Finding Boudin Noir in Sydney

My love story with the boudin noir (blood sausage) is a special one as it dates back from the very day I started dating Monsieur. He’s the one who introduced me to this delicious charcuterie! The first I have ever tasted was actually one that came from “Picard Surgelés” which is a chain supermarket that sells frozen food only. They were not the traditional ones, but instead, the one that they have in French islands: Boudin Antillais. These are a bit spicy and hot (mild hot). They’re perfect for my liking but Monsieur’s delicate palate found the boudins were too hot. Afterwards, I had the traditional ones, the one that come from farms, the industrial one… I had them in savoury crêpes, with apples, mash potatoes etc… I still need to try the “liquid version” of it: Fressure.

Now that I’m in Sydney and that AQIS has made quite clear there was not a single chance I’d get any boudin noir from France into Australia, I’m desperately after Boudin Noir. So far, I’ve had good and bad surprises.

1/ Went to David Jones about 1 year ago and told the butcher at the very far end of the food court I was after blood sausage. They had one from a butcher in Maroubra. The bit I bought was a massive chunk.

Boudin noir, right in front of the boudin blanc – David Jones

Back home, after I cooked my apples with salted butter and caramelized them, I cooked the blood sausage. Unfortunately, Monsieur and I tought that this one was very dry. Not the full of fat boudin noir we have back home. They probably didn’t have the right mix of spices (boudin noir is not only about the blood, it’s about the spices, the right amount of seasonings, onions etc…). Nowadays, they don’t do it anymore.

2/ Sepia restaurant in the City – Went there for my birthday. They had boudin noir crumbs and that was great. Monsieur gave me his most desperate – but still very loving – look when I confessed I would start over again, my search for boudin noir!

Cocoa and sansho seared Mandagery creek venison, baby beetroots, rhubarb, chocolate, beetroot and boudin noir crumbs – Sepia’s degustation menu

3/ Returned to DJ 3 months ago. They had another blood sausage from a different butcher. The display gave two choices: Scottish blood sausage or English blood sausage. The english had added pork fat, the other did not.

Scottish Black Pudding from Rob’s Real McCoy – AUD 27.95 per kilo

We, of course, went for the fat version.

English Black Pudding from Rob’s Real McCoy – AUD 27.95 per kilo

Monsieur insisted I cook it with the skin, but we quickly realized that the sausage was wrapped in black plastic. Taste was a bit closer to what we have back home but still not there yet.

4/Ad Lib Bistro in Pymble – Went there in January 2012. I think they have their boudin noir from Victor Churchill’s shop but not very sure about this. The boudin noir there was the reason why we drove up North when the bridge was closed! What an adventure! But the trip was worth it… Check out the boudin noir from Ad Lib Bistro…

Boudin noir, Caramelised apple and Celeriac

Bit salty for my taste but the celeriac mash balanced the saltiness of the boudin noir.

5/ The Winning Boudin noir is Victor Churchill’s Boudin Noir. We walked to Woolhara to get it and the boudin was worth the trip. It is made by an Englishman and when I’m asking what set of spices they use, the 4 spices aren’t mentioned (Cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and pepper). Back home, when cooking our hand made blood sausage (AUD 37.99/ kilos so our 2 boudin noir cost around only AUD 9), they explode. The strong smell of local pork comes to my nose so I’m deciding to add a pinch of nutmeg (without telling Monsieur for he doesn’t like nutmeg at all!), apples I’ve just cooked, and onions. About a half of an apple and a fourth of a big onion approximately. Serve what seems a purée of boudin noir rather than sausage and to Monsieur, my re-tuned boudin noir tastes just like home :) Et Voilà! Sadly, as the boudin noir went from good looking sausages to something that didn’t resemble anything close to food, we didn’t take any pics but I can assure you the taste was just perfect! I guess I’ll get some chili for the boudin noir à l’antillaise!

6/ Baroque Bistro‘s boudin noir – tried on February 2012, a tiny piece of boudin noir from their Charcuterie plate. Yummo, but not exactly true to the boudin noir we know. It’s closer to a pudding in terms of texture. Flavours are very nice though!

7/ Three Blue Duck‘s boudin noir – tried on June 2012. Absolutely stunning this piece of black cake!They sure know how to mix the blood with apples there. The truest to what it tastes back home! Must Have!

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