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Dec 14, 2008 03:57 AM

fatted calf boudin noir and smoked duck breast

today i picked up a couple of fatted calf's boudin noir, and i have a couple questions. a quick search didn't show up any mentions of it here. it was a trip to ireland five years ago that opened up the world of blood sausage, or black pudding, to me. i always turned away from the soondae, or blood sausage as it's sold on the side of the road in korea back in high school, but that was then. i trust the fatted calf for the most part, but there's a difference between eating a couple thick but coin-sized rounds of black pudding with a fry-up and eating a whole sausage. the most recent version i had was at suppenkuche, where it seemed oddly mealy with a tough casing, without much seasoning. almost like eating the blood cakes in a vietnamese bun bo hue but wrapped in a toothsome casing. well no, it was nowhere near that bland, but it wasn' was just ok.

so i threw my new purchase in the freezer (because i might not have a chance to eat them for a few days and i hear they're really perishable), and and planning on cooking them up later with some mashed potatoes and or fried apples.

long story short, what do you fatted calf fans think of the boudin noir? how best served? is it seasoned well? and while on this topic, can anyone weigh in on boccalone's blood sausage?

also i picked up a smoked duck breast from fatted calf. the skin side is scored and the bottom flesh is coated in spices. when sliced, the meat is a bright pastrami shade of delicious smoked pink, and the flavor is rich and decadent. and pricey. the single breast put me back almost $18. i make that OK in my head because it's going to be served up at a friend's holiday party, and tis the season....

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  1. About the Suppenkuche blood sausage: if it's still like it was when I had it, you're not supposed to eat the casing. I would have tried, but I was there with some German friends who told me to cut off an end and scrape out a bit the soft filling for a bite that includes mashed potato and mustard.

    4 Replies
    1. re: PorkButt

      huh. wonder if it's a german thing, because the bavarian brunch of champions, a weisswurst with a pretzel and a hefeweizen, is usually eaten in such a way that the casing is discarded. either by a slash and scoop method, or by biting the end off and sucking the sausage out of its casing, which inspires awe and a profound terror in me when i see it happen.

      1. re: augustiner

        When I've eaten a weisswurst held in my hand, a temptation is to take a bite and spit out the casing after chewing the meat to horrify the prim.

      2. re: PorkButt

        I'm not sure what fatted calf would suggest, but we found the casing pretty tough, so after cooking it in the casing, we split the sausages the long way and then smooshed the filling into the bottom piece of bread for the sandwich we were constructing. Some nice tart greens like arugula help to balance the flavor, but it still doesn't end up as an elegant sandwich--just an extremely satisfying one.

        The best blood pudding I've had was at Olivetto during the pig dinner, cooked in a mold and upended on the plate.

        1. re: SteveG

          i ate mine this morning, and i also found the casing to be a little tough. i think i'm more used to british or irish style black pudding, which is pretty firm, mixed with oats or some other grain filling and served in small rounds. with these i ended up scraping the filling out and mixing them with my potatoes and some mustard into ugly yet delicious forkfuls of food. even more satisfying since i was still in my pajamas. there was definitely no problem with seasoning in these boudin noir. there were delicate spice flavors. perfect for bolstering body and mind on this very wintery day.

      3. I very much enjoyed Boccalone's blood sausage. It requires gentle cooking and is well worth it. The casing is delicate enough to eat, but I always liked casing. I never skinned my franks.

        2 Replies
        1. re: karma_bites

          Have you had Boccalone's blood sausage fairly recently? I loved the first ones I had, over a year ago when they were just doing the club thing. Then when they offered them again (still club, in Feb I think), I bought multiple packages, but was so disappointed! The flavor was still great, but they were full of big cubes of fat. Just totally filled! Every bite would have 2 or 3 of the cubes, which definitely did not melt in any amount of gentle or strong heating. I still have a package in the freezer because they're so much hassle to eat. (Yes, I wrote them a note.)

          So I'd love to know if they're no longer making them that way. I really like their spicing, and yes, the casings were tender. But those big honking cubes of fat, yuck.

          1. re: Karen_Schaffer

            i've never bad a boccalone blood sausage. this might sound like a stupid question, but you mentioned that these cubes of fat never melted. i'm wondering if these were indeed chunks of fat? i only ask because the fatted calf version comes with diced apple, which i would never have guessed to be apple if i wasn't told so. the richness of the sausages altered the texture and the flavor of these bits so much that i might have assumed they were piggy bits instead of fruit. not suggesting that you don't know the difference, but the stuffing of these sausages really seemed transformative.

            but i've heard that boccalone can err on the fatty side. i'll give their version a run, soon.

        2. link

          Fatted Calf
          644-C First Street, Napa, CA 94559

          1 Reply
          1. re: rworange

            I had both Boccalone and FattedCalf blood sausages number of times and both are not very memorable....bland flavors and way too much fat and mosture. I never noticed anything "odd" about the casings? The best blood sausages were used to be made by a Portugese buy in Oalkland...the space is now occupied by Boccalone. Right now I can only point to Cafe Rouge which in my opinion makes a v. respectable blood sausages.