Black pudding. Well I love it and you know that already don’t you? I grew up on the stuff and in my long gone vegetarian years it was the thing I missed the most. Not bacon, black pudding.
We would have it on toast by the open fire and mash it in so it was almost part of the bread. Half black pudding, half white pudding, all mashed into the toast with crispy bits from the pudding mingling with crispy bits of the toast and lots of mushy delicious bits, all in the roaring heat of the fire. With the rain lashing outside no doubt and the wind howling. That is what I loved and that is what I missed.
Now I can have as much as I want and I often have too much, but with such a good thing it is difficult to be measured. Irish black pudding is different to the black pudding from anywhere else, it has oats and spices and a rich depth to it that is like Pavarotti in your breakfast. White pudding is like a soprano that has possibly smoked too much and maybe they shouldn’t be together but they are the perfect match.
There is so much that can be done with black pudding. Often it sits forlorn at the edge of a breakfast plate like the one never asked to dance but should you dare to you will be so happy that you did. I like to spice it’s smoky depths and give it some fruitiness with tomato. My Spaghetti Corkese which I blogged recently has just this.
For this, I used a recipe from my book for black pudding croquettes. I don’t toy with the black pudding at all as I don’t want to dilute the flavour or texture. I just leave it as it is and breadcrumb it, or in this case cover it with oats. Fried till golden, I serve them up with homemade chipotle ketchup. And gobble them all down.
I used my favourite black pudding from Cork here, Jack McCarthy’s. It is a small scale artisinal production and is difficult to come by in the UK (Irish people you can buy online and you should) – unless you are in Selfridge’s on the 22nd April from 1 – 5 when the man himself will be there. Clonakilty Black Pudding is widely available at large Asdas and Budgen’s and works well too.
The ketchup is also terrific with the black pudding in possibly the best toastie ever. So do make extra. It will keep well in the fridge for a couple of weeks or more.
Recipe: Black Pudding Croquettes with Chipotle Ketchup
250g black pudding
50g flour – seasoned with a little salt
100g uncooked oatmeal
2 x 400g tins good tomatoes
5 chipotles en adobo (I got mind online from Hot Headz)
1 red onion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
50ml cider vinegar
5og dark brown sugar
First make your ketchup. Sauté the red onion in some light oil over a medium heat for about 5 minutes until soft but not brown. Add the garlic for a minute further before adding the rest of the ingredients.
Cook over a low hear for up to an hour, longer if you have it as tomato based dishes always benefit from a low slow cook. Taste and season. Blend and leave to the side.
Cut the black pudding into 2cm thicknesses, roll in the seasoned flour, egg and then oatmeal. Do a second time if they are not completely coated. Fry them – deep frying is best – until golden.
Drain on kitchen paper and serve hot on a bed of hot or cold chipotle ketchup – up to you!