticky lumps of blood and take them out; and then, have onions peeled and chopped to the amount of half the blood, with the amount of half the suet which is among the guts, which is called the “entrecercle” of the guts, chopped as small as dice, together with a little ground salt, and throw it in the blood. Then, have ginger, clove, and a little pepper, and grind it all together. Then, have the small guts well washed, turned inside out and all blood removed in a running river, and to remove the dampness, have them placed in a pan on the fire, and stir; then, add salt; and do this a second time, and yet a third time: and then wash, and turn inside out and wash them, then place to dry on a towel; and squeeze and wring them to dry. (They say the “entrecercle” and these are the large guts which have suet inside which you get out with a knife). After you have added and adjusted by the right amounts and quantities, so that you have half as much onions as blood, and a quarter as much suet as blood, and then when your black puddings are filled with this, put them to cook in a pan in the water from the lights, and prick with a pin when they swell, or otherwise they will burst. Note that the blood keeps well for two days, in truth for three, since the spices are inside. And some for spices, have pennyroyal, great savory, hyssop, marjoram, gathered when they are in flower and then dried, ground, for spices. And as for the lights, put in a copper pot to cook on the fire, complete and without salt, and put the length of the groove (throat) outside the pot, so that the liquid may be skimmed; and when it is cooked, take it out and consider it for making soup. To make black puddings with liver, take two pieces of liver, two pieces of lung, a piece of suet, and place in a gut with blood: and with the remainder as above. Note that you can make nice black puddings from a goose, but it will be thin, and because of the thinness the guts are bigger than the suet.”

[1570] To make blood sausages (sanguinacci) from the blood of a domestic pig. Just as soon as the pig is killed, drain of its blood, and as it is draining put it through a filter or through a fine-meshed strainer: that is done so that hairs and other dirt do not get into the blood. When it has been filtered and is still warm, break it up with your hand because if it coagulates you cannot make black pudding of it. For every six pounds of blood, put a pound of fresh goat’s or cow’ milk into it – which milk should be somewhat warm – eight ounces of sugar, one and a half ounces of ground cinnamon, half an ounce of cloves, half an ounce of pepper, a quarter-ounce of ground nutmeg, a pound of fresh pork kidney-fat – with the skin off it and cut up into bits – half a pound of very clean dry currants, an ounce and a half of crushed raw aniseed, three ounces of salt and four ounces of onion – beaten and sautéed without burning. Then get large and small pork intestines that are very clean inside and out, and put that composition into the intestines, stuffing them but without bursting them: to make sure they will not burst, for every two handswidths of intestine stuff one and leave the other empty. When they are tied at each end so the stuffing cannot come out, put them carefully one by one into warm water in such a way that the stuffing fills out everywhere, and let them boil for a quarter of an hour. Then take them out. If you want to keep them for more than a day, keep them covered with a white linen cloth in a place that is dry and away from air currents. When you want to use them, warm them up in a broth and then cook them again on a grill. They can also be washed in melted rendered fat so they will not dry out; alternatively they can be kept on a slice of pork fat. They are served hot with mustard or some other sauce in dishes.

If you want them with broth, as is done in Milan, when they have parboiled, take them out of their first broth and put them into another pot with a meat broth, along with a pig’s ears and snout – first semi-salted for a day, then cooked. To cook with all that put in some sage, getting a few tips of it. When those black puddings are cooked, serve them dressed with their broth, the snouts and ears. When they have cooled, they can also be sliced crosswise and sautéed in a pan in melted rendered fat and beaten spring onions. They are served hot with pepper and orange juice over them.

If you want to make black pudding (migliacci), follow the directions given in Recipes 67 and 68 of the book on pastry. With pig’s blood you can make all those dishes that are made with calf’s blood in Recipe 59. The Opera of Bartolomeo Scappi, translated with commentary by Terence Scully, University of Toronto Press 2008, pp 190-191.

