One of the better movie box sets that has come out recently is the Hammer Horror Collection, featuring heaps of classic horror staples for any serious movie buff. The collection, which came out last year is a celebration of the golden age of British horror movies and includes such classics as The Quartermass Xperiment, Frankenstein Created Woman and Dracula: Prince of Darkness.
For those of you who are not familiar with this legendary studio and the films it produced, Hammer Films was founded in Great Britain in 1934 and began its life as a studio that produced low budget thrillers and what was then termed as quota-quickies; low budget movies produced to support bigger budget American releases in order to comply with the quota of local content to be played in British cinemas. During the early years of the studio from its founding through to 1955 the studio went bankrupt, had its name changed and went through several managerial changes.
But things changed dramatically for Hammer in 1955 when they adapted a BBC science fiction serial and turned it into a horror movie called The Quartermass Xperiment. The film was a runaway worldwide success, spawned several sequels (including the very popular Quartermass 2 and Quartermass and the Pit) and established Hammer as the leading horror studio in the world.
Riding high on this new horror movie craze Hammer and its regular stars Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing made a slew of classic movie series including Frankenstein, Dracula, Sherlock Holmes and The Mummy, with each franchise sparking at least four sequels.
One of the movies featured in the collection is probably the quintessential Hammer Horror movie, Dracula: Prince of Darkness. It was made in 1966 staring the silently ominous Christopher Lee in the title role, the Queen of British Scream Barbra Shelly as Helen Kent and Peter Cushing in a prologue cameo as Van Helsing.
The movie follows the resurrection of Dracula after he is incinerated by sunlight at the hands of Van Helsing ten years earlier. When the blood of a hapless victim of one of his servants mixes with Draculas ashes the Prince of Darkness rises again and starts chomping his way through anyone silly enough to come and stay at his castle high up in the Carpathian Mountains. This movie remains a classic and has not lost any of its bite almost 50 years after its production.
Now, like Dracula I sometimes drink way too much the night before and wake up from my sleep feeling like the undead and craving blood. I relieve the craving with Blood Sausage, Peppers and Eggs… a great cure to make you feel human again. Now you can of course by the Blood Sausage and Marinated Peppers if you like, but seriously, where would the fun and ridiculous time consumption be in that???
Blood Sausage, Peppers and Eggs
Serves 4 Minions of the Damned
2 Tbsp. Butter for Frying
Cracked Black Pepper
For the Blood Sausage
* Makes approx. 2.5 – 3kg kg of Sausage. Make sure you make in advance and store excess in freezer.
3 meters of Salted Sausage Skins (order in advance from butcher… get extra in case you make mistakes!)
2 Litres Pigs Blood (order in advance from butcher)
4 Onions Finely Chopped
1kg Pork Fat (order in advance from butcher)
200g Cooked Pearl Barley
50ml Olive Oil
20g Cracked Black Pepper
20g Smoked Spanish Paprika
20g Ground Marjoram
20g Ground Thyme
20g Ground Celery Seed
20g Ground Mace
**Please note I have used a KitchenAid Stand Mixer with Sausage Stuffer attachment to make the sausages.
For the Marinated Peppers
*Peppers should be made in advance and stored in sterilized Glass Jar with Lid.
6 Red Capsicums
5 Cloves Roughly Chopped Garlic
1 Tbsp. Salt
1 Tbsp. Ground Black Pepper
¼ Cup White Wine Vinegar
½ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tbsp. Chopped Parsley
1 Tbsp. Chopped Oregano
For the Blood Sausage
- Place the Sausage Skins in a large bowl of warm water, press a little bit of water through each entire skin and ensure the ends are left hanging over the lip so you can find later!!!
- Heat a large fry pan over a low flame, add the oil and onions and sweat until translucent. Reserve.
- Heat a pot of water to boiling and quickly blanch the Pork Fat. Reserve.
- In a large bowl mix together the Flour, Oatmeal, Salt, Pepper, Paprika, Marjoram, Thyme, Celery Seed and Mace.
- Add the Pork Fat, Barley and Onions and mix.
- Add the Pigs Blood and stir together till combined. Place in refrigerator.
- Set up your stand mixer and Sausage Stuffing attachment, and roll the skin over the attachment till there is only about 10cm left hanging off the end.
- Remove the mixture from the fridge, place into the machine and gently hold the casing with one hand while you switch on with the other.
- Press the meat down through the stuffer with an even, firm pressure and after the air is released at the start guide the release of the casing to match the meat coming through to ensure a nice even sausage.
- Once the mixer has gone through, tie off one end and start making sausages by pinching the sausage firmly at ten cm intervals and then twisting in opposite directions to create the link. Repeat this way until complete and tie off the remaining end.
- Heat a large pot of water to barely a simmer and add the sausages, gently poaching for 10 minutes. Remove from water, hang for approx. 2 hours (an indoor clothes horse will suffice) and then store in freezer till needed.
For the Marinated Peppers
- Heat Oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
- De-stem and de-seed the Capsicum and place on a baking tray with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt.
- Cook the Capsicum in the oven for approx. 30-40 min or until skin has blistered and the capsicum is soft.
- Place the Capsicum in a clean plastic bag and tie up for approx. 10 minutes allowing the skin to separate.
- Take the Capsicum out of the bag and gently remove the skin. Chop into large chunks and place into a medium sized mixing bowl.
- Add the Garlic, Salt, Black Pepper, White Wine Vinegar, Olive Oil, Parsley and Oregano to the bowl and mix well.
- Carefully place the mixtures into a sterilized Glass Jar, seal tightly and store in refrigerator. For best results make this a few days before needed so the flavours have a chance to combine.
- Remove Sausages from freezer, remove desired amount of links and defrost.
- Cut the Sausage into thick slices and gently pan fry over a medium heat with a dash of olive oil. Be careful with the Sausages as they are pretty delicate. When cooked drain on paper towel.
Cook your eggs however you like them, (I did Sunny Side Up), season with Sea Salt and a couple of cracks of Black Pepper and serve with Marinated Peppers and a slice of Sourdough toast.