First Course

Blood Sausage with Caramelized Apples, Cream and Balsamic Reduction

Last winter while traveling in Europe I got to spend a weekend in Lyon. I booked an apartment on Airbnb, and a full day market-to-table cooking class at Plum Lyon. I arrived on the narrow cobbled stone street where I was staying, got settled in a beautiful apartment overlooking the cathedral in the center of town, and as soon as my stomach started rumbling, I walked across the street to a Lyonnais boucherie. Without knowing any French, I asked the waiter what he recommended, and to start, he brought me a mason jar of roasted apples, blood sausage, and whipped cream. The elderly French man down the table looked at me, and he almost gave me a nod of approval, and I knew I had gotten the right thing.

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The dish was so amazing that I don’t remember the rest of the meal. I recreated my own version below. I regret to say that I did not make my own blood sausage (this time), but instead I used a simple Argentinian version, Morcilla, from Cleaver & Co in New Orleans. For those more adventurous readers thinking about tackling their own blood sausage, here’s a video of how it’s made in France. This is not for the faint of heart.

Blood Sausage with Caramelized Apples, Cream, and Balsamic Reduction, serves 3 to 4

Ingredients

1 cup of heavy whipping cream

1 cup balsamic vinegar

2 tbsps honey

1 garlic glove, smashed

a few sprigs of thyme

3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 8 wedges

1 tbsp olive oil

3 tbsp butter

1 lb blood sausage (i.e. boudin noir, morcilla), sliced into ½ inch pieces

Kosher salt and pepper

Steps

Whip the cream either by hand or with an electric mixer. Leave  in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Heat the balsamic vinegar, honey, 1 sprig of thyme, and garlic, in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Simmer until vinegar is reduced by half, about 30-45 minutes. If you go too far, the vinegar will become thick and sticky as it cools. That’s okay – you may just need to reheat it before serving.

Heat the oil over high heat and the apple slices in one layer, careful not to overcrowd. You may need to do this step in either 2 or 3 batches. Reduce heat to medium, and season with leaves from a sprig  of thyme, and dash of salt and ground black pepper. Turn apples after 4-5 minutes, or when they are golden brown and do the same for the other side, also seasoning with salt and pepper. Reserve apples on the side and add the sausage. Brown the sausage on each side for a few minutes, until crispy.

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Arrange 3-4 serving dishes. Layer the sausage slices, the apple slices, and then add a dollop of cream. Drizzle about a teaspoon of the balsamic reduction on top.

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