My favorite light breakfast - liver pudding and tomato biscuit



No, that is not a hamburger!  This is a homemade biscuit, a slice of a garden grown Cherokee Purple tomato and a large helping of liver pudding.  The biscuits were made with lard and patted out by hand (no one in my family ever rolled out and cut biscuits).  The tomatoes were grown by a friend in eastern NC - Cherokee Purple is an old, heirloom variety that has incredible flavor.  The liver pudding is the Pender's brand.  Pender's is very good, but Scottish Packing is my favorite commercial brand.  Homemade liver pudding can be much better than anything store bought, but I doubt that two families use the same recipe. 



Liver pudding is, basically, pork liver, lean meat and fat, salt, pepper, herbs and/or spices cooked, ground fine and formed into a pate'.  I like a little sage and a lot of crushed red pepper in mine.  As far as I'm concerned, the best liver pudding is always in a natural casing.  Adding cornmeal or rice meal to the mixture is somewhat controversial.  Some people say that once meal is added, it becomes "liver mush".  To me though, it is all abut the ratio.  I like the flavor of a little corn meal, so long as it is not enough to change the texture.      


Many of my fondest childhood memories are of time spent with my grandfather on the farm.  He always seemed to have liver pudding and saltines with him.  Back then, the liver pudding was home made and highly spiced with red pepper.  As liver pudding is pre-cooked, it can be spread onto a cracker, directly from the casing.

For breakfast though, I like it fried.  Just take a bit out of the casing and fry it lightly in a pan.  It will need a bit of a fat to fry and develop a good brown crust.  I use only suet, lard or butter (suet is actually the best).  Then, on a biscuit or in grits, you have a rich, very satisfying meal.

Some years ago, I was up in New Bern, with a group that was predominately of yankees.  I was living in Virginia at the time.  Someone asked me what NC delicacies that I was planning to take home - barbecue and seafood were mentioned.  "You know," I answered, "I have been craving some liver pudding and if I can find a little country grocery store with its own butcher shop on the way back, I'm going to buy enough to last me a few month!"  Unsurprisingly, none of them had ever heard of liver pudding and were absolutely disgusted by the concept.  However, if you like pates, liverwurst, boudin, dirty rice or anything else made with liver, you'll probably love liver pudding.  I'm going back for seconds! 

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