“From Black pudding to pickled jellyfish, beauty lies in the eye of the beholder. What we see and taste as beautiful depends largely on what our family and friends approve of — with just a little room for personal preference.” Laurence Mound – Keeper of Entomology, British Museum, Natural History. Introduction to 1988 reprint of ‘Why Not Eat Insects’ by Vincent M. Holt (1885)
Boudin noir (black pudding/sausage) is not for everyone. As a matter of fact, most of my friends don’t really like it. My husband loves it, the kids don’t like it, but have the ‘obligatoire‘ two mouthfuls each. I enjoy it once in a while, especially when the weather gets cooler. Lately, I’ve been getting up extra early and spend at least two hours every morning looking for cèpes mushrooms. I have never felt more adventurous than now, crawling under trees and beneath the fern. I get a real kick out of finding cèpes. It’s the most fun gift nature has to offer in the fall. This extra-curricular activity gives me a very earthy appetite, making me hungry for sturdy rich food, something that can fuel my energy throughout the day. This is when I am in the mood for boudin noir.
This is a very classic recipe of boudin noir served on a bed of warm potatoes and onions, a drizzle of vinaigrette, semi-caramelized apples and parsnip crips. The sweetness of these homemade parsnips crisps make this dish most enjoyable. Make sure to make an extra batch as they are very popular!
Ingredients: (serves 4)
12 slices of boudin noir sausage
1 kg/ 2 pounds potatoes (cut in chunks)
3-4 apples (peeled, cut in round slices)
1 onion or a handful of small onions (thinly sliced or halved if small onions)
8 parsnips (peeled and thinly sliced – I used my food processor with a special slicing blade)
Vegetable oil for frying
25 g/ 2 tbsp butter for frying apples & onions
60 ml/ 1/4 cup olive oil
2 tsp grain mustard (or to your liking)
1 tbsp Xérès vinegar (or sherry/ red wine vinegar)
1 tsp salt
Pepper for seasoning
Step 1) Boil potatoes in a large pot of salted boiling water. Drain and set aside.
Step 2) Prepare vinaigrette dressing. In a small bowl, mix olive oil, mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper. Mix well.
Step 3) In a large heavy saucepan, fill oil no more than halfway and heat to 180°C/ 350 F. You can test one slice of parsnip, drop it in the oil – if it starts sizzling, the oil is ready. Fry parsnip slices by batches, 2-3 minutes each, or until golden. Set aside to drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with salt. Set aside.
Step 4) In a frying pan, melt the butter, add onions and fry till golden for 3 minutes. Add the apples, and continue frying 3 minutes on both sides, until golden. Set onions and apples aside.
Step 5) In the same frying pan, add the boudin noir and fry on a medium heat for 2 minutes on each sides. Slice potatoes, toss in the onions and vinaigrette.
Step 6) Start with placing the potato salad on a plate. Place three slices of apples, followed by three slices of boudin noir on top. Sprinkle a generous amount of parsnip crisps on top. Serve immediately while salad is warm.