Black pudding is known throughout the British Isles, but is especially popular in the Midlands and the North. The chief ingredient, pig’s blood, must be drawn immediately the animal is killed and stirred constantly to remove fibres and to prevent clotting. Scalded pig intestines are used for the sausage skins. (Sausage skins, also called ‘casings’, can be ordered from your butcher. Or – horror of horrors - you can buy artificial ones.) Instead of putting the pudding mixture into sausage skins, however, you can simply turn it into a greased baking tin and
Cook the barley, rice or groats in four times its volume of water until just soft. Mix the oatmeal with salt and pepper and stir to a paste with a little strained blood. Add the cereal, suet or fat, onions and the remaining strained blood to the oatmeal mixture. Put into the skins through a funnel, stirring the mixture frequently to prevent the fat from separating out.
Tie the sausage skins loosely and drop into hot (but not boiling) water; the addition of black pudding dye will ensure an attractive dark finish. Boil for 20 minutes or until no blood comes out when a pudding is pricked with a needle.
To serve, heat the puddings through in hot water for 10 to 15 minutes, or score at intervals and grill for 4 minutes on each side.
Alternatively, cut into rounds and grill or fry in lard. Serve with eggs for breakfast or with a mixed grill for lunch or high tea. In Derbyshire and Staffordshire, black pudding slices are served on oatcakes with fried eggs on top.
© 1988 Keith Floyd estate. All rights reserved.