Boudin Antillais

On the French Caribbean Island of La Guadeloupe, La Martinique and the island of La Réunion in the Indian Ocean Christmas is often celebrated by, amongst other local specialties, having the traditional "boudin Antillais" or black pudding from the West Indies for lunch on Christmas day.

Recipe for 12 people:
  • 1 litre of pig's blood, homogenised and ready to use
  • 2 metres of natural sausage skin
  • 500g fresh bread, crust off
  • 6 hot chilies
  • 25cl milk
  • 50 spring onions
  • 1 onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 250g fresh chives, finely chopped
  • 100g lard
  • 5 sprigs of thyme
  • 2 cloves
  • 2 "graine de bois d'inde" or pimenta dioica*
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • salt and pepper
Soak the bread into the milk. Trim and crush the chilies along with graine de bois d'Inde. Wash and trim the spring onions and chop them very finely. Peel and wash the onion and chop it very finely, too.

In a cast iron pot, cook the onion and spring onions with lard until they get a golden blond colour. Then, add the chives and thyme and allow to cook for 5 more minutes.
Strain the bread and mash it with a fork. Then, add it to the onions. Add the strained milk to the mixture and allow this onion, bread milk mixture to cook for 5 minutes.

Crush the cloves in a mortar. Add the blood into the pot and stir constantly on a very gentle heat. Make sure that the mixture does not reach over 55 degrees otherwise it will coagulate. Season with the chilies, graine de bois d'Inde and salt and pepper. Continue to cook, very slowly, for another 10 minutes, stirring all the time.
Take your pot of the off the heat and allow the mixture to cool down.

When the mixture has set, put it in a piping bag with a wide round nozzle. Fit the skin onto the nozzle and start piping the mixture out into the skin. Every 5 to 10 cm twist several times the skin to separate the different sausages.
When all your "boudins" are done, bring to a gentle simmer a large pot of salted water and cook your "boudin Antillais" for 30 minutes.

Serve hot, with a "ti punch".

* The "graine de bois d'inde" comes from a shrub that exclusively grows in the Caribbean. It's name was given by Christopher Columbus who thought that he had reached Indian shores. Its seeds are an essential spice of the west indies cooking. On the island of La Désirade it is macerated in rum to make the bay rum. Its leaves resemble the bay leaves and have a strange fragrance of clove, lemongrass and aniseed mix together. I could not find any translation for this spice but to me it looks like allspice so that is what I use.

Nut free, suitable for pregnant women.