Leberwurst or liver sausage is one of the most popular types of sausage in Germany. It is a spreadable sausage made from liver, meat, fat, and various spices. Leberwurst has a soft consistency and a spicy liver-based flavor.
Leberwurst is commonly served as a spread on bread, but it can also be consumed as slices on sandwiches. In addition, you can enjoy it as a snack with sauerkraut, cheese, pickles, and onions.
Today, we will look at the history of Leberwurst, how to prepare it at home, and some of the most popular alternatives.
History of Leberwurst
The history of the leberwurst dates back to the 11th and 12th centuries in Germany. This sausage comes from the tradition of domestic pig slaughter. Back then, it was common practice to keep and slaughter pigs at home and use as many parts of the pig as possible to avoid waste. As a result, the liver sausage was invented.
Over time, leberwurst spread from Germany to other parts of Central Europe. As a result, different variations of leberwurst emerged in different regions. These variations differ mainly in their seasoning and the exact composition of the liver, meat, and bacon used in their preparation.
Nowadays, Leberwurst can be found in many parts of Europe, including Austria, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands, Norway, and Poland. It is considered a traditional sausage and can be enjoyed in many different varieties.
Leberwurst – The Basics
Leberwurst consists mainly of liver meat, regular meat, and fat. It is usually made out of pork meat, but beef, veal, or poultry can also be used. The sausage is traditionally seasoned with salt, pepper, onion powder, ginger, and Marjoram.
Leberwurst contains 10 – 35% of the liver, depending on the recipe. Pork liver is used in most cases. Leberwurst contains a high proportion of fat, which is particularly good for the taste. However, it is also rich in protein and vitamins.
Leberwurst can be found in two varieties; one is soft and spreadable, and it can be eaten by spreading it on bread. The second one has a firm texture and can be sliced into pieces.
What does Leberwurst look like?
Leberwurst has a soft consistency and can be consumed as a spread. Most types of leberwurst are reddened. The curing salt used during cooking gives the sausage a light pink to reddish color. Other varieties of Leberwurst can also have a firm consistency and regular sausage shape. Depending on the type of curing salt used, grey color is also possible.
What does Leberwurst taste like?
Leberwurst has a traditional spicy and meaty taste. The decisive factor affecting the taste is its liver content. The more liver it contains, the more bitter the taste, which is why a maximum liver content of 35% is recommended.
The taste of the sausage can be improved by the herbs used in the seasoning. The typical spices used are pepper, onion powder, ginger, mustard, and Marjoram.
How much does Leberwurst cost?
The price of liverwurst will depend on the price of pork liver and pork meat in your area and also on the cut used. The recommended cuts for liver sausage are pork belly, fatty pork shoulder, and pork loin. In addition to this, the spices you choose will affect the final cost of the prepared sausage.
Pork meat costs between $2 and $6 per pound. I recommend using a mixture of 40% pork belly, 30% fatty pork shoulder, 10% loin, and 20% pork liver. Pork liver costs between $3 and $5 per pound.
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How do you cook Leberwurst?
Leberwurst is quite easy to make at home. The preparation involves grinding and mixing different amounts of liver meat, regular meat, fat, and seasonings. The resulting mixture can be spread on bread or placed in a sausage casing. We will be covering all the steps for preparing Leberwurst at home:
- Cut onions into strips and let them simmer for up to 10 minutes
- Cut the meat into pieces suitable for your meat grinder.
- Put the pieces of meat in a sealable plastic bag. Then place the bags in hot water and cook the meat at 168 °F for 70 minutes.
- Take the bags out of the water and put the liver in hot water. Scald it for about 5 minutes.
- Now separate the juice and the meat. Then you can remove the liver from the water and cut it into smaller pieces for the meat grinder.
- Grind the liver through a fine die of 3 mm.
- Grind the meat through a fine die of 3 mm. Keep it separated from the liver
- Place the liver with salt in a kitchen mixer and mix until you get a frothy consistency.
- Add the meat, liquid, pepper, onion powder, ginger, and Marjoram, and let the mixer run until it has a mushy consistency.
The mass is ready at this point. You can now fill it in in glass containers. Don’t fill the containers too much since the mass will expand during cooking. Now it is time to cook the sausages!
