Jane Grigson’s Boudins Blancs de Paris

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

Appears in

The Feast of Christmas: Origins, Traditions and Recipes

The Feast of Christmas

By Paul Levy

Published 1992

  • About

In her Charcuterie and French Pork Cookery Jane Grigson gives several recipes for boudin blanc. As she says, it is normal in France to buy these from the charcutier; and you can buy them in London from Harrods and the Boucherie Lamartine, as you can from French butchers in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. But away from the bright lights and big cities, you just have to make your own. If you can get sausage casing (make a friend of your butcher), it is not difficult; and, as Jane Grigson says, it’s a good way of using up leftover chicken. The quantity produced by this recipe adaptation depends on the diameter of the sausage casing.

Ingredients

  • 230 g (8 oz) roast chicken or uncooked breast
  • 250 g (8 oz) lean pork, such as loin
  • 500 g ( lb) hard back fat mixed with flare fat from around the kidney
  • 350 g (12 oz, generous 2 cups) onion, chopped
  • 50 g (2 oz, 1 cup loosely packed) breadcrumbs, soaked in 4-6 Tbsp hot milk or light cream
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 level Tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • 1 tsp quatre-épices or ground allspice

For the poaching

  • 600 ml (1 pt, cups) milk

Method

The meat and fat must be very finely minced. Put them through the finest mincer blade twice, seasoning with salt, pepper and the spices and adding the onions for the second mincing. Or process with the steel blade, adding the seasonings and onions, then the soaked breadcrumbs and the eggs. If not using a food processor, beat in the breadcrumbs and eggs as thoroughly as possible. Fill the skins slackly; they will burst or explode if they’re too full. Tie them with thread to make sausages of 15 cm (6 in).

For their first cooking, in a fish kettle or large saucepan simmer the milk plus 1.2 litres (2 pints, 5 cups) water. Lower the sausages gently into the liquid in the poaching tray, or use a metal basket. As the sausages rise to the surface, prick them gently with a needle to keep them from exploding; they need about 20 mins total simmering, and the liquid must never boil. Raise them gently out of the poaching liquid and leave them to drain. The next day they are ready to eat and can be grilled, brushed with melted butter or fried.

Our own method is to brown them very carefully in butter, and then place them on a bed of peeled, cored and sliced apples in a gratin dish, and bake for 10-20 mins in a preheated 190°C (375°F gas mark 5) oven.