~ "By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; Through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures." ~ "Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing" ~ "But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy." ~ "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths."~

Friday, February 22, 2013

Homemade German Liverwurst... "Pateu de Casa"

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 HEREWill 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".


Jasna Varcakovic said...

Great recipe; thanks for sharing!

Ellie said...

Jasna, You are welcome! Glad you like it:)... Hope you can give the recipe a try one day. Thanks for stopping by.

Deirdra said...

What is the best way to store this for a long shelf life and how long would it last?

Ellie said...

Deirda, You know, I would say it could probably last a week in the fridge( I have a fridge drawer that goes to 29 degs , and deli meats last a little bit longer that way) but I am just guessing, I mean it could last longer it all depends on the fridge.
You could freeze it, though I really don't recommend it, as I tried it and found the texture/flavor suffering a bit especially if frozen for longer than a week or so.
I'd probably recommend halving the recipe... or sharing some:) . Hope that helps...

Speranta said...

Aceasta reteta trebuie s-o incerc.Este mult mai buna decat reteta pe care am avut-o eu cu mult timp in urma. Multumesc pentru reteta draga mea Ellie!

O saptamana placuta iti doresc!

Ellie said...

Speranta, Cu placere:)... reteta este un pic mai complicata, dar resultatul este f. bun. Sper sa iti placa
si tie . Multumesc pentru vizita!

Brenda said...

When your sister did her liverwurst in the bottles...how long did she cook them for and did she do them in a hot water bath?

Ellie said...

Brenda, I think she used glass jars and yes, she cooked them in a hot water bath. As for the timing I'm not exactly sure how long it took her, but you can use a thermometer to check the internal temperature. It should be about 140 deg F.
Hope that helps... enjoy the recipe.

Ellie said...

Brenda, After chatting with my sister again, she told me how she does it now... with a twist to the recipe.

Here is how she does it, per her directions:

"I put the uncooked liverwurst mixture in a glass bowl, pyrex square containers or the anchor hocking square glass dish that has a glass lid that comes with it. I don't think it matters what you put it in ( one time i put it in a italian clay pot) as long as the dish fits inside another pot that has a lid that you can put it on while it is cooking. I placed mine in the le cruset since that was what I had that was big enough to fit the other container in. I also cover the bowl , so the water doesn't get in, either with its own lid or parchment paper tied with a string. Once the bowl or container is in, I add water to the pot( maybe 3/4 of the way up) put the lid on and let it simmer till it is cooked . I don't know the time, it depends on the quantity you have how deep or shallow the container is, etc. I test by pressing on the liverwurst and if it is firm it is cooked. I let it sit covered with the lid and let it cool on the stove top.
I refrigerate it for a day and since I found it easier not to put the fat at the beginning like the recipe says , I add it the next day by mixing the refrigerated liverwurst in the mixer with the butter( instead of the suet, which is harder to come by). After that, I transfer the mixed mixture in mason jars, or anything that has a lid and refrigerate. It does not last long around our house, but I've read that if you pour melted butter on top it lasts longer."

So I hope that helps a bit more...

Anonymous said...

Sounds delicious but I dont know if i can get my head around peeling the skin off the tongue! ewwww. I loved pressed tongue at the deli but don't want to acutally "deal" with it lol.

Bit like brains - yum yum but don't make me handle raw brains.

Any suggestion as to what to use instead of tongue?

Sorry i'm squeamish :)

Ellie said...

Anon, I have an alternative listed in the ingredient list you might have missed... heart or pork shoulder.
Obviously, if you are that squeamish, it's best to buy the liverwurst:)... or simply have someone else do it for you.
Sometimes it just takes a bit of strength to overcome our fears... and then you're good to go!

Mya said...

If I use heart instead of tongue would I cook it first like the tongue? I would think not, but wanted to check. Should I then freeze it and grind like the other meats/fats?

Ellie said...

Mya, Yes, you will need to cook the heart till tender. You can then replace the cooked heart for the cooked tongue and follow the same directions of grinding and refrigerating per original recipe. Hope that helps....

Linda said...

Hi Ellie,
I have been encouraged of late to try more organ meats, and even though it seems a bit challenging I remember loving liverwurst as a child. Your recipe intrigues to try and make some, as the cost of buying a quality liverwurst is quite expensive. However, I don't have a meat grinder. Are there any brands that you recommend? I'm assuming you can't do this in a Cuisinart.
Thanks, Linda

Ellie said...

