I've never eaten morcilla before this week though I am a fan of blood pudding - both the british and french versions. A trawl through my Moro cookbook offered a fairly lush sounding recipe stewing lentils with chorizo and tocino which in spanish is a kind of ham fat that I didn't have so replaced with smoked lardon but in the Philippines is a sweet cured pork dish traditionally served for breakfast with garlic fried rice and eggs which sounds like a fairly fabulous way to start the day. Might need to investigate.
Along with these essentially pork and bean things in my stew there was also morcilla a sausage that is properly thick - about 5 or 6 centimetres across and stuffed with pig’s blood, rice, onions and spices. During la matanza where family, friends and neighbours gather to celebrate the slaughter of the pig Spaniards make good use of just about every part of the pig from the trotters to the ears. The blood is quickly drained into a large pan and immediately taken to the kitchen where morcilla is made for the first part of the feast. What isn't eaten on the day is hung to be saved for another day. Proper nose to tail eating!
Lentils with Chorizo
4 tbspns olive oil - I used rendered pork fat from roasting crackling
2 sweet chorizo, each 10cm long, cut into 1/2cm rounds
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
2 carrots, peeled and diced
100g tocino - I used pancetta
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 bay leaves
2 dried noras peppers, seeds and stalks removed, broken into small pieces and soaked in boiling water for 10 minutes
250g brown or green lentils
2 small morcilla or half a big fat one, add the small ones whole, thick slices for a big one
2 tbspns roughly chopped parsley
Heat the oil or pork fat over a high heat till very hot then add the sliced chorizo and fry till crispy. Remove with a slotted spoons and set aside.
Reduce the heat to medium and add the onion, carrot, tocino or pancetta and a pinch of salt. Fry for about ten minutes until the vegetables are beginning to colour. Add the garlic, bay leaves and drained nora peppers and cook for 2 minutes more.
Return the chorizo to the pan and add the lentils and morcilla. Cover with 1 litre of water, bring to the boil then simmer gently for about half an hour till the lentils are tender, adding a little water if the liquid falls below the surface of the lentils.
Season with salt and pepper then stir through the parsley.
Serve in deep bowls with perhaps a drizzle of olive oil and definitely crusty bread.
Good cold next day for lunch.