Morcillas o Rellenas

Blood Sausages from Isabel Gelpud

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • 2 pounds

    of sausages

Appears in

Secrets of Colombian Cooking

Secrets of Colombian Cooking

By Patricia McCausland-Gallo

Published 2004

  • About

On the coast, we call these morcillas, while in the interior of the country they call them rellenas. For this recipe, I traveled to the small town of Candelaria on the outskirts of Cali, where supposedly the best rellenas are prepared. Isabel Gelpud invited us in to watch, learn, and take lots of pictures. After seeing the whole process done in a very homey style, handmade and very clean, I was positively surprised. These sausages are mostly herbs, and the raw mixture is beautifully colored. They are definitely an acquired taste, but once you do like them, they are great! On the third floor of her house, Isabel grows many of the herbs we used, and there for the first time I saw large leaf oregano (about 2 inches long!) that she says is called oreganon.

Pork blood can be ordered through your butcher or meat market.

Ingredients

  • 8 teaspoons pork belly or fat
  • 1 pound scallion, minced
  • 2 cups minced chard
  • ½ cup pork fat (from the casings or bought separately)
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon garlic
  • 1 beef bouillon cube
  • 1 teaspoon color* or turmeric
  • ¾ cup white rice
  • 1 whole scallion
  • 1 tablespoon lard or oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 tablespoons minced cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons minced cimarrón*
  • 2 tablespoons minced mint leaves
  • 2 tablespoons minced oregano
  • 2 teaspoons minced poleo* or additional mint
  • 2 cups pork blood
  • Pork casings (4 to 5 feet), clean

Cooking Stock

  • 2 beef bouillon cubes
  • 4 sprigs cilantro
  • 4 leaves cimarron*
  • 4 sprigs oregano
  • 2 tablespoons salt

Method

  1. In a medium pot place the pork fat and sauté the scallion for 5 minutes. Add the chard, pork fat from the casings, salt, garlic, bouillon cube, and color. Cook for 5 minutes more. Set aside and cool.
  2. In a small pot, over medium heat place the rice, whole scallion, lard, and salt; sauté for 1 minute. Add cups of water, bring to a boil and simmer until you can see the rice on the surface. Lower the heat to minimum, cover, and cook for 15 minutes. Uncover, fluff with a fork, remove the whole scallion, and set aside to cool completely.
  3. In a very large mixing bow, mix the cooked scallions, prepared rice, thyme, cilantro, cimarrón, mint, oregano, and poleo with the blood. The amount of blood is only enough to moisten all the other ingredients; the mixture should be wet but not runny.
  4. Fill the casings with the mixture. Tie carefully with string.
  5. In a large pot place quarts of water, the 2 bouillon cubes, cilantro, cimarron, oregano, and salt, and bring to a boil. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  6. Drop the sausages into the simmering stock and cook for 30 minutes or until they release clear juices when poked.
  7. Remove from the pot, discard the stock, and set aside to cool. Refrigerate for later use, or barbecue or fry just enough to reheat and serve.