- Place the glass recipients with the mass in water at 212 °F. Let it cook for about 2 hours.
- Serve the leberwurst with bread or fry them and enjoy them with onions
Spices are crucial to enhance the flavor of meat and sausages. If you are looking for more information, we have compiled an ultimate guide to meat seasoning and spices.
Here are a few alternative sausages that you can try in addition to Leberwurst:
This sausage takes its name from a town in Germany called Braunschweig. Just like Leberwurst, the Braunschweiger is a sausage made of pork liver. The main difference between the two sausages is that the Braunschweiger is usually smoked, while the Leberwurst is not.
Mettwurst is a minced pork sausage with a slightly smoky flavor. It is very popular in northern Germany, where it is usually eaten mixed with potatoes, sauerkraut, and chopped in soups.
A knackwurst is a highly seasoned sausage originating from Germany. The sausage is short and plump, and it can be prepared from the ground meals and ground pork. Knackwursts are usually smoked.
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Frequently Asked Questions about Leberwurst
Check out the answers to some common questions about Leberwurst.
Question: How do you eat Leberwurst?
Answer: Leberwurst can usually be eaten cold or warm. You can enjoy it as a spread on bread or cut it in slices and enjoy it as a snack with cucumbers and onions. If you prefer grilling, leberwurst can be fried whole or cut into slices and fried in a pan until it becomes crispy brown.
Question: What Goes Well With Leberwurst?
Answer: Leberwurst is most commonly eaten as a spread on bread. It can be enjoyed as open-faced sandwiches with red onion and mustard. They are usually covered with mustard to give them a delicious and unique flavor.
Question: Is Leberwurst Healthy?
Answer: Yes. Leberwurst is very rich in nutrients because it contains organ meat, which has high protein content. It provides a good source of minerals, healthy fats, vitamins, and essential amino acids. It also has a high concentration of Vitamin B12 and Retinol.
Question: Can I fry Leberwurst?
Answer: Yes, you can also fry Leberwurst. First, cut the sausage into flat pieces. Then fry the sausage in butter until it becomes crispy. Afterward, put it in a pan and cook it. Serve the sausage on a plate and eat it with onions.
Question: How Long Does Leberwurst Last?
Answer: Leberwurst can last for 3 to 5 days in the fridge under proper refrigeration conditions. You should keep them at the lowest temperature possible (about 32 – 34 °F)
Question: Can I buy Leberwurst from the store?
Answer: Yes, you can get Leberwurst in most German grocery stores. In addition to this, you can order them online from most parts of the US.
Question: Can I eat Leberwurst uncooked?
Answer: Leberwurst is normally cooked before it is sold, so it can be eaten uncooked. In its raw form, it is usually eaten as a spread on bread. After opening, leberwurst will last for up to five days in your fridge.
Question: How Long Does It Take to Make Leberwurst?
Answer: Leberwurst is relatively easy to make at home and doesn’t take very long. The preparation process of Leberwurst usually takes about 3,5 hours. The sausage mass should be cooked for about 1.5 to 2 hours.
Question: Can I smoke Leberwurst?
Answer: Yes, Leberwurst can be smoked. You can smoke the sausages for about 30 min at 70-85 °F to give them a smoky flavor. Don’t forget to place them in the fridge afterward.
For more information on meat smoking, feel free to check out our complete buying guide on how to find the best smoker.
Conclusion – Should You Try Leberwurst?
The answer is a resounding yes. If you like traditional German sausages, then Leberwurst is a must-try. Its spicy flavor and spreadable consistency make it stand out from other kinds of sausages, and it is a great way to get healthy organ meat into your diet. It is also rich in nutrients such as vitamins and minerals.
You can easily prepare leberwurst in a few hours at home. Just follow the recipe we have provided earlier, and you will have a delicious sausage on your plate. You can eat it as a spread on bread or a snack with mustard, onions, and cucumber. There are many ways to enjoy this wonderful and versatile meal.
In conclusion, I totally recommend that you try Leberwurst. This is one of the most loved German wursts, and it can be enjoyed in various ways. If you want to read additional information on meats sausages, check out the guides and reviews we have here on Meat n Marrow!