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Blood Cake

(courtesy of Erick Caballero, Brasserie Saint James, in Reno. Serves 4 – 6)

1 yellow onion

6 garlic cloves, finely chopped

½ bunch parsley, chopped

½ teaspoon nutmeg

½ teaspoon all spice

1 quart fresh pig's blood

¾ cup cornmeal

½ pounds pork belly, cut into ¼ inch cubes

2 tablespoons duck fat

½ pounds beef liver, cut into small pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a pan large enough to take all the ingredients, sweat onion and garlic in duck fat until clear, soft, but not brown. Add parsley, spices, blood, and cornmeal, and stir on low heat until blood starts to thicken to a runny porridge consistency (do not overcook and do not let it sit). It has to have a certain density or pork belly will sink to bottom when added.

Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, as necessary, and when happy remove pan from heat and add chopped pork belly. Stir to spread fatty chunks through blood and pour the mixture into plastic wrap-lined loaf pan. Cover with aluminum foil and place on flat, folded kitchen towel and put into roasting pan. Pour in boiling water to come halfway up sides and bake for 1½ hours.

When finished, let it cool for four hours, or overnight is even better so it sits well.

Take off lid and with a knife, run it down on edges in order to separate cake from pan. Then put a sheet pan over top, flip over, and blood cake will come out.

Cut in ½-inch piece. In a small preheated pan, add butter then add slice of blood cake. Warm it up for three minutes each side. You can serve it with a local sunnyside up egg on top or just mustard and toast.

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