Boudin Noir and warm potatoes with caramelized pear and crispy parsnips
I have talked about the joys of eating offal at length before, so I can’t think of a better occasion to continue my ‘eat more offal’ stance than cooking a dish from sublime quality Boudin Noir. Inspired by a recent trip to a French Super U, where I found myself eying up a pack of locally produced Boudin Noir, resulting in me taking it home of course, otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this post!
I guess this pack of Boudin Noir stands for much more than just a dish made from blood sausage. It spells the end to a rather inspiration-less winter and the resounding silence on here.
So what happened to the Food Club in recent months? We moved away from Berlin in autumn last year and relocated – spontaneously – to a small town near my hometown in Southwest Germany, a stone’s throw away from France. France is so close by that shopping there is a rather mundane task. We drive out of town, up the hill, down the hill, catch the ferry and there we are. In the border town Rhinau!
The town is nothing special, but it has a Super U and I love shopping in all French supermarkets. I love the fish displays, the variety of onions, cheeses, the meat counter and and and…
I wanted to make one last wintery kind of dish with the musky, dark-hued specialty. This matches the horrendous weather Europe has been suffering from during the last.. let me guess….24 weeks. The salty earthiness of the Boudin Noir is met by the astonishingly similar flavour of parsnip, creamy celeriac puree and crumbly potatoes. Lifted by the tart and pear-y sweetness. A dish that satisfies cravings like no other, but it has to be enjoyed in small amounts, too much of its goodness can be offputting in the long run.
Ingredients: (for 2)
14 slices of good quality boudin noir sausage (approx. 2 sausages)
1/2 kg potatoes (cut in chunky slices)
4 super-ripe Williams pears (cut in wedges)
2 white onions (cut in rings)
2 large parsnips (peeled and thinly sliced)
Sunflower oil for frying
some chicken stock
a cup of good quality native virgin olive oil
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp hazelnut vinegar, 2 tbsp Melfort vinegar
1 tsp sea salt
Carefully boil whole potatoes in salted water, take off the stove once done and set aside to cool off slightly (don’t let them get cold). Peel and slice.
The best local potatoes come from a town called Forchheim, you buy them like this and they’re PHENOMENAL!
Peel and cut the celeriac into chunks.
Cook the celeriac in salted water or chicken stock for better flavour. Drain once the chunks are soft, puree with milk, butter, some more chicken stock and a small spoonful of Creme Fraiche until perfectly smooth, season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
To get a good smooth consistency, pass the mixture through a sieve before adding all the other ingredients, this will help to get rid of the stringy texture celeriac roots tend to have.
For the dressing, add mustard to a bowl and start adding the oil gradually, create an emulsion before adding the vinegars, salt and pepper. Mix well.
Make the parsnip crisps by adding thin parsnip slices into hot oil. Don’t add too many to the pan at once, small batches work better. Fry them for 3-4 minutes and drain the excess oil on paper towels. Don’t season!
Fry the onions in a mix of oil and butter until golden, add the pears, cook until soft and golden, set aside.
Take another frying pan, add a small amount of oil and start to fry the Boudin Noir until the fat particles have molten and the surface is crisp.
Assemble the ingredients on a plate. Start with the potatoes – drizzle these with some of the vinaigrette, top with onions, pears and parsnip crisps, Add dollops of celeriac puree on the outside and top these with Boudin Noir. If you have fresh chives, sprinkle some on top to give it a fresher colour.
Drizzle with more vinaigrette while warm, serve immediately.