Morcilla de Burgos

Spanish Blood Pudding from Burgos

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Makes

    Five

    500 G 1 lb 2 oz ) Morcilla

Appears in

MoVida

By Frank Camorra and Richard Cornish

Published 2007

  • About

Light, delicate, perfumed with a touch of spices and with a melt-in-the-mouth texture, morcilla is the small good of Spain. Made by traditional small goods makers, morcillas hang from the ceiling in great rows of burgundy-coloured loops.

Sautéed and cooked with eggs, they make the most indulgent and fragrant morcilla revueltos (scrambled eggs with Spanish blood pudding). Sliced thickly and roasted in a cast-iron pan in a 180°C (350°F/Gas 4) oven for 10 minutes, morcilla puffs up and becomes light and fluffy. With their mix of sweet, savoury and spice, morcillas are perfect with a little glass of amontillado wine.

Oh, and by the way, did I mention they are made with lard, pork fat and pig’s blood?

Ingredients

  • 1.5 m (4.9 feet) long, about 36 mm ( inch) wide sausage casing
  • 1 garlic bulb, unpeeled
  • 1.25 kg (2 lb 12 oz) onions, roughly chopped
  • 250 g (9 oz) white short-grain rice
  • 125 g ( oz) lard, at room temperature
  • 375 g (13 oz) back fat, coarsely minced
  • 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) pig’s blood
  • 1 level teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fine sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • pinch of ground cloves
  • pinch of ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon Spanish sweet paprika
  • 2 teaspoons Spanish hot paprika
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano

Method

Soak the sausage casing in fresh cold water for 12 hours, changing the water several times.

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4). Place the unpeeled garlic in a small roasting tin and roast for about 30 minutes until very tender. Remove the skin and finely chop two of the cloves. (The remaining garlic can be used for making garlic butter, or other recipes that call for roasted garlic.)

Put the onion in a large saucepan, cover with cold water and place over high heat. Boil for 12 minutes until the onion is cooked but still a little firm. Drain well, as excess water in the onion will make the sausages too soft.

Put the rice into a large saucepan and add 500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) water. Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer and cook for 12 minutes until the rice is cooked but still a little firm in the middle. Drain well and allow to cool.

Put all the ingredients — except the sausage casing — in a very large bowl and season with 1 level teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Mix well for 5 minutes, cover with plastic wrap then refrigerate for 3 hours.

Slide one open end of the sausage casing onto the nozzle of the sausage attachment of a food processor. Alternatively, use a sausage pump or commercial pastry bag. Tie off the opposite end of the casing with kitchen string, as you would tie off a balloon, then fill the casing with the sausage mix. Make sure the skin is not too tight or the sausage will burst when it is tied off. Tie off the other end of the casing and make 30 cm (12 inch) long sausages by twisting every 30 cm (12 inches) along the sausage. Twist each new link in the opposite direction. Tie the two ends together to form loops. Continue until all the mixture has been used.

Bring a very large saucepan of water to the boil then reduce to a simmer over medium heat. Drop the raw sausages into the pan, one or two at a time, and allow to simmer for 20 minutes to set the morcilla. Check to see if fully set by squeezing gently. They should feel spongy and not liquid.

Remove the sausages and allow to cool slightly over very clean tea towels (dish towels) on a table. Remove a shelf from the refrigerator and hang the sausages in a bundle from a hook. Place a plate underneath to catch any dripping fluid.

After a few days the morcilla will be ready to use. Use within a week of making or tightly cover with plastic wrap and freeze for up to 1 month.