Hogs Pudding, Cornwall
Hog’s pudding is a very local delicacy these days, only really seen in the south west corner of the country, though variations on it would have been found on tables up and down the land in times past. It is one of those dishes that developed to use up the bits of the pig that were more palatable if disguised a tad – the lungs, liver, and heart in particular. Modern versions are far more likely to have pork meat of a more conventional variety in them, though thankfully there are still offal-rich versions to be found.
Earlier puddings, somewhat like their cousin the Cumberland Hackin , included dried fruit, a very medieval culinary habit. They are still made with a good deal of spice, in common with their medieval forebears: in Cornwall they favour lots of black pepper, often with coriander seed and some green herbs like parsley and thyme; the Devon mixture has cayenne, sometimes black pepper, and mace; both use plenty of nutmeg. Sometimes cumin can be found in the mix, and even basil; whatever blend of spices the butcher uses the aim is to have a pudding with a real spicy/peppery kick.
The meat, with suet or other fat, plus groat barley, is stuffed in a skin, though more along the dimensions of a haggis than a banger, and some cooks like to slice the product and fry the pieces. Beware when cooking one, the groats have a tendency to explode, though the flavour is at its best when they split the skin and form a crusty layer on the pan (some prefer to warm them in a pan of simmering water rather than grilling or frying).
These days you are most likely to come across the hog’s pudding in a farmhouse B&B or hotel breakfast in the West Country, but local butchers in the area sell them for the curious to try in their self-catering residences, and some of the supermarkets in the area stock hog’s pudding.
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