Dear Chef Bourdain;
Really, you could just skip this post and take a look at that picture. I mean, we talk about food porn from time to time, but …yeah. Blood sausage cack-n-ballz. Yum!
So I have story about the primary ingredient in boudin noir, and like a lot of good stories, it’s got a bit with a dog.
One day, I came home from work to find that Assistant Chef Bourdain (who goes by Blink when he’s not in the kitchen) had broken into a bag of blood meal fertilizer while I was out. Blood meal fertilizer is, in fact, just congealed blood in a bag, exactly like boudin noir – only for the garden instead of the plate. So there’s congealed blood scattered all over the kitchen, and in a big pile in the dining room on the carpet, too. And the dog looked very uncomfortable, and vaguely guilty, not unlike someone slinking out of a fetish club. Clearly he’d eaten most of a three pound bag of congealed blood.
After some fevered research, I found that he would probably be okay since it was organic and whatnot. Not unlike boudin noir. He groaned a little bit, but otherwise had an average evening. Flash to the next morning, when I’m blearily going through my morning ablutions. So bleary was I, I even brushed my teeth and splashed water on my face without turning the bathroom lights on. I fed the dog, filled his water bowl, and smelled the undeniable odor of dog farts. Given that the dog wasn’t in the room, this was an impressive achievement. With a dawning sense of horror, I looked down. That was no fart, that was…all over my shoe. But the dawning horror didn’t stop there – oh no, with a sinking heart I saw that poo-ey footsteps reversed my path from the kitchen sink, through the dining room, the living room, the office, and back to the bathroom – where a pile of 90% boudin noir had been deposited by my groaning dog.
Spending the day cleaning up the World Of Poo that I temporarily inhabited, I never really thought one day I’d cook and eat the very same stuff with some caramelized apples. And yet…
The actual recipe was fairly easy. I still managed to fuck it up pretty spectacularly, but fortunately it was with easily replaced ingredients. Honestly, you wouldn’t think applying heat to butter and sugar to create caramel was all that hard. And yet, I succeded in creating the below revolting mess.
So I tried again, and this time I came up with something that could more properly be described as caramel.
All that remained was to coat the apples in the caramel, and the blacken the sausage in a pan before putting everything in the oven.
You describe boudin noir as “some of the best eating on earth,” a phrase I’ve observed you only use for stuff that would generally be considered “exotic” at best…but hey, it’s your thing. And I can sort of see the appeal – it’s as earthy as anything edible could be. Not inappropriate since it’s nearest cousin is, in fact, garden fertilizer. But it is seasoned, and with a bit of salt and cumin, and the crunchy caramelization from a nice hot pan, I’d go so far as to call it downright pleasant. Have you ever had scrapple, chef? It’s similar stuff from my home region of Pennsylvania, but infinitely superior in every way. Oh yeah, it’s everything on the pig between the tail and the squeal, mixed with a little gelatin and corn meal, to give it that nice mushy, gelatinous gray appeal. But brown it up with a little butter and salt, and it’s delicious!
In fact, some of the best eating on earth. You know what I’m starting to think, Chef? That the secret is the butter, heat, and salt. That, and nostalgia.