Heaven and earth

Heaven and earth

By
From
Hix Oyster & Chop House
Serves
4
Photographer
Jason Lowe

This is based upon himmel und erder, a popular German dish. According to my mate, Steve Claydon, who is a huge fan, the soft, silky black pudding is the heaven (himmel) upon the earth (erder) of crushed up apples and potatoes. Until recently, the closest I could find to the German soft black pudding was Spanish morcilla, which works pretty well. Then Peter Gott of Sillfield Farm in the Lake District kindly developed a soft version of his black pudding for me, which is perfect. You can buy it from Borough Market, though you may well have a local butcher who makes something similar and you can soften it up as suggested if necessary. Wrapping the pudding in pig’s caul stops it bursting during cooking.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
300-400g good-quality soft black pudding
100ml chicken stock, (if needed)
100g caul fat, rinsed
300g potatoes, peeled and quartered
salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 cooking apple
1/2 tablespoon caster sugar
120g butter

Method

  1. Unless your black pudding is already soft, place it in a bowl and mix in enough stock to give a soft but not wet consistency. Spread the caul fat out on a work surface and pat dry with kitchen paper. Shape the black pudding into 4 balls and cut a piece of caul large enough to wrap around each one. Wrap securely and overlap slightly. If the caul is very thin, add another layer.
  2. Simmer the potatoes in a pan of salted water until just tender. Meanwhile, peel, quarter and core the apple, then cut into chunks and place in a saucepan with the sugar. Cook over a low heat, stirring every so often, until soft and almost falling apart.
  3. Drain the cooked potatoes and return to a low heat for 30 seconds or so to dry out. Crush lightly with a fork or potato masher, season and stir in the apple and half of the butter; keep warm.
  4. Preheat the grill to medium. Melt the remaining butter. Place the black pudding parcels on a grill tray and brush with melted butter. Grill for 6–7 minutes until evenly browned, turning and basting with more butter during cooking.
  5. To serve, spoon the apple and potato into the centre of each warmed plate and flatten slightly with the back of a spoon. Place the black pudding in the middle and serve at once.
Tags:
Hix Oyster & Chop House
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