Liver sausage

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Liver sausage on rye with red onion

Liverwurst, also known as Kentucky Pâté, is an anglicisation of the German Leberwurst (Dutch leverworst, Hungarian kenőmájas, Swedish leverkorv, Finnish maksamakkara), literally meaning "'liver sausage". It is a typical sausage served in Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands, Finland, and Sweden. Most liverwurst varieties are spreadable. The sausage is usually made with pork. Only about 10-20% of the sausage is actually pork liver, which is enough to give it a distinctive liver taste. Other ingredients are meat, fat and spices like ground black pepper, marjoram, allspice, thyme, ground mustard or nutmeg. Many regions in Germany have their own recipes for liverwurst, often adding ingredients like pieces of onion or bacon. Recently more exotic additions such as cowberries and mushrooms have gained in popularity. Though the German name Kalbsleberwurst is translated as "calf liver sausage", it normally contains pigs' livers, rather than calves' livers, as well as veal. Braunschweiger leberwurst is a spreadable liver sausage that is sometimes called liverwurst, or just liver sausage in North America.

Liverwurst is often served in North America in sandwiches with red onion and mustard on a rye or whole grain bread. In Germany, slices of gherkin - pickled with sugar, vinegar and mustard seeds in the South and West and salt and dill in the Northeast - are the usual addition. In Hungary Liverwurst is customarily served on open sandwiches, or as a filling with cheese for pancakes baked in the oven.


Braunschweiger (named after Braunschweig, Germany) is a type of liverwurst (pork liver sausage) which is nearly always smoked.

Braunschweiger has a very high amount of Vitamin A, iron and proteins. The meat has a very soft, spread-like texture and a distinctive spicy liver-based flavour, very similar to the Nordic Leverpostej. It is usually used as a spread for toast, but can also be used as a filling for sandwiches, often paired with stone-ground mustard, sliced tomatoes and cheese. There are also a few recipes for pâté and cheese balls which use braunschweiger as a primary ingredient.

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