If there is one type of sausage that divides people, then it is blood sausage. For some it is a delicacy, others feel disgusted by it. It should come as no surprise that I belong to the former group of people. So it is only consequent that I also try to make some proper blutwurst in my sausage kitchen.
Luckily I can get fresh pig’s blood from a local butcher. This is far less common than it used to be because nowadays many butchers don’t do everything anymore – especially slaughtering and the minimum puchase at the abbatoir is significant. In other countries the situation is even worse, for example in the UK it is very difficult for non-professionals to source fresh pig’s blood. Most butchers there have turned to dried blood sold in bags which is more convenient to handle.
Blood sausage is popular in many countries. From the French boudin noir over the British black pudding to the Spanish morcilla, the variety of blood sausages is amazing. Germany possibly has the most variations on the blutwurst theme. It comes smoked or unsmoked, air dried or fresh, with fat and/or meat (or offal) cubes or without any additions. Most German blutwurst is made from 100% flesh and blood but there are also varieties that contain cereal like Grützwurst.
I planned to make to different kinds of blutwurst from the same base, one Griebenwurst with diced fat and one Rotwurst with diced meat.
The Blutwurst Base
The most important thing in a blutwurst is of course the base. Using blood only the sausage would become crumbly, so a binder is needed. Cereal may be used as in black pudding or Grützwurst, but in most cases pig skin is used. In principle the ratio of blood to skin is uncritical. The more skin is used, the “bouncier” the sausage becomes. Especially blutwurst that is to be air dried does not need very much skin because the elasticity decreases with continued drying. In some places meat as well is included in the base.
I have not used skin only but pig’s head halves along with a few pork hock slices both of which were also the source for the meat part.
There simmered for 2 hours in a large pot with some greens, bay leaves, cloves and allspice berries.
Ingredients per kg:
- 600 g pig’s blood
- 200 g cooked pig skin
- 200 g cooked pig’s head meat
Skins and meat are ground with the 2 mm plate of the meat grinder, the blood is carefully heated to about 40 degrees and then mixed thoroughly with meat and skins.
Ingredients per kg:
- 700 g blutwurst base
- 300 g raw pork fat
- 1 small onion, shredded
- 25 g nitrite curing salt (0.5% nitrite content)
- 2 g dried marjoram
- 2 g dried thyme
- 2 g pepper
- 1 g allspice
- 1 g cardamom
Cut fat into small dice and blanch for about 5 minutes in the boilong broth you cooked the meat in. Mix with the other ingredients and fill into sausage casings. I used 43/46 mm beef rounds. Simmer the sausage for approximately 1 minute mer mm thickness in the broth at 70 to 80 degrees.
Ingredients per kg:
- 600 g blutwurst base
- 400 g cooked pig’s head meat
- Same seasoning as Griebenwurst
Of course it is possible to add diced fat as well. The ratio of base to meat and/or fat may be adjusted according to your preference.
Dice the meat (variations in size look more interesting in the cross-section), mix with other indredients and fill into sausage casings. I used hog middles. Simmer the sausage for approximately 1 minute mer mm thickness in the broth at 70 to 80 degrees.
I had made sufficient paste for two Rotwurst sausages but the second casing had holes that I only noticed during filling. So I spontaneously decided to bake the remaing paste in the oven using a small dish.
About 500 grams took orughly an hour at 120 degrees in a shallow ovenproof dish until the internal temperature reached 70 degrees. The exact duration of course depends on quantity and shape. It really doesn’t look very appetizing from the outside, but whe the pudding is cut you can see that blutwurst can also be baked in an oven if you don’t want to use casings or glasses.
Blutwurst can be eaten right after cooling down. This is what I did with the first Griebenwurst. I cold smoked the other sausages for about 10 hours. One day later I cut the thick Rotwurst:
I am very happy with both look and taste of both types of blutwurst I made. The remaining sausages are hanging in the cellar now to dry for a few weeks.