Irish Black Pudding: Oddly Named and Strangely ... Well ... Black!  But Oh So Irish!

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.

Irish Expressions - Irish Black Pudding

What is Black Pudding and Where Does It Come From?

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 food; 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.

Irish Black Pudding: Ingredients

  • 1 pound of fresh pig’s liver
  • 1 and a 1/2 pound of fresh, chopped, unrendered lard
  • 3 Quarts of fresh pig’s blood
  • 2 pounds of fresh bread crumbs
  • ½ cup of oatmeal
  • 1 medium sized onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp. of salt
  • ½ tsp. of all spice
  • 1 X of sausage casings

Irish Black Pudding:  Preparation

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.

Hungry for More?

Sharing Irish food is one of our favorite ways to enjoy an Irish experience, wherever in the world we happen to be!  

The flavors of an Irish meal, and the stories that come along with many Irish recipes, gives us a sense of connection with the Emerald Isle.

Check Out More Irish Foods and Expressions!

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!

For more ideas and examples of the Irish diet, with recipes of all kinds, visit our main Irish food page here.

And if you enjoyed this page in particular, please take a moment to share your feedback about it using our contact form here

Most importantly, please continue to explore Irish culture and traditions, and to share your Irish side with the growing community at Irish!



follow me on facebook
follow me on pinterest
follow me on Twitter