Traditional Blood Pie
“Food was brought to her, steaming joints of meat and thick black sausages and Dothraki blood pies, and later fruits and sweetgrass stews and delicate pastries from the kitchens of Pentos…” -A Game of Thrones
Modern Blood Sausage Tart
*Fun Fact: Blood Pie is also a Klingon Dish. Oh, the wonders of the interwebs…*
The traditional pies are great. Rustic and hearty, frying leaves the dough wonderfully chewy, and the insides bursting with flavor. If you are wary of the blood sausage, you needn’t be; One of our housemates ate four of the pies in quick succession, raving about them, and was shocked to learn that they contained black pudding. The spices further improve what would be a wonderful recipe on its own. I used Aleppo pepper, and loved the middle eastern spiciness of it. If you too add spicy pepper to your filling, then you may find that our Milk Tea is a wonderful counter to that heat.
The modern pie is amazeballs. Truly. It took me about three glorious bites to even be able to think about additional adjectives. The smidge of garlic on the bottom of the filling was planted, grown, and harvested purely to complement the chevre. The leek was lovingly tended by orphans of the Greenblood who sang to it daily, until the time came for it to join the other ingredients in this tart. The black pudding, the center of the whole dish, stands firm amidst the other flavors, allowing them to complement, rather than overpower it. You may think the addition of the pistachios strange, but they lend a bit of crunch to an otherwise creamy dish, and help bring out the subtle nuttiness of the crust. Nibbled on its own, the crust has a nice, dry earthiness. However, it softens as it soaks up moisture from the filling, and adds to the overall gloriosity of the whole.
The two recipes are too dissimilar to compare fairly. I loved them both equally, albeit for their separate merits. I’d say that the traditional pie is the most Dothraki, but although the modern tart moonlights as a dainty and proper dish in its fluted tart pan, it’s absolutely one that Ser Jorah could dig into with both hands. Since most black pudding comes in 1 lb. packages, I suggest making both!
Traditional Mongolian Blood Pie Recipe
Prep: 15 minutes Frying: a long time (maybe about 1 hour total)
Makes 10-12 small meat pies
Known as Khuushuur in Mongolia, these meat pies are traditionally made with horse meat, or with lamb, goat, or beef. To satisfy the “blood” part of the description, I’ve opted to use blood sausage for half the meat. For a series of photos of a Mongolian woman (in… leopard skin?) making these pies, check out this post.
I also strongly recommend washing these pies down with Milk Tea.
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup warm water
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 small onion, minced
- 1/2 pound ground lamb
- 1/2 lb. blood sausage
- Spices to taste (I used 1 tsp. Aleppo Pepper, and 1 tsp. cumin)
- several cups vegetable oil for frying
Mix the ingredients for the dough, tweaking the amounts of flour and water as needed until you have a nice smooth ball of dough.
Divide the dough in half, and roll each half into a rope about a foot long. Cut these ropes into 5-6 pieces, which will give you a total of 10-12. On a floured surface, roll out each piece of dough into a thin circle, about 5-7″ across.
Onto each of the dough discs, spoon 3-4 Tbs. of the filling, then spread it out, leaving only 1/2″ border uncovered. Crimping the edges together is a bit tricky:
With your fingers, tuck the first inch or so of the dough near the fold under the meat pie. Then, one bit of dough at a time, fold the joined edges over the top, overlapping as you go, like this:
Repeat with all remaining dough and filling.
Meanwhile, heat about 2 inches oil over medium-low heat to 350°F in a deep pot. Fry pies, several at a time, until golden and meat is just cooked through, about 5 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain.
Serve warm or cold.
Modern Blood Sausage Tart Recipe
Prep: 10 minutes Prebake: 15 minutes Final Bake: 25 minutes
Makes one 10″ round tart, or one rectangular tart
- 1/2 cup unsalted pistachios, finely ground or very finely chopped
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup chickpea or almond flour, or a combination
- a pinch of salt
- 6 Tbs. unsalted butter, chilled
- 1 egg
- 2-3 tsp. ice water, if needed
- 1/2 lb. (8 oz.) Blood Sausage, cut into 1/4″ slices (black pudding, boudin, and morcilla all work great)
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- 1 leek, halved lengthwise and sliced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves, chopped
- 2 eggs
- 2/3 cup heavy cream
- 4 oz. soft goat cheese (chèvre or feta)
- 2 Tbsp. chopped pistachios for garnish (optional)
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Combine the ground pistachios, almonds, and flours in a large bowl, along with a pinch of salt. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the egg and mix thoroughly. Depending on the size of your egg, you may or may not need to add a splash of cold water to bring the mixture together. Press the dough into a flat disc between plastic wrap, and chill for 30 minutes.
Press the chilled dough into your tart pan, making sure to spread it evenly at a depth of about 1/4″. Prick the bottom of the pan all over with a fork to keep the dough from bubbling up. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the edge starts to pull away from the pan, and is just shy of browning.
While the crust is baking, prepare the filling. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, and cook the leeks for about 3 minutes, or until they are tender. Add the garlic and stir for another minute. Set aside and allow this mixture to cool. In a separate bowl, mix the eggs and cream with the goat cheese.
When the crust is finished, sprinkle the garlic-leek mixture over the bottom of the crust. Follow this with the sliced blood sausage, then the cheese mixture, making sure to distribute evenly.
Bake for 30 minutes, or until the filling has set. Allow to cool slightly before serving; Best eaten warm.