Historic and Unusual Recipes – – French Canadian Blood Pudding Recipe a.k.a Boudin

Blood Pudding (or sausages) are served in French, Belgian, German, British, Quebec, Acadian, Creole, Austrian and Cajun cuisine.

This Blood Pudding a.k.a. Boudin is baked in loaf pans instead of sausage casing. 

boudin-noir-courtesy-of-banque-dimages

Boudin Noir, or as the British say, Black Pudding. This version will look similar in color and texture.

Photo courtesy of Banque D’Images

This is my 2nd post in the category Historic and Unusual Recipes.  The first was How to Cook a Terrapin (or Turtle).  I discovered that recipe in a very old Fanny Farmer Cookbook and posted it simply because I found it interesting. Guess what?  Almost every day… week in and week out… How to Cook a Terrapin (or Turtle) appears in my list of ‘Readers Recent Favorites’. Who woulda thunk it?  And now it’s gonna be interesting to see how well received this French Canadian Blood Pudding recipe is!   ; o )

I made French Canadian Blood Pudding only once, using the blood from one of the pigs we raised. We planned to roast the pig on a special spit – and feed the neighbors, the local family, the family from Montreal and the family from the States. Luckily it was a BIG pig. So big it actually broke the rented spit… but that’s another story.

My husband’s family all told me I’d fed my pigs too much because, when butchered, they all had a lot of fat. They said I ‘babied’ all my animals.  Hey, if you were a pig… and it was hot… wouldn’t you be happy if someone gently sprayed you with cold water.  Of course you would.  I rest my case.

My husband’s aunt Therese and I prepared the Blood Pudding at the Roy Family Farm in St. Flavien, Quebec (Canada) where my husband’s family has lived/farmed for the last seven generations. It’s a huge house with a huge kitchen. There’s a wood burning stove and a modern stove – a lovely mixture of old and new.  (I remember visiting around 1970 and there was still a water pump in ‘The Summer Kitchen’.  I’ll explain about Summer Kitchens another time.)

I just deleted the paragraph about hanging the pig upside down etc.  I didn’t want to gross you out any more than necessary..  

When I arrived at the old family farm with my bucket of pig blood, Ma Tante Therese (My Aunt in French.) was armed and ready with the necessary utensils and pans. Ma Tante didn’t speak much English and my French is far from great, but I managed to write down several of her old French Canadian recipes over the years, including this one for Blood Pudding, while I either helped or watched her cook.  And an excellent cook she was.

My husband LOVED the Blood Pudding we’d made.  And I was pretty darn proud of myself, let me tell you.  I did take a tiny taste of it… Blood Pudding has an unusual texture – no surprise there. It does taste pretty good, if you can get beyond the ‘main ingredient’.

My husband loved to eat his Boudin cut into slices and fried.  He especially loved it for breakfast with scrambled eggs.  At the time I made the Blood Pudding my husband could only eat soft things due to oral cancer.  You can imagine how pleased I was, especially at that point in his life, to have prepared something for him which he’d loved his whole life.  

Life is short. Prepare your loved ones favorite dishes.  Doing so truly is a gift of love! 

small red heart

This recipe for French Canadian Blood Pudding (Boudin) is prepared in two loaf pans. 

I’m going to give you the recipe as I wrote it down – although sometimes I’ve written recipes from our French Canadian Aunts half in French and half in English.

Fresh blood from one pig

Strain the blood to get the clots out.  If clots are big, remove them with a big wooden spoon.

Add the exact same amount of milk as there is blood.

Put milk and blood into a large bowl.

Add:

1 ½ large onions   – cut up very fine

1 pound pig lard (fat)  ++  from the pig 

2 Tbs. salt

1 Tbs. pepper   ++  Not a full tablespoon.  And Ma Tante used an actual soup spoon.

1 Tbs. ground cloves   ++  Not a full tablespoon.  And Ma Tante used an actual soup spoon.

Grease two bread pans with oil.

Pour blood mixture into pans.

Cook at 400 for one hour. Enjoy!    ++ I recommend cutting the Boudin into slices or squares and frying it. 

After the rain comes the rainbow.  (Our farm in St. Antoine de Tilly, Quebec)

Rainbow-Fall 2005.jpg

 

34 thoughts on “Historic and Unusual Recipes – – French Canadian Blood Pudding Recipe a.k.a Boudin

  1. Beef tongue was one of our favorite dishes. It so after with an aunt who fed it to our 1 1/2 year old daughter who couldn’t get enough
    so it became a regular dinner for years until our younger children refused to even look at it! I ate blood pudding in Normandy France. We were visiting ancestral villages of my French Canadian ancestors
    it was served in a bowl.not solid like sausage they told me it was a regional dish and I had to eat it in honor of my ancestors. After learning its origin, once was enough!

