Sausage and charcuterie are one of the best ways to use liver and enjoy nose to tail cooking in your kitchen. Here's a great homemade liverwurst or braunschweiger recipe you can make at home. Everyone loves it I've served it to, and plenty of people won't even know there's liver in it.
What is Braunschweiger?
Braunshweiger is a type of German liver sausage, sometimes called liverwurst. There's many regional variations with different seasonings and ingredients. Sometimes it is soft and nearly spreadable, other times it may be more firm like a terrine or meatloaf. Commercial liverwurst is often soft and spreadable.
How to Make Braunschweiger
You'll need a few pieces of equipment. The most important is a meat grinder and a stand mixer. The recipe straightforward, but does take a little time to make.
First the liver is browned in a pan. Next the liver, meat, fat and spices are mixed and ground through the meat grinder a couple times. Once the meat has been ground and mixed, it's formed and cooked to 150 F.
After the meat is cooked, it's cooled, sliced and eaten. It's the perfect accent to your next charcuterie board.
More Nose to Tail Recipes
Classic Homemade Braunschweiger or Liverwurst
- Meat Grinder
- Stand mixer
- cling film
- 18 oz Diced meat such as beef chuck or pork shoulder
- 6 oz Pork fat or kidney suet
- 8 oz Bacon
- 16 oz Beef liver pork liver, venison liver or lamb can also be used
- 1 small onion (4 oz) finely chopped
- 1 oz cooking oil, separated (2 tablespoons)
- ¼ cup brandy or cognac
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 5 g 1 teaspoon pink curing salt Sodium nitrite (ask your butcher for this)
- 15 g 1 Tablespoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons dry white wine cold
- ½ a nutmeg grated
- 8 g black or white pepper, freshly ground (1 tablespoon)
- 1 tablespoon dried marjoram (1 g)
- 2 tablespoons mustard powder such as Colemans
- 2 teaspoons grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon dried bay leaves finely ground in a spice grinder
- 6 tablespoons milk powder* see note
- Pat the liver dry. Season the liver with salt and pepper. Heat half the oil in a skilet on high heat and brown the liver well on all sides. Remove and pour off any oil, then add the onion and the additional fat to the pan and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
- Add the brandy and cook until the pan is nearly dry. Scrape up the browned bits. Add the heavy cream and reduce by half. Scrape the onion mixture into a small bowl or and chill.
- Cut the bacon into 1 inch pieces. Dice the cooked liver, meat and fat, mix with the bacon, onions, and the seasonings except the wine and milk powder. Grind the mixture through the small die of a meat grinder.
- Chill your meat mixture for 15 minutes then pass iit through the small die again. Repeat the process once more so that you've ground the meat 3 times.
- Transfer the mixture to a stand mixer add ⅓ of the milk powder. Begin to mix on low speed. Keep a towel wrapped around the bowl to prevent milk powder from getting everywhere. Gradually add the rest of the milk powder.
- Clean meat from the paddle attachment if needed to ensure even seasoning.
- Cook a small piece of the liverwurst to test the seasoning. Adjust until it tastes good to you. You may need to adjust the seasoning a few times. Refrigerate the sausage overnight for the most even, well flavored result.
Forming and Cooking
- You can roll it up in clingfilm to act as a casing. Roll the chilled meat mixture into a log using a length of cling film three times the length of the sausage, or tie in cheesecloth.
- Alternately, pack the sausage mixture into a circular mold or loaf pan in a water bath. After forming, allow the sausage to come to room temperature for an hour.
- Cover rolled sausages in cool salt water (1 tablespoon per quart), cover, bring almost to a simmer. Turn the heat to as low on the smallest burner and cook, covered, until the internal temperature reaches 150F. Pour off the water, cover the sausage with ice water and chill. Drain, pat dry, and refrigerate.
- You can also sous vide the sausage at 150 F for 2 hours.
Braunschweiger freezes and thaws very well because it contains fat. Wrap it in butcher paper or vacuum seal it before freezing. Allow it to come to room temperature before slicing.
Liverwurst and many things made with organ meats are good for you. These products are nutrient dense and a great source of iron and B-vitamins, especially b12. That said, people who suffer from gout should limit their intake of organ meats.
Essentially these are two different names for the same thing. Both are liver-based charcuterie of German origin.