Polish kiszka (KEESH-kah), also known as kaszanka or krupniok, is sausage made with fresh pig's blood.
Before you turn up your nose at the mere idea of a sausage made with blood, know that most ethnic cuisines have a similar version -- even French haute cuisine.
Today, as is true with Pennsylvania Dutch scrapple, it can be made with choicer cuts of pork, as we've done here.
Kiszka can be eaten cold, heated and whole on a grill or nonstick skillet, cut into rounds and fried, or removed from the casing and heated like hash.
- 2 pounds well-marbled pork shoulder
- 1 pork liver
- 2 teaspoons salt (divided)
- 3 cups buckwheat groats (or barley)
- Large, clean hog intestines
- 2 cups strained pork blood mixed with 2 tablespoons vinegar
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon marjoram
- In a large ovenproof saucepan, place pork and pork liver, and cover with water. Add 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until meat falls off the bones, adding more water as necessary so it is covered at all times.
- Remove meat from pot and reserve liquid. When meat is cool enough to handle, remove bones, veins, and gristle, and grind coarsely. Set aside.
- Skim fat off the reserved liquid and add enough water to make 7 cups. Add 1 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil.
- Gradually add buckwheat groats or barley, stirring constantly. Bring back to the boil and simmer until water is absorbed.
- Heat oven to 375 F. Cover buckwheat or barley and bake 30 minutes.
- Have large, clean hog intestines ready. Mix hot buckwheat or barley with reserved ground pork and pork liver. Taste and adjust seasonings.
- Add pork blood to which vinegar has been added to keep it from clotting. Add 1 teaspoon pepper and 1 teaspoon or more marjoram, mixing well.
- Stuff hog casings and tie ends with butcher's twine or wooden skewers. Place kiszka in a Dutch oven or large pot with warm water. Gently bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer 40 minutes.
- Remove from water, and hang to let it dry before refrigerating. Can be eaten cold or heated.
Where to Get Fresh or Frozen Pig's Blood
If you know of a reputable farmer who slaughters his own hogs, you might get pig's blood and hog casings there. Otherwise, commercial mom-and-pop butcher shops will be your best bet. If you butcher your own animals, remember to mix 1 tablespoon vinegar with every 1 cup of harvested blood so it won't clot and become unusable.