A traditional Estonian dish eaten Christmas Eve, is Black Sausage, also known as Blood Sausage, in Estonian as verivorst. It is a dish that is no stranger to other parts of northern Europe.
Each year a huge batch of sausages are made by Vancouver area Estonians at the Kembi Talu beginning with Jaak Selde doing the bulk of the purchasing. Kärtu begins with 30 lb. of uncooked barley, 30 lb. of chopped pork fat, one kilo of marjoram, 1 1/2 cup of salt, 1 1/2 cup of pepper, 36 large onions chopped and 2 gallons of certified blood. She cooks the barley in a very large pot, later transferring the barley to a larger vat in order to add and mix the ingredients together. No small feat. The mixing is done in two stages as the ingredient load is large.
The sausage mixture is then fed into a commercial sausage-making machine and the casings are put onto the machine nozzle. Three bundles of casings are rinsed, a two hour job in itself. Six people flatten out the sausages and tie them into links - which reminds me, it takes a good half hour to cut enough string into 3" lengths. After tying, the sausages are pricked (to prevent bursting) and simmered over the stove in hot water. The sausages are removed from the water and cooled on racks. After cooling they are ready for baking, about half an hour to 45 minutes at 350 degrees. Serves 700. (Don't forget to copy out the recipe.)
Making black sausages