Black pudding and rhubarb on grilled polenta


3 cups each of milk, and light stock or water, totalling 1.5L
1 ½ cup fine polenta
½ cup (~75g) finely grated sharp cheese
salt and pepper

1 black pudding, cut into ½ inch thick rounds
Rhubarb, cut into 3cm lengths
1 tsp brown sugar
Butter for frying
Deep fried sage leaves for serving (optional)


Prepare your polenta ahead of time. Heat your milk and stock/water, with the rosemary sprig, until just boiling. Remove rosemary. Shake in the fine polenta, stirring continually for a minute over the heat. With all the polenta absorbed remove from heat and stir in the cheese, a few good twists of black pepper and salt to taste (beware the cheese is salty). Transfer to a shallow tray lined with greased baking paper. Spread polenta out evenly to a half-inch thickness. Allow to cool, cover, and then refrigerate for the day or overnight.

To grill polenta first stamp or cut out desired shapes according to finished dish. Heat a generous knob of butter in a well-seasoned skillet or heavy non-stick pan until foaming. Add polenta shapes and fry each side until golden. Remove and keep warm in a low heated oven.

Heat a little butter in the same pan. Add the sliced black pudding allowing room to turn each piece. Cook for 90sec or so on the first side, turn and finish cooking, then remove from pan and keep warm. Return the pan to a moderate heat and add another knob of butter and a tsp of brown sugar and a tsp of water. Place in the rhubarb. Cook only on one side for 1min before covering with a lid for 30sec. Remove to a dish immediately.

With a round of grilled polenta as your base, add a round of black pudding topped with a piece of rhubarb and secure with a cocktail stick. Sprinkle with deep fried sage leaves and serve with drinks. For a brunch dish cut polenta into triangles, and loosely stack ingredients on individual plates. Serve with a little maple syrup.


In my family we enjoy rich black pudding with fried chunks of tart apple and spicy Worchester sauce. Rhubarb brings that same tartness with an added earthy complexity. While polenta is a great base for a range of hors d'oeuvres, or an alternative to toast or muffins under eggs at brunch.

Thanks to Mc Arthurs Berry Farm - Rhubarb, and to Leckies - Black pudding  for providing the ingredients used in the demonstration at the market
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