As a pig farmer, I tend to collect pig livers, hearts, fat, heads, trotters, and other not oft used pig parts that can be extremely delicious if prepared well. The problem is, for most of us including myself, I don’t seem to have the time to prepare all the charcuterie that I want to do in the busy season. I wanted to come up with a recipe to make liverwurst, or braunschweiger (smoked liverwurst), quickly and easily and deliciously so that I could use up these amazing grass-fed pork livers. And I don’t want to use up my bacon, or add backfat, or even grind shoulder roasts if I don’t need to.
One thing I learned when I made bratwursts for the first time is that you don’t necessarily need to make any fresh sausage in a casing. A casing is nature’s perfect container for sausage, yes, but when pressed for time and desiring to eat varied and yummy pig parts, making burgers or pates without casings is fine. You can cook them in a casserole, and freeze part for a later picnic.
One thing I always think about is how farmers of the past millennia have prepared their foods. Do you think a farmer in 1950 decided to not make a sausage because he didn’t have nutmeg? No, I don’t think so. He had to, to preserve the harvest. I also couldn’t find any nutmeg, but you can ALWAYS make something, even if you don’t have all the so-called right ingredients. Life is full of times where you have to be creative, so don’t be shy in the kitchen. Create something, make something delicious and don’t listen to any of the experts if you don’t want to.
This is my recipe for liverwurst, Full Boar Farm style.
2 1/2 pounds liver (A pig from my farm at 220 hanging weight has a liver this size)
2 pounds ground pork
1 large onion, chopped
2 T bacon drippings
2 T kosher salt
2 teaspoon coriander seed
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon rubbed sage
1/2 teaspoon cloves
3/4 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
Saute onions in bacon drippings until soft. Add spices.
Cut liver into 1 inch chunks. Add onion/spice mix and pulse in food processor until almost pureed.
Add ground pork and salt (at this point my food processor was completely full, so make sure you have a big enough capacity bowl!). Pulse until pureed.
Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Plan on up to 2 hours or so of cook time.
Spread mixture in even layer in casserole dish. Place casserole in a hotel pan or roasting pan. Add about an inch or two of water in the pan. Place in oven.
Cook until internal temperature reads at 145 F. Let cool. Keeps up to two weeks in fridge – freeze what you won’t use.
And eat it all up! Spread on rye toast, make a cheese plate, throw into a salad. Above all, don’t let any go to waste as it is such a precious and sacred food.