Pigeon, blackberries, chicory, roast beetroot…and black pudding

The Potted Pig, Cardiff, Wales

pottedpig

Blood sausage is often presented simply – on a plate with some frites, on a slice of bread, or with your full English breakfast. But in the process of writing this blog, it has really struck that blood sausage can be a surprisingly versatile ingredient. And, once in a while I run across someone doing something really unexpected with the ingredient.

In this case, the clever folks at The Potted Pig have used blood sausage as an edible ‘dirt’ foundation for the dish.  I’ve had ‘dirt’ in a few dishes, mostly the chocolate sort in desserts, and by most accounts the concept can be traced back to French chef Michel Bras in the late 70s or early 80s (see this New York Times article for a quick history). But I’ve never seen it done with anything like blood pudding.

Unfortunately, at the time, I didn’t think to ask more about how they made it, but the end result is a sort of crunchy crumble. The richness of traditional blood sausage disappears, but that’s actually fine, as it played nicely against the other textures in the dish.  I can imagine that a slice of blood pudding would have just been too much.  So instead of overpowering, it plays nicely with the other ingredients.

While I’m focusing on the blood pudding here, the pigeon component also deserves a mention. If you’ve never had pigeon, the flavor and texture are close to beef, but it’s far more sustainable. I also find it similar to duck. Many people envision city pigeons, and find that off-putting, but pigeons raised for food were once much more popular and widespread. Popular Science has a great history of pigeons as food in the USA, and BBC Food has a nice collection of recipes. (Last visit: May 2018)

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