blood sausage

the wurst kind

So the more I think about this – writing this thing up for you, Prez, the more I feel it might be a bit of an anti-climax.

I’m down country out of cellphone range and so I’m just banging this out straight into Medium as I cook and then I’ll drive back into range and press go on it.

So it may not be that interesting.

When I initially mentioned it out loud (which is what writing anything on Medium is for me these days) and you came and popped your head in the doorway (which is what I imagine in my brain when people barge in on a conversation someone is having with someone else*) I heard you gradually mention the word ‘salivating’.

It’s an interesting word, salivating. Just looking at it as a word makes me salivate. I know there is a special word for that. You will know what it is, Prez – you are brighter than me. If I knew it I’d use it commonly in the world. But I don't, so I won't use it here.

Anyway so as I’m writing this I’m thinking that it might be a let down.

But it doesn’t matter because at the end of it I get to eat something yummy.

So. Let us proceed. But before we do – pop on some music and pop the kettle on. I'm having coffee, not tea like I mentioned I might.

I usually put something quite heavy on on weekend mornings to get me going but I’ve already been up and about and I have other people to consider (no one likes my heavy music) so today while I am cooking this I am listening to some of this album and some of this album.

So, Prez, in the head photo you will see the meat. Or as you Americans like to call it, the proteins.

I don't know why you do this. I know there will be a good reason but I just don't know what that reason is.

I call it meat. Good meat. Meat with good fat in it.

Oh – before we go any further on this… this is not a weight watcher’s delight ok? I use real food when I talk about good. So when I say ‘butter’ I mean butter, not… I don’t actually know what the other stuff is called anymore. Do you call it ‘spread’?

Spread. That implies it’s easy to spread.

I find butter easy to spread too but without the chemicals. You just take it out of the fridge sooner, you know. That makes it all very easy.

So. Get the meat ready to go, Prez.

I have Blutwurst which is made by my local butcher who is called Rudi and he’s German and he makes his stuff like his dad taught him.

So when I told Rudi what I was doing, writing this thing for you and how you might find it hard to get your own blood sausage happening, Rudi suggested I bring home some nice Weisswurst also. That way, if you weren’t able to get your hands on any blood sausage in your area, you wouldn’t be left high and dry.

Now you may be thinking ‘ol Rudi, trying the old up-sell eh?’. Well of course he was. Why wouldn’t he? Still – good idea.

So I got a good handful of Weisswurst which is veal and pork (back bacon) with marjoram on top.

I also have bacon. And I couldn’t tell you what cut of bacon this is. Looking at it I would say it’s middle bacon because it has the decent bit of meat then the streaky bit.

It’s the least most important thing in this whole recipe though, because it is going to turn out ok, no matter what. Just as long as you follow the instructions Prez.

Now, listen, Prez. You and I know what happened with the cheese scones. The ingredients weren’t the same at your end as they were at my end and, look, I understand that, ok? I know there was the thing where you can’t get Schweppes lemonade there and all the palaver you went through and the hordes of hungry folk waiting, angry (I know the cool kids call this hangry – I do not, because I am neither cool nor kid) and this was unfortunate. But this time it will be different, Prez. This time you will have all the ingredients, except for the Blutwurst and the Weisswurst. I don’t want to think about the fact that you might not have butter, Prez and, for the first time in my life I would ask you to, please, just make me a happy woman and lie to me ok? Tell me you have butter. Tell me you do not use spread.

Ok. On with the meat.

Fire the barbecue up. This is really what you will want to cook the Blutwurst and the Weisswurst on.

Incidentally, the ingredients for the Blutwurst (since we were talking about it the other day when you barged in on me) are: pork, barley, sea and mineral salts, sodium nitrate, antioxidants and onion.

The bacon will want to be done in the fry pan with the tomatoes. The eggs will have a pan to themselves. Eggs are funny like that. They sometimes just want to be left alone. Who am I to argue?

So, if you need me to tell you how much you’ll need for you and your Sweetie then someone ought to rip the needle off the vinyl right now and we all go home.

Right. So – barbecue is fired up – the sausage on the barbecue should take 30 minutes all up – excluding heating time. Depending on what barbecue you have. If you’re whittling wood to start the thing, maybe think about getting the show on the road earlier. Everything else being cooked will be set against that timing.

Heat your fry pan on the stovetop (I use cast iron and that is all) to medium high and pop a decent amount of oil in the fry pan. I use olive oil. Virgin. No need for extra virgin. That’s bullshit. Like, I mean, you can’t be a little bit pregnant, right, and this works both ways.

Just joking, I know, I know all about the Virgin Mary.

Joking. I know what extra virgin means.

Cut your tomatoes through the stomachs, right through, and chuck them in flesh down. Let them fizzle away for a bit. Meantime, cut your bacon in half so they’re… in half. You know what I mean. You want to sit them under each tomato.

Ohhhh.

I’ve cut to the chase straight away.

The only key to this all is the tomatoes. It acts as a glamorous thickener of everything. It makes everything sticky and lush and everything that’s good about the world. The world is good when thick sweet tomato juice is coating the bacon.

When you realise the tomatoes are sticking and starting to go brown and dark, get enough bits of bacon to sit under each tomato. No more. No less. Take this seriously, or you will undercrowd or overcrowd the pan.

Lick your fingers.

Do you know that my mum told me that if I ate raw bacon I’d get worms?

