Black Pudding

Spain has its own heritage of regional black pudding, including the iconic Morcilla de Burgos. Morcilla is a Spanish blood sausage widely used as a tapa or as in ingredient in stews. Whilst the ingredients can vary depending on region, Spanish black pudding is typically stuffed with pig’s blood, rice, onions, garlic and spices. Produced in northern Spain, Morcilla de Burgos is widely recognised as the very best Morcilla sausage.

Black Pudding

Discover the Richness of Morcilla Black Pudding

Morcilla, the renowned Spanish blood sausage, has been a revered culinary treasure for centuries, particularly the celebrated variety from Burgos. This delectable black pudding boasts a rich history, blending rice, onions, pork fat, and aromatic spices into a mouthwatering symphony of flavours.

Originating in the 18th century, Morcilla de Burgos stands as the most esteemed variety, skilfully crafted with a distinctive blend of rice from Valencia and the warmth of cumin, setting it apart from other regional offerings.

What is Morcilla?

Morcilla, pronounced mor-SEE-yah or mor-THEE-yah, is a traditional Spanish blood sausage that holds a cherished place in the country's culinary heritage. It is enjoyed both as a tapa (small plate) and as an ingredient in various dishes.

Morcilla is a sausage made from natural casings filled with a blend of ingredients, including rice, onions, pork fat, blood, salt, and spices. While regional variations exist across Spain, the most renowned variety hails from Burgos, a city located 150 miles southwest of Bilbao in northwestern Spain.

The Morcilla de Burgos, initially created in the 18th century, stands out for its distinctive use of high-quality rice from Valencia, a region renowned for its exceptional rice cultivation. This addition set it apart from other Morcilla varieties and solidified its status as a gastronomic treasure.

Key Ingredients

The key ingredients that give Morcilla its unique character and flavour profile include:

  1. Pig's blood
  2. Rice (often from Valencia)
  3. Onions
  4. Pork fat
  5. Spices (such as paprika from La Vera in Extremadura and black pepper from Sri Lanka)

These ingredients are expertly combined and encased in natural casings, creating a sausage that is both visually appealing and bursting with rich flavours.

Differences from Other Blood Sausages

While Morcilla shares similarities with other blood sausages, such as the British black pudding or the French boudin noir, it distinguishes itself through its unique blend of ingredients and regional variations.

  1. Filler: Unlike black pudding, which typically uses oatmeal or barley as a filler, Morcilla incorporates rice, often from the renowned Valencia region.

  2. Spices and Seasonings: The combination of spices and seasonings used in Morcilla, such as paprika from La Vera and black pepper from Sri Lanka, contributes to its distinct flavour profile.

  3. Texture: The texture of Morcilla can vary depending on the specific recipe and region, but it often has a softer and more delicate texture compared to other blood sausages.

  4. Regional Variations: While Morcilla de Burgos is the most celebrated variety, other regions in Spain, such as the Yucatán Peninsula and Central Mexico, have their own unique takes on this beloved sausage, incorporating local ingredients and cooking techniques.

Cooking Methods

  1. Sous-Vide Method: Bring a large pot or container to around 78-80°C and immerse the sausages for 30 minutes, ensuring they are completely submerged.
  2. Oven Method: Once cooked, dry off the sausages and bake them in the oven at 180°C for 25 minutes to add depth of colour and provide a "snap" to the casings.
  3. Pan-Frying Method: Alternatively, you can pan-fry the cooked sausages over medium heat for 15 minutes to achieve a similar effect.

Morcilla is delicious when served on top of a white bean stew or as a tapa (small plate) with bread.

Serving and Using Morcilla

Traditional Ways to Serve

Morcilla, the iconic Spanish blood sausage, is a versatile culinary delight that can be savoured in various traditional ways. One of the most common and beloved methods is to serve it as a tapa (small plate) alongside piquillo peppers. This classic combination allows the rich flavours of the morcilla to harmonise with the sweet and smoky notes of the peppers, creating a delightful tapas experience.

Another popular approach is to present slices of grilled Morcilla on a rustic platter, accompanied by other charcuterie items, such as cured meats, cheeses, pickles, and mustard. This traditional presentation showcases the sausage's depth of flavour and allows diners to appreciate its unique texture and aroma.

Incorporating into Dishes

Morcilla's robust flavour pairs exceptionally well with various accompaniments, allowing for creative culinary explorations. Consider serving it with:

  1. Stews: Sliced Morcilla can be added to hearty stews featuring robust ingredients like lentils, chickpeas, or root vegetables, imparting a depth of flavour.

  2. Vegetables: Sautéed vegetables, especially onions and bell peppers, harmonise with the sausage's spiciness and can balance the dish.

  3. Apples: The sweetness of cooked apples serves as a perfect contrast to the earthiness of morcilla, creating a fusion of flavours.

  4. Sauerkraut: A bed of tangy sauerkraut complements the full-bodied taste of Morcilla.

  5. Potatoes: Serve Morcilla with a side of roasted or boiled potatoes, allowing the sausage's flavours to take centre stage.

  6. Bread: Present slices of Morcilla atop crusty bread to absorb the juices and create a delightful textural contrast.

  7. Eggs: For a rustic touch, Morcilla can be served with eggs—either in a classical Spanish huevos rotos style or simply with a fried egg on top.