I had some leftover black pudding lingering in the fridge after an indulgent breakfast-for-dinner some nights earlier. I knew I’d seen a recipe for a black pudding ragu in one of go-to cookbooks but I had to look through index after index before I found it in Thomasina Miers’ reliable tome, Home Cook. As a big fan of a polenta cake, I often have bags and bags of coarse and fine cornmeal shoved to the back of the carb cupboard. This Black pudding ragu with parmesan polenta recipe seemed like an ideal and indulgent midweek choice.
In terms of method, the black pudding ragu was simple enough to put together. Where you would normally brown some beef, you simple break up the black pudding into the pan. Miers’ brief instructions don’t mention turning up the heat and browning the black pudding. I felt this was an important step as I hate a claggy lump of black pudding. The polenta was also easy enough. While polenta takes more time to make than mashed potato, it wins in ease. Finding solace in stirring the polenta gently and slowly for 45 mins, rather than peeling kilos of tatties and having to clean the potato ricer.
In praise of Spoon food..
In terms of eating, the rich tomatoey ragu was tasty if not mind blowing. The black pudding provided an understated ferrous flavour and soft, pappy texture alongside the creamy polenta. Welcome texture came from the toasted pine nuts. It was the perfect comfort food. Mild spicing came from cinnamon and paprika, adding a welcome depth of flavour. Although, I should that I doubled the spicing.
On a side note, the black pudding ragu was also the perfect meal to eat with a spoon on the sofa catching up with Line of Duty boxsets. Try as hard as I like, I eat on the sofa far too often. Unlike the old flat with its limited space, I now have a dining table, kitchen table and breakfast bar to sit and eat food properly. Still, most nights are spent chomping on the sofa in front of the TV. I figure that after paying extra for DFS’ fabric care plan, we may as well live a bit dangerously eating our coloured food on our light grey sofa).
As I’ve found with much of Thomasina Miers’ Home Cook, this was a very tasty meal even if it didn’t create fireworks of flavour. I would happily make both the black pudding ragu and the parmesan polenta again. Mostly I’m inspired to eat more stews and ragus with creamy polenta. What a welcome relief from more mastication intense carbohydrate options at the end of a dreary day.
Helpfully, if you’d like to try this recipe you can find it on the Guardian website.