Hi Linda,

You know, I just use my kitchenaid attachment grinder. I find it does a fabulous job.... for all my grinding.

As for using the cuisinart food processor to "grind" the meat, well, it probably wouldn't work. But having said that... you might want to go the "pate" route as an option. Maybe before you invest in a grinder. You won't use this technique, but can cook the organ meat and then process it. You can add in some softened butter at the end. I'm sure it will still taste delicious:).
Hope that helps... and thanks for stopping by.

Linda said...

Another question....the back fat you call for in the recipe, is it also beef or pork?
Thanks, Linda

Ellie said...

Linda, I'm thinking you could use either or... My butcher just gave some pork back fat. Hope that helps.

WriterMom said...

Have some lamb heart and liver I would love to try this with. I don't have a meat grinder, though. Do you think the food processor would work? Thanks!

Ellie said...

WriterMom, You know, you can try it... It should be ok for the most part.
I'd probably chop the meat by hand before placing it in the food processor. This way, you don't overheat the meat mixture. Hope that helps... and enjoy it:)!

Meganp said...

I have never made this before. I searched the internet for "just the right" sounding recipe. I found yours. Decided "this is the one!". I went for it. And you know what....it turned out GREAT! It was exactly what I was striving for. THANK YOU so much. I have shared this with others since they were asking me about it. I "blogged" a bit about through several FB posts. You can view them here if you want! http://facebook.com/meganmary.paterson I am kinda proud of this. Especially going public with going after my first attempt. But I had total faith in your recipe for some reason. I just looked at it and thought "I can do that". So thanks again for this!

Ellie said...

Megan, You are most welcome! I was thrilled to hear that you tried and liked the liverwurst recipe:). I have to say, you took on a huge project... am proud of you for completing it. You simply made my day:)!

Thanks for stopping by and sharing your feedback. Appreciate it!

Brandi said...

Does anybody know how to get that tang into the liverwurst i so often taste? Please write me at Brandi14@gmail.com

I think it's either buttermilk or some starter culture not sure.


Mind Body and Sole said...

So I'm wondering if I put the liverwurst in pint jars, could I process is in a pressure cooker so that it seals and can be stored? We get quite a bit of liver and tongue each year when we process our cow and this might be a great way to use it but I want to be able to store it rather than freeze it. (Not a lot of freezer space left after processing the cow.) What do you think?

Ellie said...

Mind Body and Sole, Sorry I'm responding so late. You know, I haven't ever canned meat, but having said that I think it is quite possible. Since you can can meat, I don't see a difference with canning liverwurst. I think it's a great idea storing your abundance to enjoy throughout the year. Definitely worth trying!

Maria G said...

This is my second time making this liverwurst and I just pulled it out of the pan! I poached it directly in the Mason jars I'll store them in. I also substituted the tongue and fat for fatty pork jowl since that's what I had in the freezer. (We are raising more animals this year, so time to clean out the freezer!) I can't wait to try it! The spice mix is just perfect, reminds me of my childhood!

Ellie said...

Maria, Thank you for stopping by... and sharing your feedback! I really appreciate:)... it is always a delight to hear that one of the recipes I've posted has been of great help. This particular recipe is a favorite and one that not many will try:)... but I am so glad to hear you've enjoyed it! It is always such a blessing when you can replicate childhood memories:). I am thrilled to hear that you are adapting it to fit your needs.

Have a wonderful day!

fiber7angel said...

Thank you for posting. Just got back a quarter of beef and requested the liver. I love Braunschweiger. Look forward to making it. Also, I hope and pray you all in Montana are "over" the fires with the recent moisture. We in Wyoming are sad to see summer go but can rejoice at the end of "fire" season!

Ellie said...

Fiber7angel, Thanks for stopping by... I hope the recipe will inspire you to use up the liver and make something delicious:). Yes, we are most thankful to the Lord God for putting out the fires that have been with us all summer. God is mighty and powerful... He immediately put out the fire and gave us all relief! Glad you are enjoying the cool season in Wyoming as well. Again, thanks so much for stopping by... wishing you success with the beef liver project. Have a wonderful day!

Unknown said...

I am going to try this using my sous vide. Do you know of anyone that has done that?

Ellie said...

Unknown, I don't know of anyone who has made this recipe using a sous vide... but what a brilliant idea!