Recipe 67. To prepare a tourte of a domestic pig’s blood, popularly calld blood pudding. Get the blood immediately after the animal has been slaughtered and, still warm, put it through a strainer for hairs and any other dirt, stirring it so it does not coagulate. For every four pounds of blood, put in a pound and a half of grated creamy cheese, six ounces of grated dry cheese, one ounce of cinnamon, half an ounce of pepper, three-quarters of an ounce of nutmeg and cloves combined, a quarter-ounce of ground ginger, a pound of sugar, beaten mint, marjoram and other fine herbs, a little spring onion, beaten and sautéed, a pound of beef marrow or else that pig’s kidney-fat, without its membrane – the marrow or the fat cut up into lumps – one-third of a litre of milk, four beaten egg yolks, and four ounces of very clean raisins. Then have a tourte pan ready with a rather thick sheet of dough in it, without the twist; into it put the filling, which should be somewhat runny rather than thick. Bake it in an oven or braise it with a low heat. When it is almost done, give it a glazing of sugar and cinnamon. Serve it hot.

You can stuff intestines with that filling, cooking them the way blood sausages are cooked. You can also do it without a pie shell: into the pan put rendered fat or butter, heating it up hot before the filling is put in: that is done so it will not stick.

68. To prepare another tourte of pork blood, popularly called white blood pudding. Get four pounds of blood, strained as above, two pounds of goat’s or cow’s milk, four well beaten eggs, three ounces of fine flour, mint, marjoram, raisins and a pound of sugar. When everything is mixed together with the spices mentioned above, make a tourte with it in the above ways. With those two mixtures you can fill tartare (a sort of crustless or shellless tourte, the recipe for which is found at Recipe 86 in the pastry section) in the French style; serve them hot with sugar, cinnamon and rosewater over them. (Scappi, pp 468-469).

59. Several ways to cook the above calf’s blood. Although these preparations are not common, they can still be done in various ways, such as the lung is done. As soon as it is taken out of the animal, though, parboil it, unsalted, in a large pot with a lot of water – and put the blood into boiling water because if you put it in cold water, being heavier it will sink to the bootom and stick there. When parboiled, take it out, let it cool, and cut it into slices or into bits. Set those to sauté in a pan with spring onions. Serve it with salt and orange juice over it. If you want it differently, follow the directions I gave for the calf’s lung in Recipe 56. (Scappi, p 165)

[1575] “To Make Black Pudding. Take great oatmeal and lay it in milk to steep. Then take sheep’s blood and put to it, and take ox white and mince into it. Then take a few sweet herbs and two or three leek blades and chop tjem [them] very small. Then put into it the yolks of some eggs, and season it with cinnamon, ginger, cloves, mace, pepper and salt. And so fill them.” —The Good Housewife’s Jewel, Thomas Dawson, with an introduction by Maggie Black [Southover Press:East Sussex] 1996 (p. 44)

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I decided to try the Menagier de Paris recipe for boudin, posted earlier (https://wordpress.com/post/8732618/1671). The key difference compared to English blood sausage recipes seems to be the lack of oatmeal. I’m not sure whether my carefully saved blood had too much water in it, or whether the oatmeal somehow changes it, but the sausage did not have the characteristic dark red (almost black) colour I associate with blood sausage. It was delicious and quite economical though. I used about 1 1/2 c of blood, an onion, 1/2 c of fat, 1 tsp of salt, and 1/2 tsp each of ginger and ground cloves. The only real change to the recipe was that I boiled it in leftover liquid with some extra water, as I had no water from boiling the haslet (viscera). Here is how much I got, boiling in a very large frying pan:



One of the other recipes I have looked at this week suggested blowing air into the intestines to make the filling slide in more easily. I had tried it with the last batch I made, and it did help. It wasn’t quite as effective with the blood sausage, but I think that may be largely because it had bigger chunks and was sometimes difficult to squish through my little horn sausage stuffer.

I will be trying at least one more version of blood pudding, and its counterpart – white pudding – to compare with this.

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