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Black Pudding and Pumpkin Pie

I like black pudding, which I know some consider to be an odd statement. (For those who don't know, black pudding is a blood sausage, frequently served as part of a full English or Scottish breakfast - also known as a fry-up. I do like them in that context, but this time when my sister exported some from Wales for me, I felt like doing something a bit different. For some reason, the idea of turning it into a pie, and of adding pumpkin to it occurred to me, and once it had come to mind, I had to put it into action or it would keep buzzing around in my brain. And what better for a cold winter evening than a warming stodge pie? So it was that we tried it out, and it hit the spot!

Having tried vinegar in a pie crust a few weeks back and discovering that it works, I decided to take that route again with the crust, reducing the richness a little, and adding some flavour, without sacrificing flakiness.

Starting out, I had no idea, beyond very broad brushstrokes, where I was going with this dish, and it only came together in the process of making it.I love it when that happens and things do come together well!


For the crust:

2 1/2 c flour

1 c butter, cold

1/2 c apple cider vinegar

2 tsp thyme


Pepper to taste

For the filling:

2 - 2 1/2 c slab bacon, cubed

3ish c black pudding, cubed

2 small pumpkins, cubed

2 large onions, chopped

3 potatoes, chopped

2 tbsp lard

1 c red cooking wine

3 tbsp tomato paste

1/2 c apple cider vinegar (I used my homemade apple and rosehip vinegar actually)

1 tsp thyme

1/2 tsp rosemary

1 tsp allspice

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp sumac

1 1/2 tsp pul biber

6ish cloves

Juice of 1/2 lemon

1/2 leek, in rings

1) To make the pie crust, place flour, thyme and pepper in a bowl. Grate in the fresh nutmeg and mix. Cut in the cold butter and rub into the flour with fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add vinegar and mix until just combined. Chill at least 30 minutes.

2) Spread the pumpkin out on a baking tray and roast at 180°C for about 30 minutes, until it is lovely and soft. Scoop out of the skin and set aside.

3)In a heavy skillet ( I used the cast iron one that was my grandmother and great-grandmother's, that I will be haunted for if I abuse it!), melt the lard. Add the onions, and fry until translucent, then add the bacon, potatoes and black pudding. Cook further.

4) When the contents of the pan appear to need some liquid, add the red wine, the vinegar, the lemon juice and the tomato paste. Stir in the roast pumpkin and the spices. Cook for about 10 minutes.

5) Roll out half of the pastry and line a pie plate with it. Scoop in the filling and lay the leek rounds over the top. Roll out the rest of the pastry, place on top of the pie and crimp on. Cut vents in the centre, and bake at 180°C for about 30-40 minutes, until golden brown. Serve hot with greens on the side.

This was delicious and so satisfying. It didn't come out as I had imagined it, with chunks of meat, and gravy. Everything all kind of fell apart and turned into a homogenous filling, but that is ok. It was pure stodge and did need greens on the side to offset the richness a little. We had kale and broccoli done with lemon juice. The only thing I think I might tweak would be the addition of fresh zest, and the use of more bacon. One slice was plenty, but so very tasty!

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