Black Pudding Gaiters

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Boudin Noir – French Black Pudding

It’s not just us British who like our black pudding/blood sausage, call it what you want, it appears on menus around the globe in various guises.

I visited France recently and had the opportunity to try boudin noir, one of France’s oldest charcuterie dishes.  In the past, the raising and subsequent slaughter of the family pig was common and no part of the animal was wasted.
Like the English black pudding, the main ingredient of the boudin noir is pork blood stuffed in a casing.

The boudin I ordered on my first night was served still in its casing,  covered with onions and served with salad potatoes and bacon.

French black pudding

Each producer has their own recipe but a traditional boudin  contains equal quantities of blood, fat, and cooked onions.
The spices are different to those used in the English black pudding. The inclusion of apple and omission of barley or oats are other notable differences.
The French apple brandy Calvados is often added to the boiudin noir mix along with cream. Even chestnuts can be added to some recipes.

I found it to be a lot softer and crumblier than it’s English counter part.
Very nice, although I think the English black pudding still beats it!

The quest for the ultimate black pudding

I’ve failed in most things in life;  becoming an airline pilot,  a world class fencer, winning more than a tenner on the Lottery.
I’ve now lowered aspirations and aiming to produce the ‘ultimate black pudding’.

So far, my best attempt was using a mix ‘Black Pudding mix‘ from Tongmaster.
It’s a sort of beginners black pudding; add fat and hot water, mix,  cook then hey presto a decent black pud.

There is some room for experimentation, firstly how to cook.
It’s possible to mix then put it all in a roasting dish and whack it in the oven at 160c  for an hour.  Casings are not required.

My preferred method is to  stuff the mix in to casing (also available from Tongmaster/Amazon), tie both ends with butchers string to make a big waterproof ‘sausage’.
Simmer at a constant 80 degrees for 50-60 minutes.

I’ve also experimented with the types of fat.
I’ve tried trimming as much fat as possible off belly pork, this produces reasonable results.
Apparently Stornoway black pudding uses suet, I’ve only tried it the once and wasn’t too keen but will try it again at some point.
By far the best results come with back fat. I obtained this from my local butcher, however, as they produce their own sausages and black pudding they are a little reluctant to part with it. It cost as much gram for gram as their best sausages.

Kit Recipe

Take the weight of fat, divide by 3750 and multiply by 100. This will give percentage
So, for example, say, 400gm fat is being used.
400/3750 x 100 = 10.66

Now, find 10.66% of each other ingredient (results are rounded up to nearest gram)
hot water is 1750/100 x 10.66 = 187 grams
mix is 1500/100 x 10.66 = 160 grams


Chop/mince the fat so it’s in small pieces, the sort of size you’d expect to see in a shop bought pudding.


If using, add the oatmeal and spices


Add the dried blood mix then while mixing these together, add the hot water.

Continue to mix until it becomes what is best described as a ‘slury’

Cook using one of the methods described above.

My own mix

Having ‘mastered’ the kit,  I moved on to producing my own mix and wasn’t too impressed with the results.
It is difficult to find recipes online. Not surprising really, blood isn’t readily available and in all honesty, most supermarkets sell decent black pudding.
I found a few recipes for the French Boudin noir. I’m sure that’s lovely but I want a proper British black pud.

Firstly, I didn’t have chance to get to the butchers so belly pork fat was used, unfortunately, poor quality supermarket belly pork.
It’s surprising the difference it makes to the finished product.
Secondly I was flying blind with regards the amounts.
I used the formula above but was unsure as to how much oatmeal to use (I used the stuff you find in the cereal aisle at the supermarket).
My total ‘mix’ had to come to 200g; 1g each of pepper, paprika, onion salt and mace (definitely needed more of all of these!) and 50g of oatmeal (too much) then the dried blood made up the rest.
Next time, more spice, less oatmeal and maybe soak the oatmeal first.
Still, you learn fro your mistakes.

I won’t be defeated….watch this space!

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