Jeff's extra fatty extra spreadable liverwurst

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Jeff's extra fatty extra spreadable liverwurst

Post by Cabonaia » Fri Oct 03, 2014 01:45

Here is a liverwurst that came out very tasty so I thought I would share it. My aim was to make a very rich, spreadable liverwurst. I've made braunschweiger a few times and I liked it, but it was pretty firm. This time around, it had to mush around on a cracker in a luxurious sort of way or I would be disappointed.

Started with a whole liver. It weighed 2.25 lbs:
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To that I added 2.25 lbs. of belly. Sorry, no picture. It was just belly.

Froze the belly and half froze the liver, then ground it through a 3/8" plate. It came out like this:
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Kept the grinder cold in a blanket while I chilled the mince for a second grind:
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Second grind through my smallest plate:
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Chilled it again, then added salt, cure and spices and emulsified with a small amount of icy water (maybe half a cup per batch?). Two batches were necessary. You can see my temp. probe, which I used to make sure the mince stayed very cold. It never went above 37F.
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Ladled into a big 'ol casing that I cut in two. Ready to poach:
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At this point, being tired, I sat on the couch and opened a beer, waiting for the poaching water to heat up. Then disaster struck! I had not put my thermometer in the water, and it hit a hard boil. I raced to the stove - nearly spilled my suds! From then on, I moped around and complained bitterly that I had ruined good liver and belly, that I should know better by now, WHAT A DISAPPOINTMENT! and so on. But the water must not have boiled very long, because, as luck would have it, the liverwurst came out just fine. Woo hoo!
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So soft, it treats even a brittle tortilla with care and compassion:
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Here is the recipe. It is a mix of a couple ingredient lists (Poli, Marianski), with some quantity adjustments and changes here and there.

Recipe for 5lbs of raw meats

Pork liver - 2.5 lb
Pork belly - 2.5 lb
Salt - 50g (yes, higher than in most liverwurst recipes...but this recipe has a lot of fat)
Cure #1 - 3g if added only for color, and 6g if smoked
Sugar 13g
Cardamom - 1g
Ginger - 3g
Nutmeg - 1g
Thyme - 2g
Black pepper, finely ground - 6g
Clove, ground - .5 g (weigh one gram of whole cloves, then grind half of those cloves)
Coriander - 2g

1. Cut the belly in half inch cubes and freeze solid
2. Cut the liver in 1 inch cubes and semi-freeze
3. Grind belly and liver (both raw) together in a medium size plate
4. Re-chill and grind through a fine plate
5. Sprinkle the salt, cure and spices on the meat and emulsify with enough icy cold water to form a paste. Keep the paste very cold. When bubbles form in the paste, you're done.
6. Ladle into casings. You can't really stuff this loose paste very tight, so just fill up the casings, tie them with tight knots, and put them into a pot of cold water. Slowly bring it to 170F and poach until the interior reaches 150F. Don't drink beer on the couch until the water boils - keep an eye on it!
7. Plunge the liverwurst into cold running water. After a few minutes of this, wipe the casings clean and let the chubs cool for a while on the counter, then stick them in the fridge. You can weight them at this point if you want. If they seem a bit loose, don't worry. They'll firm up.

If you try it, I hope you like it!

Jeff

Cure #1 amounts adjusted as requested by author.
Redzed
Last edited by Cabonaia on Thu Nov 06, 2014 16:35, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by Baconologist » Fri Oct 03, 2014 03:22

That looks very good.
I like a nice creamy liverwurst.
Godspeed!

Bob
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Post by redzed » Fri Oct 03, 2014 06:31

Jeff that liver pate looks great. I guess this is the project you were asking about a while ago. For a beef liver to weigh just a little over two pounds it must have come from a very young animal, so what you used is a veal liver. It is much milder tasting and lighter in colour when cooked than a liver from a mature animal. I probably would not make a liver product from an older animal after having the experience of seeing so many condemned livers at my dad's abattoir. But a veal liver is different and it looks like you did a great job!
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Post by Cabonaia » Fri Oct 03, 2014 06:56

Hi Red - thanks for the compliment. Yes, I am happy with this recipe and will make it again. That liver is actually from one of the pigs I raised and butchered in the spring. I raised one for myself and one for a friend, and he didn't want the offal, so I got all the nasty bits from two pigs. Still have a lot to use up -- stay tuned. :cool:

I have some beef liver and you are right, it is pretty strong tasting. Also very dark. Not sure I will use it in sausage, but if I do it will be sparingly.

What does a condemned liver look like? Now you've got me worried!

Jeff
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Post by Rick » Fri Oct 03, 2014 11:56

Jeff, that looks great! How do you store this, should you not consume it all at one sitting? Can you freeze it?

I wouldn't even have a clue on how to go about getting a veal liver? Seems there's strong negative public opinion on how veal are raised, let along being able to purchase cuts from an abattoir. I have to laugh because it almost seems that veal are raised in secret and processed in secret, and mysteriously just show up in small quantities in your larger grocery meat departments! Too much publicity from PETA has made this a pretty tight lipped business I'd think.
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Post by Cabonaia » Fri Oct 03, 2014 15:51

Hi Rick - I vacuum packed and froze what I didn't eat. We'll see how that turns out. I've read that it freezes well, and since there is so much fat in this recipe I have my hopes up that it will survive the freezer without getting grainy, which can be the fate of frozen liver products.

