This liverwurst recipe is probably one of the easiest recipes for homemade liverwurst. You don't need any fancy sausage-making equipment or special ingredients to make it from scratch.
In fact, you can make it with basic ingredients from your local supermarket with minimal effort. And, as an added bonus, you can make it in small batches so you can try homemade liver sausage recipe without making a big commitment.
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House slaughters, common in rural areas until well into the 20th century and still practiced in some small German villages today, are the origin of the liver and blood sausages.
At these home slaughters, the pig's entire body was utilized, including, of course, the liver and blood as well. Because both spoil quickly, they are turned into hearty, basic sausages and other delicacies right away.
In later years, new, fancier styles of "Leberwurst" recipes were developed, but they called for only a small amount of liver in each serving.
How is liverwurst called in German?
The German word for liverwurst is "Leberwurst". Die Leberwrust (f) in singular and die Leberwürste (f) in plural.
How to pronounce "Leberwurst" the correct way in German?
Listen to this audio file to hear how to say "Leberwurst" the right way.
Ingredients & Substitutes
This traditional recipe for this homemade liverwurst calls for a handful of basic ingredients, all of which are common and can be found in almost any supermarket.
- fresh pork belly
- calf liver or beef liver
- bay leaves
- whole allspice
- white onion
- garlic clove
- red onion
- white pepper
- ground allspice
See recipe card for quantities.
Making homemade liverwurst is easy. Simply follow the step-by-step instructions to make the perfect liverwurst, just like the ones made by the best German butchers.
Step 1: Cut a large white onion into quarters. Add them with the water, bay leaves, and allspice to a large pot.
Step 2: Bring the water to a simmer and add the pork belly. Cook on medium heat for about 1 hour.
Step 3: Rinse the liver with cold water and add it to the pork belly for the last 10 minutes of cooking.
Step 4: Meanwhile, finely dice the onion, garlic, and bacon and fry until translucent before adding to the blender.
Step 5: Remove the liver and pork belly from the pot and reserve 1-2 cups of the cooking liquid. Cut the liver and pork belly into bite-sized pieces and place them in the blender.
Step 6: Add salt, pepper, ground allspice, nutmeg, marjoram, thyme, onion-bacon-garlic mixture and ¾ cup of the cooking liquid to the blender and mix to a chunky, smooth texture.
Step 7: This will create a liverwurst resembling the so-called "Grobe Leberwurst." Add more cooking liquid and blend longer if you prefer a smoother, softer texture like the "Feine Leberwurst".
Step 8: Fill the liverwurst into sterilized glasses. You can store these as is for up to a week in the fridge.
Hint: If you want to keep the liver sausage for up to a year, boil the jars. The amount of time it takes to boil depends on the size of the jar. It takes about 2 hours at 212° F for half-pint jars.
Liver sausage is available in fine or coarse variations. The texture of the fine "Leberwurst" (called "Feine Leberwurst") is similar to that of smooth liver pâté, whereas the coarse variation (called "Grobe Leberwurst") has more structure and visible small meat pieces.
Liverwurst is traditionally made with pork or veal meat, liver, onions, and spices. There are also numerous recipes using various meats, such as game meat and poultry liver.
You can also get liverwurst flavored with peppercorns, truffle pieces, or mushrooms.
To make this recipe, you need these kitchen tools.
- large pot to cook the pork belly and liver
- sieve to rinse the liver
- cutting board
- 2 pint mason jars
Fresh, homemade liverwurst can be kept in the fridge for a week. However, you can boil the jars in a water bath or canner to make the sausage shelf stable for up to a year in a dark, cool place.
- Homemade liverwurst is a wonderful gift for anyone who enjoys German specialties. It's the ideal hostess gift, and it'll get you a lot of "wows" and big smiles.
- Don't be disappointed if your Leberwurst appears greyish. This is normal. Shop-bought liverwurst is commonly pink, but this is due to added food coloring. To achieve this pink color, simply add a drop or two of red, natural food color while blending.
How to Serve
Liverwurst goes well with fresh, homemade bread or rolls. Check out my kaiser roll recipe or this German potato bread. And of course, it goes great with pretzels or on pumpernickel.
Homemade Liverwurst - German Liver Sausage in a Jar
- 1 pound fresh pork belly
- 1 pound calf liver alternatively beef liver
- 4 oz. bacon
- 6 cups water
- 4 bay leaves
- 7 whole allspice
- 1 large white onion
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 small red onion
- 1 tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. white pepper
- 1 pinch ground allspice
- ¼ tsp. nutmeg
- 1 tsp. marjoram
- ½ tsp. thyme
- Cut the white onion into quarters.
- Pour the water into a large pot and add the onion quarters, bay leaves, and allspice.
- Bring to simmer and add the pork belly. Cook on medium heat for about 1 hour.
- Rinse the liver under cold water and add it to the pork belly during the last 10 minutes of the cooking time.
- In the meantime, finely dice the onion, garlic, and bacon, fry until translucent, and add to the blender.
- Remove the liver and pork belly from the pot and reserve 1-2 cups of the cooking liquid. Cut the liver and pork belly into bite-sized pieces and place them in the blender.
- Add salt, pepper, ground allspice, nutmeg, marjoram, thyme and ¾ cup of the cooking liquid to the blender and mix to a chunky, smooth texture. Add more liquid and blend longer if you prefer a smoother, softer texture
- Fill into sterilized glasses. You can store these as is for up to a week in the fridge.
- If you want to keep the liver sausage for up to a year, cook the jars. The amount of time it takes to preserve the liverwurst depends on the size of the jar. It takes about 2 hours at 212° F for half-pint jars.
Frequently Asked Questions
Even though it is called liverwurst, the liver is only a small part of it. Pork meat or pork belly, bacon, onion, and spices are the main ingredients in liverwurst. Most liverwurst recipes today use only a small amount of liver.
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