    • Hi Annabel – thanks so much for taking the time to comment – I appreciate it! Americans are ‘funny’ about eating tongue, organ meats… and things like Blood Pudding/Sausage. I had a friend who used to LOVE tongue. She would take off the ‘skin’ (or whatever), simmer it, then put it in a bowl and press the tongue down with a can.
      Where do you live? And how do you cook beef tongue … or do you buy it already cooked. You know … my father-in-law, who was French Canadian, loved tongue. But none of his kids would even taste it. I had a tiny, tiny bite one time… which I regret now that I have a more adventuresome palate!! ; o )

  2. Yes, today we all realize just how special our lives together were. Back then, however, we kids thought everyone led similar lives. I must have been in about 2nd grade when I got my first inkling that we were “different”, but in a good way. A boy and I were name calling and others gathered to watch. Trying to shame me, he said that my house always smelled like spaghetti. Instead of making fun of me, the kids gathered ’round. “What? You eat spaghetti all of the time? ” Of course we didn’t but with 2 families, pasta was served frequently … well, at least enough to “save” me.

  3. I dunno, my friend. By any standard, I’ve an adventurous palate and have eaten all sorts of things — save large bugs and blood sausage. I just can’t get my wrap my head around either to the point where I want to try them. You spoke of tripe. Now, that’s something I love!!!! When I was a boy, head cheese was made for my Grandpa. Once a year, I would accompany him to the farmer’s market and spend much of the time carrying a hog’s head on my shoulder as he shopped the stalls. In fact, my Zia gave me the recipe years ago as a joke. I’ve yet to prepare it. Maybe one day … 🙂

    • Your stories are always delightful John!! The mental picture of you carrying around the head of a pig… while your Grandpa continued shopping… is just perfect. One of the other stories which I still have in my head – and love – is you and your siblings yanking out dandelion greens after church… and hoping none of your friends drove by.
      I think children’s lives are so enriched while the ‘old country traditions’ are still strong. It’s natural they get diluted… esp. when it comes to blood pudding and head cheese … but you had such an amazing childhood. ; o )

  4. Cecile, I bet you get a lot of hits on how to make blood pudding from adventurous cooks. I do have to say though that there are somethings I would never cook in my kitchen and I’m sorry to say that blood pudding is one of them…the other tripe. Now my husband loves both but eats them both at restaurants. 😀

    • Does tripe smell when it’s cooking? I knew a wonderful older couple & the husband loved tripe. His eyes would roll back when he talked about Tripe with Milk Sauce! His wife would cook it – but wouldn’t eat it! ; o )

      • Cecile, I really don’t know as I’ve never cooked it. My sweet MIL would make it for her family but would make something different for her and I as never of use would eat it. 😀

        • Where is was your MIL from? Mine was from near Quebec City but she couldn’t always find ingredients she needed here in western Mass. as the French Canadian population became ‘Americanized’ and pigs’s feet and blood sausage was no longer sold in the local supermarkets.
          Pig’s feet are used in the delicious Quebecois ‘Ragu’ and the sauce is made with browned flour. There were meatballs made from pork. It was/is delicious but only one of my sister-in-laws makes it now – and very rarely.
          My husband said he didn’t like the ragu his sister made. He should’ve been happy she went to all the trouble for him.
          The same aunt with whom I made the blood pudding used to make ragu for Claude every time he went up to the family farm. That man was sooo spoiled by everyone… including me!

            • What I actually should’ve asked is what was your MIL’s heritage. I’m curious because she used to cook tripe. So… perhaps your father-in-law was British – or from another country? (I don’t know anyone who has ever eaten tripe… except for my neighbor from England…)

              • I love learning new things. And because you said your MIL was Italian, I quickly looked up Italian recipes for tripe – and do they ever look delicious. Leave it to the Italians to make something rather ‘yuck’ into something delicious. I suppose you get used to the texture etc. if you’re brought up eating it… ?? ; o )

    • Damn if I didn’t get several hits yesterday on the blood pudding recipe – you were right Karen! And the recipe for How to Cook a Turtle gets a few hits day in and day out – who would’ve ‘thunk it’, right!? ; o )

        • Well…if the recipe includes pig blood or turtles… yeah! That being said, turtles are, for people who live in the country, pretty easy to come by. Fresh pig blood might be a bit more difficult to find.
          You know what… I have to remember that most countries are NOT as squeamish as Americans have come to be. And that our blogs are seen by people from all other the world. Which is just sooo cool. ; o )

    • Eva – how wonderful to hear that!! ; o ) I believe most cultures tried to make use of every part of an animal they had slaughtered – hence recipes like blood pudding!

