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Blood Sausage (boudin noir) Consistency and Fillers.

Hi guys,

I've made some blood sausage in the past but am just now getting into the swing of it. I've been thinking of using onions & rice or onions & oats as my primary filler, but i have some basic questions:

What ratio of blood to filler should I be aiming for? I'm tempted to do half and half, or MORE filler than blood, with the idea being that the final product will be a little heartier, but I am worried it'll be less blood sausage and more bloody grit.

Any advice for a novice blood sausage maker?

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  1. Not answering your question, but where do you get your blood? I've never made boudin noir, but my understanding is that the blood must be very fresh.

    1 Reply
    1. re: jeremyn

      You actually can get it pasteurized from some meat shops and occasionally from butchers. The pasteurized stuff lasts longer and you don't have to worry about germs off the bat.

    2. Way to go on the blood sausage, it isn't just anyone who can make it at home.

      The thing about blood sausage is that there are almost as many recipes as there are regions in Europe. Every area in France, Ireland, UK, Italy, Spain, etc. has their preferred method. I favor more of a Norman-style boudin (sans apples) though a good black pudding (bound with oats and barley) can be pretty hard to turn down.

      The best addition I have found to add body to boudin and still keep you out of the stodgy zone is the chilled ground meat from a pig's head.

      Take a look here; http://www.chow.com/recipes/27843-bou...

      If you have questions, please let me know. This is my recipe and I am very proud of it.I would love to hear that it works as well for you as it did for me.

      NB - the cream in which you soak the breadcrumbs should be added to the mix as well. Not sure if that is clear. This yields a rich sausage with a smooth consistency and a classic flavor.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Ernie Diamond


        Thank you for the recipe, my friend. This looks fairly impressive. I think I will give it a swing this week!


        1. re: fr1p

          Welll done! I'm eager to hear your findings. Please let me know how it goes.

          Some more addendums;

          - The backfat should be allowed to soften a bit but not brown or melt completely. Think, sweating an onion.
          - Add the thyme and quatre epices to the onions to warm through a bit and wake up.
          - the wildcard is salt. Some blood will already have salt added to it, some will not. If you are like me and think that everything can stand a little salt, go for it but be aware taht oversalting is a risk. I have not figured out a way to determine the salt content of blood when buying it except to get it fresh off the farm (not an option for everyone).

          Sorry, this is exciting for me. I'm a bit of a proud parent at the moment.

      2. Here's a link to a recipe for a black pudding much as we have it in my part of the world (north west England).


        Not that I know anyone who makes their own - it's too easy to buy good quality ones from any butcher. Although I normally drive to the other side of our metro area to buy from a particular market stall

        1. I am a comfort food fan of Polish kiszka. The fillers for that are barley and kasha (whole buckwheat groats) and definitely onion and a few other spices. here's a link you might enjoy:
          Mind you I have never made this myself nor seen it made, so YMMV.

          1. If you are using something as coarse as rice or oats, you certainly do not want to have a ratio of 1:1, unless you want bloody grit. I would try to keep blood and filler (grain and onions) around 3:2 if you want a hearty sausage that at least bears some semblance to a delicate boudin noir. Don't forget to add a little chopped fat and some calvados when you are seasoning the mixture.

            1. I'm a novice myself when it comes to blood sausages. I've tried several times to replicate a morcilla style sausage my Colombian dad used to serve when I was a kid. All I can say is the recipes are all over the place, and there is no golden ratio for blood to filler, especially since there are several filler options (rice, oats, onions, bread crumbs, no filler at all).

              You could pick up Jane Grigson's Charcuterie and French Pork Cookery, which has a dozen or so blood sausage recipes, but all but one are variations on the blood+onion+fat+bread+cream recipe.

              As a starting point, here is her basic recipe, minus the spice:

              5 pints blood
              3 lb onions
              3 lb pork fat (diced small)
              18 oz cream
              4 oz bread crumbs

              1. Resurrecting an old thread.

                I'm a fairly experienced sausage maker (as far as home cooks go), very familiar with the Usual Procedures of sausage making and basic charcuterie.

                I have a dumb question about boudin noir/blood pud/morcilla, which I've never made before.

                In my mind, it's liquid with little bits and pieces in it. Throw it in a stuffer and it'll leak all over the place. But that's not it, is it? Isn't it more of a kind of semi-solid slurry?

                Boudin noir (particularly the gorgeous French stuff Steingarten described in "It Takes A Village") has been on my list for a long, long time, and I just haven't been able to wrap my mind around the logistics.

                Thoughts from makers?

                3 Replies
                1. re: biggreenmatt

                  So, the short answer (in my own experience here) is that there are three kinds of blood sausage consistencies. In no particular order:

                  1. Coarse: Cooked sausage can be cut, but does not yield a perfect, smooth slice with a normal knife. Bits of filler are clearly visible, and can include rice and other grains, onions, apples, etc. This is the most common type of home-made blood sausage and includes types ranging from Black Puddings to traditional German Blutwurst.

                  2. Solid: Seen often in parts of western europe. These kinds of blood sausage can be sliced thin, like cold cuts, or cut into big chunks. They generally have the same kind of give as a heavily processed cheese. I have not made these, but my impression is that they must be using something like gelatine to get this consistency. This is a type of sausage common to large scale production, less common to home based.

                  3. Very liquidy: Uncommon in the west. You encounter these in the far east. Cutting into a cooked blood sausage might send a spurt of cooked blood into the air. I have no experience with these other than eating them.

                  When I made blood sausage at home, I used a LOT of filler. For me, it was grains and onions. The consistency of the mixture going into the casing was... hm... a bit like a really thick stew. Not soupy, but certainly if some fell on the floor, it would spread out and run. So, "Stew Like" is how I would describe it. I used a funnel to put the mixture into the casing, then simply tied off links. When ready, I cooked the whole batch in a warm water bath (making sure to monitor and keep beneath a rolling boil so as not to split the sausages due to heat). Once cooked, the consistency thickens up immensely and you should have n problems.

                  Hope this helps.

                  1. re: fr1p

                    Suspect "stew-like" is the rough equivalent to "semi-solid slurry".

                    Thanks for the confirmation. It's one thing to work something out in your head; it's another to have it confirmed by someone who actually did the deed.

                  2. re: biggreenmatt

                    Oh, in addition to my last reply, you might find this helpful. Right click and open in new tab

                  3. You may enjoy Jeffrey Steingarten's essay, "It Takes a Village to Kill a Pig".


                    I hope this link works. It's a bit messy looking.