If you asked me to list my top five favorite foods or beverages to consume in Spain, morcilla, goat cheese and red wine would make the list for sure. Morcilla is a spicy blood sausage. There are many types of blood sausage all called morcilla, but the most common and best is morcilla de León or morcilla de Burgos, which consists of pig meat, pig blood, pig lard, rice, onion and spices stuffed into pig intestine. The blood makes it jet black.
Recently, my wife came across a recipe for individual serving pies containing morcilla, red wine and goat cheese. When she mentioned it to me, I darted out to the store to buy the ingredients. Last Sunday, we made them. Needless to say, they were quite rich. Here’s the recipe:
Morcilla and Goat Cheese Pie
- pastry dough (500 grams)
- 1 morcilla sausage (200 grams)
- 1 small onion
- 2 tablespoons of sugar
- a glass of red wine (100 mL)
- 6 slices of goat cheese, bûche style (300 grams)
- 1 egg yolk
1. Chop up the onions very finely.
2. Sauté the onions very slowly (20 minutes) at low heat until they become soft and translucent. You can speed up this step with more heat if you are in a hurry.
3. Add the wine and sugar. Let simmer until most of the wine has evaporated.
4. Peel the skin off the morcilla and break it up into the frying pan.
5. Preheat the oven to 190° C (375° F).
6. Press the pastry dough with a rolling pin until you have 12 squares (12 cm x 12 cm, 5″ x 5″). You could make circles, too, if you like, but you know what they say about the shape of pies:
7. Put down a layer of the morcilla and onions.
8. Trim the outer part of the cheese off, and place on top of the meat (the photo shows the untrimmed cheese, but I recommend trimming).
9. Fold over, or place another square on top, and press around the border with a fork.
10. Place the pies on a sheet of parchment paper on an oven tray.
11. With a pastry brush, lightly paint the top of each pie with egg yolk.
12. Bake for 20 minutes at 190° C (375° F).
As with many things in life, there are times in cooking in which ingredients come together to form something far superior to the sum of the individual parts. The converse is also true; there are times in which a combination of wonderful things is actually worse than the items taken separately. It saddens me greatly to report that this recipe is one of the latter instances. These little pies are delicious – are quite rich and filling – but if you gave me the option between one of these pies or a piece of morcilla, a piece of goat cheese, and some bread, I’d rather consume them separately. Both morcilla and goat cheese have very strong flavors, and they end up muffling each other when eaten together.
Still, if you’ve got a hankering for pig blood and want to impress your friends at a party with some very Spanish tapas, these pies are just what you need!