Homemade Black Pudding 8

I’m a very big fan of all types of blood sausages, not just Irish ones but also morcilla from Spain, blutwurst from Germany and even an amazing smoked Estonian version that I think is called verivorst. Last year, my wife got Darina Allen’s Forgotten Skills Of Cooking book for Christmas and in it is a recipe for black pudding which I’ve since tried (with the help of my Dad) a couple of times.

The first attempt was a bit of a disaster: the casings we bought weren’t big enough and were almost impossible to fill so after making about three or four of those we just put the rest of the filling we’d made into baking tins and cooked them like loaves of bread. Unfortunately I put them in at too high a temperature for too long and all the fat melted out leaving a really dry end product even if the flavour was actually quite good.

Our next try was a lot better, I had a bunch of artificial casings I’d bought for some dried Italian sausages (this also didn’t work out) so it was a good way to use up something I probably would have thrown out otherwise; you normally peel a pudding before frying it anyway so the problematic texture of the casing wasn’t going to be an issue. There was still room for a mishap though in that I steamed the puddings in baking trays sealed with tin foil but left them in the oven for slightly too long and a couple burst.

Thankfully, this time there weren’t any major problems aside from running out of artificial casings right at the end but I’d bought some proper natural ones for future use so they just got broken out a little earlier than expected. That said, the blood we got from the butchers was frozen unlike the last two occasions so we were unsure how it would affect things as the Darina Allen book says the texture from frozen blood will be completely different to fresh; however, despite the warnings I didn’t really notice much of a difference from the previous batch.

A word of warning before you read any more of this post is that if you are in anyway squeamish you may want to prepare yourself for some pretty gruesome pictures.

These are the main herbs and spices we used.

This is what 3kg of pork fat looks like!

And now for the blood.

Mix the two ingredients up nicely.

It's a messy business. The blender is there because the blood had coagulated so we had to liquidise it again.

Add the spices

Here are the empty artificial casings. We precut the long roll into roughly twelve one metre lengths.

All the casings have been filled (the smaller but thicker bright red one is the natural one).

A lot of cleaning up to do! The rolled up bit of cardboard with duct tape on it is the makeshift funnel we used to fill the casings.

I swear it's pig's blood officer...

All worth it in the end.


Sausage casings (natural* or artificial will do)
3kg minced pork back fat
3.5l pigs blood
75g ground allspice
1 grated nutmeg
10g dried sage
10g dried thyme
30g white ground pepper
10g black ground pepper
5g cayenne pepper
75g breadcrumbs
75g coarse wholemeal flour
25g rolled oats
60g salt


  1. Combine the blood and fat together in a large bowl or bucket.
  2. Add the salt, spices and the herbs and mix thoroughly.
  3. Incrementally add the oats, flour and breadcrumbs and stop when the mixture has the consistency of wet porridge (you may need more or less than indicated in the ingredient list).
  4. Heat some oil in a pan and scoop out some of the mixture with a spoon and fry on both sides till cooked through. Check the seasoning and if required add more salt or spicing.
  5. Tie one end of your casings and fill with the blood using a funnel remembering to leave enough casing unfilled so that you can tie another knot at the end.
  6. Preheat the oven to 120°C and put the puddings in baking trays with 1-2cm of water.
  7. Seal the baking trays with tin foil and put in the oven for around 45 minutes. They are done when they reach an internal temperature of 71°C (if you don’t have a meat thermometer, check the puddings have firmed up and don’t appear to have any running liquid inside: they will have changed to a dark brown colour as well).

* If you are using natural casings then it’s advisable to fill with water (just tie one end and attach the other to the spout of the tap) to see if there’s any holes in them.

8 thoughts on “Homemade Black Pudding

  1. Reply Aoife Mc Jun 17, 2011 3:14 pm

    Stef, I absolutely LOVE the photos of your black pudding making process – it’s like I Married A Black Pudding Loving Axe Murderer. Hilarious! It’s a grizzly job but somebody’s gotta do it :) Glad each attempt is more successful than the last!

    • Reply stefano Jun 17, 2011 4:09 pm

      Yeah, I wasn’t sure whether to put them up in case people thought they were a bit too gruesome but I figured it’s a process that people ought to know about. You can’t eat meat products and ignore the nasty side of the whole process imo.

  2. Reply Gerald & Clare Sep 29, 2013 6:51 pm


    Great web page and information on Black Puddings, great photos by the way LoL. how many years did you get! :-)

    We make our own sausages which at this stage a very acceptable.
    Our next venture is Black Puddings, unfortunately I will have to used dry blood as fresh blood is not available here.

    Great web page – thanks.

    • Reply stefano Sep 30, 2013 1:56 pm

      I’m writing this from a cell! :)

      But yeah, finding fresh pig’s blood is pretty difficult; I’m very lucky our local butcher is able to get pretty much anything and given they also supply wholesale to several Asian shops they also have the more unusual parts of the animal that Irish people don’t buy anymore.

  3. Reply Barry Nov 26, 2013 1:29 am

    Whilst I have no problems obtaining casings for sausages I no longer try filling casings instead I go for the “meatloaf” approach . I line bread tins with baking parchment then fill the tin with the mixture and place in a bain-marie, bake in the oven at 250C for 1 hour. remove let cool and take from tin, remove parchment and wrap in foil….this can then be kept in the fridge for over a week …to use merely slice and fry….it works and is not as messy!!

    • Reply stefano Nov 26, 2013 10:09 am

      Yeah, the problem with my attempt at the same method was that I didn’t use a bain marie and ended up horrifically overcooking the ‘meatloaf’! I have a sous vide setup now though so I prefer to use that because of its precise temperature control.

  4. Reply Emer Sep 22, 2014 1:21 pm

    Hi There,
    Can I ask where you purchased the casings? I must ask some local butchers here about getting blood. Also @Gerald&Claire, how did you get on sourcing the dried blood? Is this easy to come by also?

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