#34 Black Pudding, #35 White Pudding…

Ok, I know I didn’t slave over a hot bucket of pig’s blood and offal to make this stuff, but it great food and the Grigson does make a point of mentioning where to buy good puddings and how they should be eaten. Bury, in Alongshore, UK is the best place to get them (and it’s where I got mine). They are made in horseshoe shapes and are not as firm as those in long sausages that you slice, which I think is very important. They are also in ‘natural casing’, i.e. intestine. You don’t eat the casing, but I think it’s much better this way – there is less waste, and I’m all up for that. People should eat more offal. Of what I’ve eaten, it’s really tasty. It’s also very low in fat and very high in nutrients. I think that calves’ liver is as nice as steak. Anyway for those that are not aware, black pudding is made from pig’s blood, fat, oatmeal and herbs and spices. This mixture is then boiled in the natural casing. Jane suggests eating it fried with mashed potato, bacon, fried chopped apple and a blob of mustard.

I’d never had white pudding before, and I had to wonder: ‘What on earth is in it?’. I mentioned it to friends, who also had no idea. It’s very similar to black pudding, but contains pork meat and suet instead of blood. It’s not as spicy as black pudding either.

Grigson suggests eating it with bacon, so I combined the two to produce an extremely meaty tea! It’s all good though, I think, because I’m going to the gym alot at the moment and need my protein, and it’s offal and therefore less wasteful. Oh I am so holier-than-thou these days…

#34 Black Pudding: 8/10. I’d not had black pudding as a teatime meal, always as part of a full-English breakfast, and I have to say it was wonderful – the apple and mustard cut though the salty streaky bacon and soft, stodgy black pudding. Yum!

#35 White Pudding:7/10. Very tasty indeed! Soft in the centre and crispy on the outside. Much more subtle than black pudding, but a change to normal sausages. More please!

#32 Parsnip and Watercress Salad

As Greg and I gorged ourselves on Bury Market cheese, we needed something to cut through the richness. I’d seen the recipe for the salad as I was flicking through English Food, and thought that I should only make it when able to get really good produce. Apparently, it’s an early Seventeenth Century dish, and it’s very easy to prepare. The recipe said to use one medium sized parsnip per person, so I doubled that for starters! They were boiled until tender in salted water. While they were boiling, I arranged a head of little gem lettuce in each of our bowls and made a vinaigrette. Jane recommended putting on some toasted nuts and to use the relevant nut oil in the vinaigrette. I used walnut, as I’ve made parsnips salads before that used walnuts. I made it in the ratio of 1 part walnut oil,1 part vegetable oil (as the nut oil by itself can be overpowering) and 1 part white wine vinegar. Then I seasoned it well. This was used to dress the parsnips. The dressed parsnips were arranged in a ring on top of the lettuce. Finally, a pile of watercress was placed in the centre of the dish along with a sprinkle of chopped toasted walnuts.

I’d forgotten how nice the walnut and parsnip combo is, and how lovely and peppery watercress is, I think that people poo-poo it has boring salad. FYI: watercress is one of the three indigenous vegetable to Britain. The others are kale and….Damn! I’ve forgotten the other one. I shall try and find the reference again. It’s weird to think that all other vegetables have been brought in from foreign climbs, including the parsnip!

#32 Parsnip and Watercress Salad – 8.5/10. This is a great salad. Certainly tasty enough to eat on it’s own. I’d have it with some granary bread to mop up any stray vinaigrette at the end!

Bury Market

Greg and I went to Bury Market for the day on Saturday. I’m apologising in advance for the lack of photos. We both forgot to take them because we were so cold. I managed to get hold of some ingredients for some more recipes,along with some nice produce too. The cheese stall there is one of the best you’ll ever go to; Greg and I scoffed a load of it last night night – Yorkshire Blue, a nice young goat’s cheese, and a lovely mature farmhouse cheddar. It shits on anything you can get in a supermarket, no matter how many ‘Extra special’ stickers, or whatever they put on them. I also got some game – pigeon and pheasant – so hopefully there’ll be some nice things coming my way! I love pheasant, but have never had pigeon – I once tried to cook one by roasting it, and it was so tough I couldn’t eat it. The Grigson says to never roast a pigeon. I have seen the error of my ways.

I also got myself a black pudding – a must if you go to Bury, as it is the place where the best are made. I also got white pudding, which I’ve never had before. I’m saving them for when I have NO visitors!