I’m proud of the fact that I make my own blood sausage from lambs on the farm I harvest myself. It’s a process that’s pretty intimate, and not available to everyone, and from there, people that harvest their own animals probably don’t harvest the blood, so it’s a special sort of circumstances that have to be involved for the magic that is blood sausage to take shape. Blood sausage also doesn’t get a ton of play as far as charcuterie goes, let alone the greater culinary world, although I do know some specialty purveyors that will harvest pork blood and sell it to chefs.
The lack of blood in cooking is understandable, but unfortunate, especially because blood doesn’t taste gamey at all. Seriously, you’d expect something so rich and full of iron to resemble liver or the stronger funk associated with kidneys, but it doesn’t. From there, you’d expect lamb or goat blood to taste stronger than cows, but, as far as I’m concerned, they’ve all been pretty much interchangeable, and I’d be hard-pressed to tell the difference between one or the other.
There’s recipes for blood sausage a’plenty online, but not a lot of suggestions for what to do with the sausage after it’s made. Blood sausage is a special piece of charcuterie, and you’re not going to just throw them onto the grill, fry them up, and eat them on a bun. Well, some types you could, and that’s where things get murky as blood sausage, boudin noir, morcilla, or black pudding as it’s known can vary widely from place to place.
Generally the variations you’ll notice, from what I’ve learned over the years, is what sort of starch is added to the blood to help give the sausage body. In Scandinavia, barley or oats might be used, in Spain, you’ll probably find rice. Some have little to no starch, some have tough casings and need to have their contents sucked out (a bit Draculian for most). My favorite blood sausage is a hybrid, using wild rice and ground lamb or a meat of your choice for body, but even with the added heft from the ground meat, it’s still definitely a knife and fork sausage. Ideally, you’ll poach them, then cut into pieces or coins and fry them crisp. They’re bloody delicious, especially fried with potatoes, scallions and herbs, which is classic preparation.
Fried Blood Sausage Hash
- Cast iron skillet
- 8-12 ounces blood sausage I used me recipe here
- 8 oz small potatoes I used german butterballs, but fingerlings would be fine too
- 3 oz 1 bunch scallions, sliced ¼ inch
- Handful of chopped parsley or cilantro
- ¼ cup lard or cooking oil
- Dash white vinegar to taste
- Put the potatoes in a pot, cover with water and season with salt and a dash of the vinegar. Bring the pot to a boil, then turn the heat off and allow to sit 10 minutes.
- Remove the potatoes and allow to cool, then cut in half or crush lightly if small to make them easy to brown and crisp.
- Cut the blood sausage into 1 inch coins. Heat the lard or oil in a large cast iron or similar skillet until lightly smoking, then add the potatoes and cook until golden and crisp.
- Move the potatoes to one side of the pan and add the blood sausage coins, cook until crisp, toss the pan, cook for a few minutes more until the sausages are nicely browned, then turn the heat off, toss in the cilantro and green onions, double check the seasoning for salt, adjust as needed, then serve.