Cooking With Blood

Many cultures use blood as an ingredient in cooking—not just the Maasai, who extract blood from their living cattle, but European cultures from Hungary to the British Isles. The American Indians filled the stomach of the animals they killed with finely cut-up organ meats, shredded fat and blood. And blood from chickens and pigs is used throughout the Caribbean.

We know that blood is a rich source of vitamin D, and we can guess that it is a powerhouse of vitamin B12, iron and many other vitamins and minerals.

Where to obtain this unique ingredient? Certainly not from a grocery store! You will need to know a farmer who will save you the blood from butchering chickens. Or perhaps our Amish farmers will begin supplying us with frozen blood. In a pinch, you can order it from the internet at philamfood.com/martin-purefoods-frozen-beef-blood-10oz.html. Unfortunately this product contains sodium citrate and probably does not come from pasture-raised animals.

SPICY BLOOD MEATLOAF
Serves 8

2 pounds ground beef
1 cup blood
1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
1 stick celery, finely chopped
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 teaspoon dried chili flakes
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon cracked pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 cups sourdough breadcrumbs
1 cup cream
1 egg
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 small jar tomato paste

Sauté onions, carrots and celery in butter until soft. Add the chili flakes, thyme, pepper and salt and blend well. Meanwhile soak the bread crumbs in cream.

Using your hands, mix the meat, sautéed vegetables, soaked bread, blood, egg and fish sauce. If the mixture is too runny, add more bread crumbs. Form into a loaf and place in an oblong pyrex pan. Ice with the tomato paste. Add about 1 cup water to the pan. Bake at 350 degrees for about 1 1/2 hours.

FRENCH STYLE BLACK PUDDING
(Boudin Noir)
Recipe from Angie Minno
Serves 6

3 eggs, beaten
2 cups sourdough bread crumbs
1 pound ground beef or pork
1 apple, minced
1 onion, minced
1/2 cup diced pork fat
1/2 cup cream
2 cups beef blood
1 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons quatres épices
1 tablespoon brandy

Render the pork fat in a frying pan, and sauté the apple and onion in it until soft. Set aside as you mix the bread crumbs with the eggs, cream, blood, brandy, salt, pepper, and quatres épices. Add the sautéed apple and onion and all of the fat and mix well.

Put the ground meat in another bowl and gradually mix in the bread crumb mixture (it mixes in more evenly this way). Pour into a buttered dish set in a bain marie (that is, set in a pan of simmering water). Cover the top with foil, making sure the foil does not come in contact with the food, and bake at 350°F for 34-45 minutes, or until completely set.

Note: you can make your own quatre épices by mixing white pepper, allspice, ginger and cloves.

CAJUN-STYLE BLACK PUDDING

Recipe from Angie Minno
Serves 6
2 cups bread crumbs
1/2 cup diced pork fat
3 sticks celery, minced
1 onion, minced
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup cream
2 cups blood
1 pound ground meat
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon oregano
2 teaspoons ground celery seeds
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced

Render the pork fat in a frying pan, and sauté the celery and onion in the fat until soft. Set aside as you mix the bread crumbs with the eggs, cream, blood, salt and seasonings. Add the sautéed vegetables and all of the fat and mix well. Put the ground meat in another bowl and gradually mix in the bread crumb mixture (it mixes in more evenly this way). Pour into a buttered dish set in a bain marie. Cover the top with foil, and bake at 350°F for 34-45 minutes, or until completely set.

BRITISH BLACK PUDDING
Makes 3 pounds

4 cups fresh pig’s blood
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups steel-cut (pinhead) oatmeal
juice of 1 lemon
2 cups finely diced pork fat (or beef suet),
finely chopped
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
1 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground allspice

Soak the oatmeal overnight in warm water and lemon juice.
Stir 1 teaspoon of salt into the blood.
Bring 2 cups water to a boil and stir in the oats. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes, until just tender, not mushy.

Pour the blood through a fine sieve into a large bowl to remove any lumps. Stir in the fat, onion, milk, pepper, allspice and the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Add the oatmeal and mix to combine. Divide the mixture between two greased glass loaf pans, cover with foil, and bake for 1 hour at 325 degrees until firm. Cool completely. Seal in plastic wrap and either freeze for extended use or store in the refrigerator for up to a week.

To serve, cut a slice about 1/2-inch thick off the loaf. Fry in lard until the edges are slightly crisped and browned.

This article appeared in Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts, the quarterly journal of the Weston A. Price Foundation, Spring 2015

Sally Fallon Morell is the founding president of the Weston A. Price Foundation and founder of A Campaign for Real Milk. She is the author of the best-selling cookbook, Nourishing Traditions (with Mary G. Enig, PhD) and the Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby & Child Care (with Thomas S. Cowan, MD). She is also the author of Nourishing Broth (with Kaayla T. Daniel, PhD, CCN).

2 Responses to Cooking With Blood

  1. ethan says:

    i couldnt click on this link fast enough

  2. Mfon says:

    What’s the nutritional content in say beef blood?

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© 2015 The Weston A. Price Foundation for Wise Traditions in Food, Farming, and the Healing Arts.