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cooked blood sausage
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4.58 from 7 votes

Portuguese Blood Sausage

Call it what you will, this is blood sausage. My blood sausage recipe is a hybrid of many, many recipes for Europe’s versions, and is distinctive in that it is not a pure-blood product: I use quite a bit of pork here, and use the blood as a binder and flavoring agent. And yes, I use pork and pork blood. Could I use wild boar? You bet, but getting wild boar blood is chancy. Better to use wild boar meat and domestic pork blood, which you can order from a reputable butcher’s shop or find at Asian markets.
Prep Time1 hr 30 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time1 hr 45 mins
Course: Cured Meat
Cuisine: Portuguese
Servings: 20 links
Calories: 198kcal
Author: Hank Shaw


  • 1 quart pork blood (probably 1/2 gallon)
  • 3 pounds pork shoulder
  • 1/2 pound pork fat
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 1/4 cup duck fat or fresh lard
  • 36 grams kosher salt, about 3 tablespoons
  • 6 grams Instacure No. 1, about 1/4 teaspoon
  • 10 grams freshly ground black pepper, about a tablespoon
  • 6 grams ground bay leaves, about a tablespoon
  • 1/2 cup minced parsley
  • 3 tablespoons sweet paprika


  • Freeze the pork fat.
  • Cook the chopped onions in the duck fat or lard over medium-low heat until they are caramelized, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove and cool them. I do this step the day before.
  • Mix both salts, and the pepper, parsley, bay leaves and paprika. Cut the pork and fat into chunks and coat everything with the spice mix.
  • Chill everything: bowls, grinder parts, sausage stuffer parts, and especially the meat, fat and blood. I put everything in the freezer for a few hours. You are looking for temperatures close to freezing.
  • Take the hog casings out and put what you need in a bowl of warm water. Depending on their width, you’ll need 10 to 20 feet worth. Many places sell casings specifically to make 5-pound batches. Be sure to drape the end of each casing over the side so you can find it later.
  • Using the coarse die, grind the meat and fat. If you wish, you can run everything through the fine die. Make sure the meat and fat are at no warmer than 35°F when you grind. Put the meat and fat into the freezer and clean up.
  • Fill the largest pot you own with water and heat it to steaming, but not boiling. Ideally you want something like 160°F.
  • Meanwhile, attach the paddle to your KitchenAid or other mixer, or, alternately, get a stout wooden spoon. Take the meat and fat mixture out and add the cooked onions. Pour in about a pint of blood. Stir on Level 1 on the mixer or with the wooden spoon. Add some more blood as you go; it’s not an exact science. You want a loose slurry that is quasi-emulsified — a consistency like pancake batter. When it is the consistency you want, put the mix back in the fridge and clean up. Get your sausage-stuffer ready and thread a hog casing onto it.
  • Pour the mix into the sausage stuffer and begin making your sausages. Make the whole coil before you tie them into links. This is a little tricky, and it helps to have a second person help. You need to tie off blood sausage because it is very loose inside and twisted links will fall out. Repeat until you are done with all the sausage. Get the largest bowl you own and fill it 2/3 of the way up with ice and water.
  • If you have some wooden dowels, use them to GENTLY lower the sausages into the pot of hot water. Do one at a time. Let the sausages poach for 15 minutes and then place them in the ice water. When the sausages are cool, remove them gently and hang them to dry out for an hour or so. You can now smoke them, or cook in any way you’d like.


To make this recipe you will need hog casings (also easily available at a butcher shop, or even at a supermarket that makes it own sausages), and lots of onions, slowly cooked and cooled beforehand. 


Calories: 198kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 41mg | Sodium: 732mg | Potassium: 204mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 665IU | Vitamin C: 3.6mg | Calcium: 19mg | Iron: 1mg