People—not just the Irish—have been eating blood puddings for centuries, in cultures all around the world. No Irish fry is truly complete without at least a slice of black and a slice of white pudding. And it’s not just for breakfast anymore. Talented Irish chefs have found ways to incorporate it into salads and main dishes. Black pudding recipes vary wildly throughout Ireland; some include barley, breadcrumbs, and flour, but oatmeal is the old-fashioned thickener. Be sure it’s steel-cut or pinhead oatmeal, and cook it until just tender. Individual nubs of oats should be visible in the final product. Store-bought versions will always be made in sausage casings, unlike this recipe, packed into a loaf pan.
It is far easier to buy black pudding ready-made, and there are lots of artisan producers making truly worthy black versions. But if you’re able to come into possession of fresh pig’s blood, you’ll be all set to make this recipe. And if not—well, you’ll know precisely what a good black pudding should contain.