A traditional food that has firm roots in Irish history is Irish black pudding, sometimes referred to as 'blood pudding'.
In contrast to sweet puddings, black pudding in Ireland traditionally consists of pork products, onions, oatmeal and additional flavorings.
And while it is an acquired taste to many, the history of this food shows why it is a key part of Irish culture.
This traditional dish has been made ever since
cattle and wild game has been used for food.
Unable to afford meats such as rabbit and venison, the working and poorer class had to find a way to feed themselves by getting the most out of the meat they could find.
Pork was not only a very popular; it was also more accessible to everyone.
So long before the potato was incorporated into the diet, blood pudding was created and became a significant part of the diet.
It came in handy when game became scarce. Blood and fat was collected from cattle and pigs and made into puddings that could be stored during the cold harsh winters.
Since it contains so few ingredients, Irish black pudding it is very easy for anyone to prepare.
Today it can be a bit of a challenge to find fresh pig’s blood, but with a little perseverance and the right butcher, you should be able to find all of the ingredients you need to make this traditional dish.
First, boil the pig’s liver in water that has been lightly salted. Only boil until the liver becomes tender. Once the liver has become tender, remove form the pot; allow to cool a little before mincing.
Do not pour out the liquid that the liver was boiled in. Pour the boiled mixture into a large bowl and add the chopped lard, pig’s blood, oatmeal, bread crumbs, salt and all spice. Mix all of the ingredients, preferably by hand until they are combined.
Fill your sausage casings with the pudding. Leave enough space so you can tie each one off in 1 foot loops.
Place the filled sausage casings into a steamer and steam them for approximately 4 to 5 hours. Once they are done steaming, allow them to rest until they have completely cooled.
Once cooled, cut the sausages into slices that are ½ inch thick and fry them in a skillet with hot oil or fat until they are crisp on both sides.
If you are looking to add a little variety to this classic recipe, you can always try using other fats and meats such as chicken, rabbit, cow and lamb’s blood and livers.
You can even use barley instead of bread crumbs and mint instead of all spice, if you want a more minty and crisp taste.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with different spices and ingredients until you find a flavor of Irish black pudding you like. It is a very popular treat for breakfast and lunch.
I hope by now you have added some Irish cooking to your toolkit, and are using it to express your Irish side. We love to do just that.
Now, after taking time to write this article, I will confess that blood pudding is not really my cup of tea! But if you have ever been to Ireland you know that it is a very popular dish and an important part of the food culture.
So ... it's an important part of Irish Expressions.com!
For more ideas and examples of the Irish diet, with recipes of all kinds, visit our main Irish food page here.
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