Morcilla tends to be a very dark red, almost black sausage made in links, with a shiny, crisp casing. There are smoked and unsmoked versions.
The base ingredients are lungs, heart, neck and blood from a pig, as well as fat. In parts of northern Spain, cow’s blood is often used instead of pig’s blood.
Some versions add rice, breadcrumbs or oatmeal as a binder.
Though seasonings will vary based on region, onion and anise are not uncommon. Some versions can be quite salty.
- Morcilla de Burgos: With rice in it. Usually fried;
- Morcilla de cebolla: With onions in it. Usually simmered;
- Morcilla Rondeña: Made in Ronda (in Malaga, Spain): Seasoned with cloves, coriander, cumin, oregano, paprika and pepper.
In Uruguay, “Morcilla Dulce” (“Sweet Morcilla”) might have ingredients such as sugar, orange peel, raisins or walnuts added to it; “Morcilla Salada” (“salty Morcilla”) is a salty, savoury version.
Morcilla is cooked before sale, but most people cook with it rather than eating it as is.
If using in a saltier version as an ingredient in a dish, cut back on salt elsewhere in the dish.