Bullshit.

Now. Trust the bacon. Trust it, it will do its thing. Dont turn anything down. Or you will find it all braising. All the water will come out of the bacon and you’ll have piss-weak bacon and tomato soup.

The bacon should be browning on the bottom now so get a teaspoon – yes, I use a teaspoon to turn stuff when I’m cooking. Better control over everything… get a teaspoon and flick the tomatoes off the bacon and turn the bacon over and pop the now cooked bits to one side. Keep the tomatoes face down. Suddenly something quite magical will happen. The juices will start to come out of the hot tomatoes now that they are back on the pan surface.

After a minute or so get the remaining bacon and repeat the process, except this time there will be juice and seeds sticking to the bottom of the pan – remember don’t touch the heat. Leave it at mid-high.

Trust it. Believe it will sort itself out, believe in the magic. Start fiddling and fussing and turning stuff up and down and moving bits and pieces around, you will miss out on the magic and you will complain it’s a dud recipe and you will try and pin it on me.

Neither of us want that to happen so for chrissakes, Prez, let it be.

Everything will just take care of itself. The heat of the tomatoes will cook the bacon – the bacon on the side will collect more juices and it’ll all be ok.

You don’t need to turn anything over. Just leave it. Leave it.

Now. The second batch of bacon will be cooked on one side so you want to do the same thing again – flick the tomatoes off with your teaspoon and set the bacon to the side and spread your tomatoes out.

Lick your fingers.

Now and only now turn your element down to low-low-medium.

Now we will attend to the blood sausage which you will slice into slices as thick as your index finger – the end closest to the fingernail.

Ok, Prez, have a look – get your index finger out and turn it side on. Think about how thick that is.

Look at your fingernails. Are they clean? Been biting your finger nails lately Prez?

Doesn’t matter. You do what you damn well like. But just remember that while eating bacon raw does not give one worms, chewing finger nails can. And then you have no nails to scratch your arse with.

Is it wrong that I am talking about worms while we are cooking? Escoffier would either be delighted or devastated.

Fuck Escoffier.

So, slice the Blutwurst as thick as your index finger. Pop these on the barbecue which is at about medium low degrees – put them on the hot plate not the grill.

Turn them almost immediately – they will get an instant crust. Then you will want to keep turning them every 5 minutes and pop the lid down so they cook low and stay juicy.

Then after 10 minutes in, pop the Weisswurst on the grill. Let them do their thing in the same manner as the Blutwurst.

Hey, it’s just occurred to me, talking about all this German meat – did you ever read my thing called You Hung The Bloodmoon? It’s about losing my virginity to my German boyfriend.

Is it wurst to talk about contracting worms during a recipe about blood sausage or is it wurst talking about losing one’s virginity to a German boyfriend during a recipe about Blutwurst?

Forget I mentioned it. Read it another time. Or don’t, over to you. You may have already read it actually. I don’t keep a tally. Actually, I do – a green hearted tally – but just because you didn’t heart it doesn’t mean you didn’t read it. It just means you didn’t like it.

You’ll like it Prez, it has The Rolling Stones in it.

Hang on… that sounds bad. I did not lose my virginity to the band The Rolling Stones. Nor to any members of The Rolling Stones.

Go back to the bacon and tomatoes and move the bacon into the middle. Mix it all up a bit. The element should be low, low-to-medium.

Now that the bacon is pretty much just sucking in the tomato juices, the juices are getting thicker and thicker and the tomatoes are getting as brown as they need to be in order to be perfect.

Go and suss out the sausages. Check on them and make sure they’re ok.

It’s time for the eggs.

We all do our eggs differently to each other. It’s a personal thing. You do your eggs the way you want to, Prez, but I'll briefly go into how I do them here.

Get your butter and chuck it into small blobs into a cold pan.

Break your eggs and have two per person or whatever and break another two for the pan, break them and blend them around with the teaspoon so they commingle with the egg whites.

Turn the element on medium-high and just leave them. After the white starts showing its face, run your teaspoon around the perimeter to let the air in under the white and turn it down to half.

Leave them to sit and think about their own behaviour while you go back out to attend to your sausages.

By this time they should be done. Bring them in to the kitchen and set them aside while you do a final spruce up of the bacon and tomato with the teaspoon. The bacon should be completely coated in luxurious thick sweet juices of the tomato and you will notice that the tomatoes will have been reduced to half their original size.

This is ideal. This is the goal. This is what we want.

Do you keep a block of Parmesan in the fridge Prez? If you do, now is the time to grate some on your eggs. If you want to use something else please do, but please only use a hard cheese. Softer cheeses are no match for egg – neither is mushroom, have you noticed?

I’ve just realised I suggested mushroom in my initial comment to you. I can’t for the life of me understand what I was thinking mentioning mushrooms. Eggs and mushrooms together null and void each other out.

If you did actually take note of what I said to you a week ago, Prez, and have mushrooms there, please have them on toast for breakfast tomorrow. I have a good recipe for those too – they involve dry sherry – please let me know if you want it and I will make them and write a recipe.

Now. We are waiting on the eggs. Everything else can be popped onto their waiting plates with the egg coming last.

You have time to pour your coffee. I have brought some freshly ground beans (locally roasted nearby my home) with me and I’ve made a plunger coffee. Oh, salt and pepper.

Ready to go. Yum.

*You are always welcome to barge in on me Prez.