Pease Pudding from Up North

Pease pudding eating is rife in the North East of England and, my man being of the Geordie diaspora, is something we eat fairly frequently. For a very cheap and simple dish it is delicious and makes me wonder if perhaps it’s not as grim Up North as we’ve been led to believe.

Above the invisible pease pudding line which stretches across Britain at about the level of the Midlands pease pudding is readily available in butcher shops and supermarkets but the rest of us have to make our own.  It’s easy …

How to make Pease Pudding …

250g yellow split peas
stock from cooking a gammon joint - see below

~ Soak the split peas for about 8 hours in cold water.
~ Drain the peas and place in a medium sized saucepan.
~ Add enough stock from the ham to cover by a depth of 1cm or so.
~ Bring to a boil, stir, turn down the heat and simmer till the stock is absorbed and the lentils are softening.
~ Keep an eye on the proceedings and top up with hot stock as necessary, continuing to simmer till the peas have softened completely and break down into a purée when stirred. This should take about 45 minutes.

Just this, with no additions, or perhaps, if you like, a little butter and black pepper (don’t salt without tasting – the stock is usually sufficiently salty) is delicious served with the hot ham, new potatoes, fresh veggies and a drizzle of honey mustard salad dressing (not traditional); the salt and the sweet are brill together. 


How to cook Gammon with a bonus of Delicious Stock

~ Weigh your piece of gammon and calculate how long to cook it based on 20 minutes per 450g.
~ Put the joint in a large saucepan and completely cover with cold water.
~ Bring to a boil, skim off any scum, turn the heat down, cover and cook for the required time.
~ Check now and then and top up with hot water if necessary.
~ When tender remove the meat from the stock but KEEP THE STOCK!

Legend has it that an oft heard street cry in Medieval London was  

“Pease pudding and a suck of bacon”

The peddler sold slices of firm pease pudding accompanied by a brief suck on a piece of bacon on a string. When it was judged that the purchaser had had a fair suck for his money the bacon was yanked from his mouth ready for the next diner. Yummy!

Leftover Pease Pudding?

Seemingly pease pudding lends itself to reheating and using leftovers if the old song is to be believed.
Pease pudding in the pot – nine days old

Here’s some ideas – but, to tell the truth, I would cool and then refrigerate any leftovers rather than the old leave-it-in-the-pot method.

~  Spread in sandwiches, particularly those containing ham.
~  Fry slices of cold pease pudding to serve with bacon and eggs for breakfast.


Pease Pudding also makes a Fine Soup ~ London Particular 

London Particular – is a name commonly given to split pea soup. 

The thick fogs that used to occur in London up till the 1950s were called pea soupers after the soup and then the soup was named London Particular after the fog. I wonder what will happen next!

1 onion
1 tablespoon oil or, even better, bacon fat
chicken, vegetable or, best of all, ham stock (from cooking a ham) if possible
300g-ish pease pudding
a few slices of ham

~   Cook an onion my favourite way! In bacon fat if you have some.
~   When the onions are utterly tender stir in pease pudding and heat through.
~   Dilute and season to your requirements.
~  Finely chop the ham and stir in (keeping back a little to garnish).
~   If you prefer to process or liquidize the soup, add the ham and process it in which will result in little flecks.
~   Garnish with croutons which have been baked together with a few pieces of reserved ham.



Quick Dal (aka Dahl or Dhal!)

~   When completely tender,  mix in a little curry powder or paste.
~   Stir in the leftover pease pudding and dilute if necessary with stock. 
~   Serve with rice and suitable accoutrements. 

Ideas for all sorts leftovers on my Pinterest board ...

Leftover Food ~ Delicious Ideas

Click on any little image on the board below to be taken directly to that pin!

No comments: