Liverwurst, or liver sausage is a Midwestern staple. When I was a kid we would go one town over to Cedarburg (not that i lived in a town per se, Mequon in those days had 62 square miles, 15,000 people and 4 stop lights) to buy meat. Paules’ Market (long gone sadly) was the place to get local meat. I can still recall the liverwurst, made from pork liver wrapped in a opaque casing that had to be peeled away. A quick lunch on the farm could be made from a few slices, sharp mustard and two slices of wheat bread.
The flavor of liverwurst is very distinctive, as opposed to liver pate or chopped chicken livers. It was this distinctive flavor that lead me to think that I could recreate it with beef or calves’ liver (which would make it kosher, if you use kosher meat). So a little internet research combined with consultation with Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing and I was ready to give it a try.
Some notes on materials and process. This takes a while to make. Leave yourself plenty of time and keep everything well chilled. If you break the emulsion (meaning the fat and meat separate) what you end up with is very tasty dog food. Also there are several options for casings. I used muslin cloth. You could also use a beef middle or hog bung.
Recipe after the break
1 pound fresh calf liver, cubed
3/4 lb veal stew meat
1/4 pound beef fat, cubed
1 sweet white onion, about 1 cup, finely diced
1 teaspoon freshly fine ground white pepper
1 teaspoons salt, or to taste
1 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon marjoram
1/2 teaspoon finely ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon mace
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
You will need a piece of unbleached muslin about twelve inches long and eight inches wide. As an alternative, you can use large casings.
Put the of liver, veal and fat through the fine disk of the grinder separately and then mix. Add the onion,powdered milk, pepper, salt, paprika, sugar, marjoram, coriander, mace, allspice, and cardamom over the ground meat and mix thoroughly. Put the mixture through the fine blade of the grinder twice, chilling the mixture in the freezer for half and hour between grindings. Also keep your grinder in the freezer along with your second bowl.
Place the mixture in the middle of the cloth (if you are using a casing, tie one end shut and simply pack it in with a spoon) and then bring the sides together and crimp over to make a seam. Using butcher twine bind the sausage like a roast, with a string every inch or two and then tie off the ends.
In a large kettle, bring enough water to a boil to cover the liverwurst by two or three inches. Put the sausage in the boiling water and place a weight on it to keep it submerged. When the water returns to a boil, reduce heat so that the water barely simmers. Cook for 3 hours. Drain out the hot water and replace it with an equal quantity of ice water. When the liverwurst has cooled, refrigerate it overnight allowing it to set. Remove the casing and wrap in plastic, it should keep for a week.