|Freshly made... without waiting 24 hours "settling" time.|
|After 24 hours "settling" time in the fridge.|
Homemade German Liverwurst( poached version)... or "Pateu de Casa". It so happened, that a few months back, I was introduced to the idea of making my own homemade liverwurst. A phone conversation with my sister made it all happen. You see, we ended up talking about recipes.... and then she mentioned that she had just finished making a batch of homemade liverwurst. I mean really, homemade liverwurst? Oh, I was all ears... I loved the idea of homemade liverwurst! And because my sister was thrilled with the final result, I instantly asked her for the recipe. Decided to attempt the liverwurst recipe myself....
I felt the liverwurst would be a great project to make. First and foremost, because it would be free of preservatives, and secondly, because I could use ingredients I wanted. And well, thirdly, because the technique sounded interesting... and I'm always up for trying something new. But in the end, I was hoping the final product would be somewhat similar to the liverwurst I grew up with... the type my mom would spread on toast for us... topped with a few slices of pickle. It was always so, so delicious!
Now, normally you can make a "pâté " by processing some cooked liver, fat, some spices, and a bit of brandy or cognac. Not a difficult process. And you'll have a good pâté . But making a German-style liverwurst is a bit different. The process involves mixing ground fresh liver, ground fat, some meat, and spices. And all this normally gets stuffed in some sort of casing, which then gets cooked.... or more like poached. The result is a soft and spreadable liverwurst.... similar to the Oscar Meyer braunschweiger we know here in the states. This is also the type of liverwurst Romanians are used to as well... or maybe just our family:). So I was excited to try my hand at making a homemade version...
I was ready to finally make the liverwurst after our local grocery store, that normally carries Montana grown meat, brought in some beef tongue. I've noticed they don't always carry it, so I bought the tongue. Then the butcher kindly gave me some free back fat when I told him I was making liverwurst. Sweet of him. Sometimes it just pays to live in Montana:). And even though pork liver is more widely used when making liverwurst, I ended up using beef liver... just because it is always available. In any case, it's nice to know the recipe works with beef liver as well.... in case you can't find or want to use pork liver.
While the recipe uses some sort of casing to stuff the raw liver mixture, I didn't have any. So I chose to make my own version of a "casing". I basically wrapped the liver mix in parchment paper, and then used foil to wrap again... this way the foil would help keep its shape, as well as keep most of the water out as it was poaching. Interestingly, my sister "poaches" the meat in glass jars... so that's another way of doing it. Probably smarter:)
The final product was simply amazing! Delicious. So worth it. And because I knew exactly what went into it, it was doubly worth it:). Plus, it makes a nice amount... you can give some away... or use as an hors d'oeuvre for large gatherings. A big thanks to my sister who did the hard work of finding just the right recipe... that beats the store-bought version. Hope you enjoy...
Note: If you remember the Romanian "Beef Tongue and Olives" dish I posted earlier.... this recipe used some of the beef tongue. So if you want to see how the tongue was cooked, you may want to check out that recipe.
~ While you have the option of using some nitrites(or curing salt) to help with keeping the "pink"color, I chose not to. The liverwurst does have a tendency to quickly oxidize and turn gray when exposed to air... but the gray doesn't bother me.
You will need: adapted from HERE. Will yield about 2 3/4 lbs of liverwurst.
1.25 lbs beef liver(can use pork, which is often used)
1/2 lb cooked beef tongue(can use heart or pork shoulder)
3/4 lb back fat
3 tsps table salt
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 onion +1 TBS oil, grated and cooked till soft and golden
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground mace
2 tsps dried marjoram
1/4 tsp ground coriander, optional
1 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1. Cook beef tongue till tender and peel skin off while tongue is still hot... I cooked mine in the pressure cooker with 2 celery stalks, 2 carrots, half an onion, 2 cloves of garlic, 1 TBS of kosher salt and 12 cups of water... for 40 minutes.
2. Weigh out 8 oz (1/2 lb). Cut beef tongue in chunks. Grind fine. Set aside and refrigerate.
2. Weigh out fat and liver. Cut in chunks. Freeze till solid. You may want to place the fat and liver on a parchmement/ plastic wrapped plate before placing in freezer... easier removal later on.
3. Grind frozen fat and liver using a fine grinder plate. Re-freeze and re-grind.
4. Measure out spices.
5. Grate onion and cook in 1 TBS oil on medium/low heat... until soft and golden. Allow to cool.
6. In a large bowl add cold cooked tongue, cold ground fat and liver, cooled onion, and spices. Mix until thoroughly combined. I added an extra step and processed the liver mixture ( in 2 parts) for a few seconds... until mixture was a bit smoother. Original recipe does not include this step... so it's optional. Just don't over process and warm up the mixture too much if you decide to use the food processor. You want the mixture to be as cold to freezing as possible.
4. Place liver mixture in fridge and allow to sit overnight or up to 24 hrs.
5. Remove liver mixture from the fridge and divide into 3 parts.
6. Place one part of the liver mixture onto a large piece of parchment paper... fold over the parchment paper and roll into a log. Twist ends of parchment paper.
7. Place parchment paper wrapped liver mixture on a piece of foil. Wrap yet again.... twisting the ends to tighten log.
8. Repeat with the other 2 portions of liver mixture.
9. Add the 3 wrapped logs in a large pot with cold water. Heat pot on low until temperature reaches 170 deg F( no higher)... simmer and adjust heat as needed to maintain a constant temperature. Internal temperature should be around 145 deg F... which should take about 40 minutes(or so) total cooking time.
10. Remove from water, unwrap and allow to cool. Re-wrap with fresh parchment paper tightly(and then again in plastic wrap if desired) ... or place in small glass containers and cover.
11. Refrigerate for 12- 24 hours to allow the flavors to settle as well as the liverwurst to "mature".