I have seen calf's liver for sale - I think that's what you normally get at the grocery store. I imagine that would be the same as veal liver?

I used to feel bad about eating veal until I visited a dairy farm near my in-laws in Maryland. It was not as big as the huge ones I see in the Central Valley of California, but it was a real operation and they had about 20 calves. The calves seemed to be getting special attention. Each one had its own pen and hut. They were very clean and healthy animals. Their pens were meticulously clean, and they had some room to walk around in. They looked quite well tended (why wouldn't they be?) and they were happy to let us pet them through the fencing and lick our hands. In fact, they seemed to have a nicer life going for them than the cows. This was not an "alternative" type of farm - it wasn't organic, didn't boast anything special about itself. It sold its product to Land o' Lakes. I imagine there are farmers who are stupid enough to treat their valuable animals poorly, but such is surely not always the case. Maybe I saw an unusual situation, I don't know. But I have no compunction anymore about eating veal.

Cheers,
Jeff
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Veal

Post by Rick » Fri Oct 03, 2014 16:00

Jeff, supposedly the true veal, are calves that are kept in slings in the dark and fed milk to keep them anemic so that the meat has a very light pink color. I don't know how much truth there is to this, but that's what I've always heard.
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Post by Cabonaia » Fri Oct 03, 2014 17:22

CW or Redzed may choose to split this topic, as it is not about liverwurst anymore.

I've heard that too. My guess is that any veal raised in that way would be easily recognizable by the price tag. Could anybody afford to sell veal at current prices if they took that much trouble to raise their calves? I'm guessing not.

There is an awful lot of anti-meat propaganda out there these days. Don't know if you've seen the movie, but many people I know were heavily influenced by "Food, Inc." I watched it, and it seemed that wherever its arguments intersected with something I knew about first hand, it was plain wrong or exaggerated in an unethical way. I really did not like that movie. I have seen things I don't like or approve of, such as the crowded feed lots, and the constant medication of animals with antibiotics, so I did not disagree about everything. It's not easy to figure out what is propaganda and what is true, even before we decide whether we care about the actual issue or not. Given how much information and misinformation is out there, we're all on our own!
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Liverwurst update

Post by Cabonaia » Tue Nov 04, 2014 23:37

So here is an update on a concern I expressed a month ago -- which was that my vacuum sealed and frozen liverwurst would be grainy once thawed. Yesterday I thawed some out and have been eating it. It hasn't suffered one bit. In fact, it might even be a little better as the spices have... married, as they say. Which is better surely than living in sin. I'm really happy with this recipe and am confident in recommending it. My sister has been clamoring for more, and other liverwurst eaters have been coming out of the woodwork, so another batch is on the horizon, maybe with some variations this time.

Cheers,
Jeff
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Post by Rick » Tue Nov 04, 2014 23:56

Jeff, glad to hear your positive update, sounds like you have a keeper there if everyone is clamoring for more!

One question on the recipe, I see you use some pork belly. Ordering a belly for only 2 1/4# is pretty expensive.

How about just substituting 2 1/4# bacon for the belly?

Thank you

Rick
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Post by rudyusmc1980 » Wed Nov 05, 2014 02:44

I make a chicken liver spread with bacon, so IMHO, bacon would work. Perhaps the cure should be adjusted to account for the bacon?
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Post by Cabonaia » Wed Nov 05, 2014 02:56

Hi Rick and Rudy. Substituting bacon ought to work just fine. In fact, I'll bet it would add a very nice flavor. If you do that, let us all know how it turns out. You could drop the cure level if you wanted, but it is already very low in this recipe.

On the other hand, there should be no issue with buying a hunk of belly because you can make bacon with the rest of it. Or you could marinate and grill it. I tried that recently, and it made for awesome fajitas. My Korean inlaws grill belly and load it up with fresh garlic, sliced jalapenos, kim chee, and pepper paste all wrapped in a romaine lettuce leaf. It seems there is no end of things you can do with pork belly. Also, it freezes very well.

Cheers,
Jeff
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Post by redzed » Wed Nov 05, 2014 06:03

That's good to hear Jeff, it seems that high fat content products seem to freeze quite well. Yesterday I had one of my mushroom liver sausages that was frozen for a couple of weeks and it tasted quite good and fresh.

But I have to chime in here on the subject of Cure 1. You wrote "You could drop the cure level if you wanted, but it is already very low in this recipe". Actually you are a bit over the recommended limit. 6g in a 4.5lb batch gives us a ppm of 184. :grin:
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Post by Cabonaia » Wed Nov 05, 2014 06:46

redzed wrote:But I have to chime in here on the subject of Cure 1. You wrote "You could drop the cure level if you wanted, but it is already very low in this recipe". Actually you are a bit over the recommended limit. 6g in a 4.5lb batch gives us a ppm of 184.
Red - I stand corrected! Thank you for the catch.

Cheers,
Jeff
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Post by Rick » Wed Nov 05, 2014 09:43

redzed wrote:
But I have to chime in here on the subject of Cure 1. You wrote "You could drop the cure level if you wanted, but it is already very low in this recipe". Actually you are a bit over the recommended limit. 6g in a 4.5lb batch gives us a ppm of 184.

Red, is the above comment based on using one level teaspoon per 5# of meat? Putting us just shy of the teaspoon for 4.5#? Or 9/10's by weight of the teaspoon for the 4.5#?

Thanks,
Rick
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