Despite what the supermarket aisle may lead you to believe, there's more to an animal than neatly wrapped styrofoam trays of meat. From tongue to tail, offal (pronounced awful) encompasses all those taboo edibles that don't make the cut at your local grocer. Just Offal is here to explore these oft-neglected byproducts of butchering, featuring different offal meals from establishments across the valley. This week: Black pudding served up by Robbie Fox's Public House.
The Ick Factor: Over the pond, they've devised a series of fanciful names to liven up the standard meat and potatoes line-up. Bubble and squeak, egg in the hole, bangers and mash, devils on horseback, and the staple of any traditional Irish breakfast: black pudding. While black pudding may sound like a dark chocolate snack cup, it's actually made with something a bit more ghoulish: Pig's blood.
Black pudding is a blood-based sausage held together by some filler (oatmeal, onions, and the like) and sausage casing. Breakfast will never be the same.
(all the juicy details after the jump)
The Offal Choice: Black pudding with mushrooms, an appetizer (ironic, no?) at Robbie Fox's Public House.
Tastes Just Like: Savory, smoked sausages. Black pudding is no more intimidating than your run of the mill breakfast sausage, although its flavor is a bit stronger. The black pudding tasted less like a pork link and more like a strong and smoky generic meat-flavored link. It also had a slight muskiness that hinted at its offal origins.
The blood sausage wasn't the least bit metallic or liver-y, which is a definite selling point for most people. It's nothing like a straight block-o-blood tends to be (pig's blood soup, mmm, mmm, good). The texture was also well within the range of "normal" and should be familiar to snausage lovers everywhere.
So liven up your morning routine and substitute a couple pan fried slices of black pudding in place of kielbasa or chorizo. Or be like Robbie Fox's and fancy up your blood sausage by artfully arranging it atop crusty bread and drizzling it in vinegary mushroom sauce. Sprig of greenery optional.
You Know It's Cooked Improperly When: Like any good sausage, the individual components should be well ground into a mass of unidentifiable but delectable mystery meat. The sausage filling is generally cooked before hand so that it can congeal a bit, so it's perfectly safe to eat raw, although we suggest frying it up.
Always been a DIY-er? Stanley's Sausage, Edelweiss Deli, and any sausage shop worth its salt will have a respectable version of black pudding for sale, although it may go by a different name. After procuring your snausage, prepare a traditional Irish breakfast, complete with beans, tomatoes and other breakfast eats.