Saturday, October 22, 2011

Vegetarian black pudding

The smell of black and white pudding cooking reminds me of being a little kid. It's a smell that triggers memories of visiting my grandparents in the West of Ireland. The other sure fire smell that reminds me of them is the smell of a turf fire. 

Before I went vegetarian I really enjoyed meat. I liked rare steaks, sausages, good bacon, chicken skin, smoked mackerel, tinned name a few things. I also loved good pudding. To me, really good pudding isn't just mush in a skin. It's well seasoned and full of grains so there's something special about the texture too. 

So far I don't think I've seen vegetarian pudding for sale anywhere. I've heard of veggie hagiss, so there's bound to be someone out there making and selling black and white pudding. But nevermind, if you don't mind putting in the time, this recipe will make a yummy black pudding that you would swear was a proper blood pudding. 

I based the recipe around Darina Allen's recipe for traditional black pudding in her Forgotten Skills of Cooking book but put my own twist on it by using green lentils, pearly barley and red wine gravy. I am really really happy this recipe has worked out so well. Not only do they smell and taste like the real thing but the texture is pretty bang on too. 

Bare with me, this takes alot of time, but the end result is so worth it!

1 tsp allspice, 
1/2 tsp white pepper,
1/2 tsp nutmeg,
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper,
2 tsps thyme,
20g wholegrain flour,
20g breadcrumbs (I crumbled up some left over oat flour scones),
25g green lentils,
25g pearl barley,
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped,
1/2 red onion, finely chopped,
1 stock vegetable stock cube,
1 tsp corn flour,
300ml red wine, 
200ml water,
1 tsp soya sauce,
A pinch of salt,
50g vegetable fat, (I used Cookeen and you can probably use just 30g if you want)

Fry off the chopped onions in a pot until they begin to go transparent, then add the garlic. Give it a stir and let the garlic cook for a couple of minutes, before adding 1 tsp of thyme and the red wine. Leave this to simmer until the wine has reduced. 

In a separate pot, bring the pearl barley to boil in some hot water and allow to simmer for 25 minutes, before adding the green lentils and leaving them to simmer for another 25 minutes. You will probably need to keep an eye on the pot and top up the water every so often so it doesn't boil dry. 

While you're waiting for the gravy and the barley/lentils to do their thing, weigh out the breadcrumbs, flour and herbs into a bowl and set aside. 

Back to the gravy. When the wine has reduced, crumble in the stock cube and stir in the water. Whisk in the cornflour and leave to thicken and reduce once again. 

When the lentils and barley are ready, the barley will have softened but the lentils will still have a bit of bite in them. Drain them and set them aside. 

Crumble the vegetable fat into the gravy and whisk it through. Stir in the dry ingredients, followed by the lentils and barley and the soya sauce. 

Be prepared for this to not look pretty. Also be prepared for it to leak oil all over whatever counter top you attempt to roll it up in cling film on. 


  1. Looks really good =)

  2. It was really yummy. There's only one piece left now, which I'm reserving for Gar to try it. But it might not survive until he comes over this evening... :)

  3. This looks phenomenal. We have been experimenting with veggie white pudding. Lovely blog.

  4. Thanks so much for this recipe. I grew up in Newfoundland, Canada and we ate a lot of black pudding growing up for breakfast or supper, and I was so hoping to find a version of it I could eat as a vegetarian. I'm baking mine as I type, but tasted a little of the mixture before it hit the oven and it is very good ! I halved the fat to 25 grams and just used an ice cream scoop to make patties (I flattened them). Got 7 burger sized patties. Yum !

  5. Have made this twice now, brilliant recipe, thanks a million for putting it up!

  6. Hi there, This recipe looks really nice, for convenience though there is a company in Lancashire that have been making a Vegetarian Black Pudding for years. Take a look

  7. Thank you so much for this recipe! Could you please tell me what you do once you wrap it in cling film.

  8. You just roll it like a sausage in clingfilm and can store it in the fridge. Then when you want to eat it you cut slices off, and fry them in a pan, -like you would normal black pudding.
    (This is me assuming here. I image you do though though, since the author says it's a perfect substitute for the real thing).

  9. cant wait to try this , sounds lovely

  10. Has this recipe seen any changes in the last 7 years? :) I wanna try it soon!