  5. I ate black sausage all over the UK and Ireland. I just wasn’t impressed – it was so bland. I think that’s the problem with a lot of traditional recipes. I’d much prefer a gourmetified black sausage recipe. One with flavor! But what fun. A lovely post. Thinking of you this new year.

    • Thanks so much Mimi for saying this is a fun post. ; o )
      I do think the French Canadian version of blood pudding (sausage) may be less bland than the ones you ate (I won’t say ‘enjoyed LOL) in the UK.
      French Canadian food, though the ingredients are always simple, does have a lot of flavor. (I guess there’s a reason why Britain was always known for bland food… but that’s changing…. well, maybe not in the ‘sausage department’!! ; o )

      • I think the traditional foods are left alone, but I don’t know if that’s true everywhere. I’ve had traditional authentic bouillabaisse and cassoulet in France and thought they were terribly bland as well. But I try to sample everything just for the sake of it, and then move on!

        • That’s interesting – how the traditional French dishes tasted rather bland. I think our palates have changed – n’est-ce pas?
          When I was young we all really looked forward to French Canadian Meat Pie every Christmas. To us, way back then, Meat Pie was so flavorful that every bite was a delight.
          But, as the years went by, I started finding the meat pies a bit bland. Several years ago I decided to ‘up the anti’ by adding poultry seasoning. And that seemed to do the trick. In fact, my twin brother told me this Christmas that my meat pies ‘tasted just like mom’s’. And that was QUITE a compliment! ; o )

          • Well, I think we’ve gone from traditional food to gourmet food. I don’t know how else to say it. British food is a perfect example. They’ve certainly caught up with the rest of the world there! And traditional American was pretty bland – think southern cuisine. Everything was sweet and not very flavorful. I like eating flavor, myself!

  6. Cecile..Two years ago we purchased blood sausages from a French butcher in Bristol,Ct. .We cooked it in a red Sauce by a French relative. IT SOUNDS BETTER FRIED

    • What kind of red sauce? I hope you don’t mean spaghetti sauce – YUCK!!!
      I remember my mother’s mother (my Grammy Broullette, who’s Meat Pie recipe I posted here a few years ago, eating it fried when she came to visit us in Agawam. I doubt if she ever saw Blood Pudding (sausage) sold where she lived near Boston.
      My ‘grammy’ was born in St. Foy, which as you know, is a section of Quebec City. So she ‘loved her some Blood Pudding’!!

  7. Cecile..we enjoyed reading your recipe. Hope you are not insulted if I say I will never make this. Rich is not a fan. Thank God for small favors!

    • Well… you may change your mind… if and when you have a large (and fat) dead pig literally ‘hanging around’ your place.
      Sylvie’s husband shot the poor thing in the head – so he didn’t suffer. But pigs are very intelligent and the second pig was freaked out….
      Then the pig got hung up on the front of someone’s front loader and brought over to our friend Ful’s house.. a ways down the street.
      Claude could not believe it. Ful and Sylvie’s husband hung the pig right on Ful’s front door. Oh… the stories I have from St. Antoine de Tilly!! ; o )

    • Do you see it being sold in your ‘neck of the woods’ A? Me – I’ll try almost anything. But I just couldn’t eat any part of that poor (big & fat) piggy.

      • I haven’t looked but I remember my mom and dad bringing home ‘black pudding’ home from the market. There used to be a lot of European butchers selling things like this including head cheese, of course.

        • Oh yes – my husband’s aunt (Ma Tante) made head cheese. Once I arrived to see a pig’s head sitting in a big pot on top of the refrigerator. Now THAT’S something you don’t see every day!

          • I haven’t seen a pig’s head in years but I DO remember seeing it. Plus a huge beef tongue which I believe my mom cooked and added to the head cheese.

            As to making blood sausage … we can’t even buy raw milk in Ontario, I don’t think we could buy pig blood. I think people who have pigs or know people who do, can probably get it when pigs are slaughtered in the fall, but it’s not something the average householder can get.

            • Exactly – there’s not a lot of homemade head cheese or – blood pudding – being made any more.
              I just remembered my father-in-law used to love tongue… lamb tongue i think. That’s another thing we don’t see anymore. He would buy it, here in the States, in a jar. We’d all gag watching him eating it..
              British neighbors of mine, years ago, used to buy beef tongue, cook it and put it in a special press… along with the juices. They would slice the tongue and eat it in sandwiches. I’m sure it’s good. Maybe someday I’ll get to try it!

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