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Make braunschweiger.

Like Spam, broccoli, or Brussels sprouts, you either like braunschweiger or you don't. If you do, it is one of the best summertime "sausages" that you can make, and one of the few that don't require a stuffer, casings, or specialized equipment. Braunschweiger or "liverwurst" is simple to make, but it is somewhat labor intensive in terms of time. If you have a food processor or blender, the only other equipment needed is commonly found in the kitchen.

Braunschweiger is a mixture of 50% pork and 50% pork or beef liver. The pork should be at least 25% fat, but when added to the liver the fat content in the final product falls within or below the range of most other sausages.

Most recipes call for grinding the pork and liver 2-3 times through a 1/8 " plate, stuffing it in 2"-3" diameter mushlin casings, and cooking at a very low simmer/boil for about three hours. Frankly, this is a pain! I tried this the first time and found that it didn't work. Well, it worked but the product wasn't very good, i.e., it was too coarse.

The commercial product is ground through a machine that literally reduces the meat to a pulp. This can't be done at home with a normal meat grinder, but with the help of a food processor or blender, and changing the sequence of cooking/grinding somewhat the proper texture of the product can be duplicated.

The following is my personal recipe and a favorite among the boys at Steve's Market, where I used to make bratwurst and knockwurst for them.

1 pound ground pork (3/4 lean --

1/4 fat)

1 pound liver pork, beef, lamb or


2 tablespoons onion powder

3 tablespoons dried milk

3 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons Hungarian paprika

1 teaspoon white pepper

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon marjoram

1/2 teaspoon coriander

1/2 teaspoon mace

1/2 teaspoon gelatin

1/4 teaspoon allspice

1/4 teaspoon cardamom

Cardamom is the dried fruit of a plant of the ginger family, and is the world's second-most expensive spice. Occasionally it is hard to find in smaller stores or communities, and when purchased in the supermarket, you will usually get a fraction of an ounce priced at several dollars. If you decide to make braunschweiger on a regular basis, or if you use cardamom in apple/pumpkin pies or Indian curry, it (and a large selection of other bacteria-free sterile spices) are available in bulk at a fraction of the cost of supermarket spices from Norseman Sausage Supplies, 3492 Stafford Rd., Wellsville KS 66092. Cardamom is $8.00 (plus UPS) per half-pound!

In small aliquots, grind equal parts pork and liver in the food processor as finely as possible. At this stage it looks awful but don't get discouraged. If you have a family member with a weak it might be advisable to keep them out of the kitchen at this stage!

Place the ground meat mixture in a double boiler. Add the spice mixture and mix thoroughly. Cook the mixture at a low boil, constantly scraping the "cooked" portion from the sides of the container and stirring thoroughly. Continue to cook and stir until the mixture is thoroughly cooked and has attained a temperature of 150 degrees F.

If you have a microwave, you might try nuking the mix on one of the "cycled" settings, stirring periodically.

When cooked, place aliquots of the mixture back into the blender/food processor and pulverize at high speed. Add small alioquots of hot water if needed until the mixture will just attain a "roll".

Patience required

Be patient at this stage! Once in a while you will have to poke at it a little with a rubber scraper to get it going, but be careful not to grind the end off your poker!

Traditionally, braunschweiger is stuffed into beef bungs or 2-3 inch muslin casings. But this is also a real pain. Excuse the analogy, but it's like trying to stuff cow you-know-what into a sock. You can pour the mix into a mold, but I prefer plastic margarine/butter tubs. Refrigerate immediately.

Braunschweiger, like other sausage, improves if allowed to "bloom". It will "mature" in 1-2 days and has a shelf life of 2-3 weeks if refrigerated, indefinitely if frozen.

Braunschweiger Spread

One of my favorite sandwiches is Braunschweiger, with miracle whip and lettuce. In my opinion, mayo simply doesn't cut it when it comes to flavor. (I'm sure a lot of folks will disagree with me on that one.) If you belong to the Miracle Whip camp, mix a tub of your home-made braunschweiger with Miracle Whip (to taste) for a delicious spread or party dip.

If you're adventurous, add a little horseradish (to taste) to the above recipe.
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Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:includes recipe
Author:Salsbury, D.L.
Publication:Countryside & Small Stock Journal
Date:Jul 1, 1993
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