Blood is probably the last thing that comes to mind for most folks when thinking about ingredients. But it wasn't always this way, as waste not, want not was a way of life for our ancestors. Across the world, people made a point to use every part of an animal, blood included. The Germans have blood sausage, the Portuguese have morcela, the French have Boudin Noir, and here in Louisiana, we have blood boudin (also called blood sausage). While we have no definitive proof, it is believed that Louisiana was introduced to German blood sausage, which influenced the creation of Blood Boudin.
Blood Boudin is traditionally made at Boucheries, a cajun cookout where a whole pig is butchered and prepared. It is similar to regular boudin, which contains pork meat, pork liver, rice, vegetables, and seasonings, all stuffed in a natural pork casing, except with fewer seasonings and with fresh pig's blood added.
"Blood Boudin is literally just Boudin and you add blood," says Alan LaFluer, musician and Boucherie host. "You don't use any salt or seasoning when you add blood because there is salt in blood.
Due to regulations on the process to make blood boudin, it is very rare to find it sold in stores. You can find it at Bourgeois Meat Market in Thibodaux, LA, where they have spent years working on a method that would get Louisiana state approval. Other than that market, the most common way you come upon it is when made at home or at a boucheries.
"We make it every time we make boudin, especially at Boucheries, where you don't waste a single part," says LaFluer. "There is no edible part of the pig we don't use. I don't know exactly where it comes from. We always had it. My entire life if someone made homemade boudin they made blood boudin and regular boudin."
How Lousiana Blood Sausage is Made
"When we kill the pig, we move it to head downhill and we cut the neck and collect the blood," says LaFluer. "When you do that you have to add salt and whisk to keep it from congealing. We proceed to cook the pork for the boudin. We follow the same process as regular boudin without seasoning. You cook your meat, your vegetables, broth, and rice, and then you add the blood when you mix it together and then stuff it into the pork casing."
The taste is savory and sweet with a barely detectable metallic underbite. While many people may be off put due to the ingredients in the sausage, it's a wonderful meat to enjoy with rice, beans, or even on a charcuterie plate.
- 2 1/2 quarts pork stock
- 2 lbs pork shoulder bone in
- 5 cups onions chopped
- 3 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 tablespoons cayenne pepper optional
- 1 tbls black pepper optional
- 1/4 lb fresh pork liver
- 7 cups freshly cooked rice
- 2 cups chopped green onions
- 2 1/2 cups fresh pork blood
- Natural hog casing
- Bring 2 quarts of pork stock in a large Dutch oven to a boil over high heat. Add pork shoulder, onions, 3 teaspoons of cayenne pepper, minced garlic, and salt. Bring the mixture back to a boil and then reduce it to a harsh simmer.
- Simmer for at least 1 1/2 hours until the meat is fork-tender, turning periodically, and add more stock if needed.
- While the meat cooks assemble the grinder with 3/8 inch hole grinding disc and prepare casings an hour before stuffing Soak casings in cold water for about 5 minutes. Rinse casings under cold water. Place one side of the casing over the faucet nozzle and fill with cold water to rinse out salt and check for any holes. Drain out the water and set casings on a large plate. Cover with a towel and place in the refrigerator.
- When the meat is done, remove it from the pot and let cool. Keep the stock at a boil, add liver to the pot, and cook for about 3 minutes, turning the meat at least once. Once cooked remove the liver and set it aside,
- Remove pot from heat. Strain the stock and reserve it and the vegetables.
- Grind meat and fat ( remove bones) into a large container.
- Once the meat is all ground add rice, reserved veggies, green onions,1 cup of stock, black pepper, and remaining cayenne pepper. Mix thoroughly. Taste test to see if you would like more pepper. The mixture should be moist enough to make a ball but not runny. Add more stock if needed but a little at a time to make sure it doesn't become runny.
- Add pork blood and mix very well. Thoroughly combine.
- Immediately fill casings and make 4-5 inch links.
- Gently place Boudin in a large Dutch oven. Cover with stock, add water if necessary
- Heat over high heat until the water reaches 180 degrees ( it should be almost simmering) Keep at this temperature to keep Boudin from bursting. Cook for 15-20 minutes until heated thoroughly.