My first Braunschweiger

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by snorkelinggirl, Jun 19, 2013.

  1. snorkelinggirl

    snorkelinggirl Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Well, I decided to pull on my big girl pants and try something I've wanted to try for a while, but haven't had the courage to yet...Braunschweiger!  I had the day off today, and a lb of pork liver in the freezer. So, no more excuses, today was the day!

    Here is the recipe that I used. I got this recipe from a restaurant up in Portland, but this same basic recipe appears in multiple places on the internet as well. I adjusted some of the spices and also reduced the salt from the original recipe, as my husband and I don't like salty stuff.

    2 pounds lean pork
    1 pound pork fat
    1 1/4 pounds pork liver  (I actually only had 1 lb of pork liver, so made up the difference with more lean pork)
    1 medium onion, chopped
    23 grams kosher salt  (1.5% salt including weight of cure #1)

    6 grams cure #1 (1 tsp)
    1 teaspoon whole cloves (original recipe called for 2 teaspoons)
    1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
    1/2 teaspoon whole allspice
    1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg

    1 teaspoon whole juniper berries (original recipe called for 2 teaspoons)

    1 teaspoon whole mustard seeds

    1 teaspoon dried marjoram (original recipe called for 2 teaspoon fresh marjoram)

    Here is the diced fat, lean pork, and pork liver.  I put them in the freezer so that they were pretty well frozen before grinding them.

    One pass through the fine plate of the grinder.  Then back in the freezer.

    Here are all the whole spices in the spice grinder. Grind them all up together.

    Saute the onion in a little butter or lard until soft. Don't let the onion get brown. Mix in the ground spices, then remove from the heat when the spices get fragrant. Let the onion/spice mixture cool down, then mix it into the ground meats.

    Pass the mixture through the fine plate a second time. Sprinkle in the salt and cure #1 and mix well.  I guess you could add these before passing the mixture through the fine plate, but some people say the salt is hard on your grinder. I don't know.

    I guess ideally you should let your meat mixture cure in the refrigerator overnight before proceeding. I let it sit in the refrigerator for about an hour before proceeding, but next time I'll let it cure overnight just to ensure the meat mixture is fully cured.

    In small batches I then processed the mixture in my Cuisinart to get it emulsified and creamy. With my small food processor I wasn't able to get it completely uniform in texture because I was concerned about the mixture getting too warm and breaking, but it got nicely emulsified.  The emulsion held; in fact it became pretty stiff like a cold mousse.

    Here is the mixture stuffed into fibrous casings.

    I poached them in 165 - 175 deg F water for about an hour until the IT reached 150 deg F.  The potato masher and big spoon are being used to keep the sausages immersed in the water.  I just used a big stock pot for poaching. 

    After poaching I ran cold water over them for a while to cool them down. Then I patted them dry. Here they are after the poaching and cold water shower.

    For the sake of comparison, I put one of the chubs in the refrigerator as straight liverwurst. The other two chubs I hung in the smoker to cold smoke into braunschweiger.  My husband doesn't like smoky stuff, so I just used hickory dust in the AMNS for 2 hours. I did not apply any heat. I had not refrigerated these chubs before putting them in the smoker, so there was no condensation. Ambient chamber temperature started at 77 deg F, and rose up to 106 deg F before I pulled them out. No fat rendered out.

    Here is the cross sectional picture of the liverwurst chub. I'm really pleased with the poaching process. They got cooked to the right IT, but the emulsion didn't break. Texture looks pretty good.  I would have like the mixture to be completely uniform, but I'm not sure I can acheive that with my little Cuisinart.

    Here are a few slices on a plate with some homemade bread-and-butter pickles and a little dijon mustard.

    The final shot!  Tasty!

    I'm pretty pleased with how the liverwurst turned out, and will definitely make it again whenever I'm able to score some pig liver. The recipe was good the way I made it, although I might bump up the marjoram next time.  With only using 1 lb of liver, the liver taste is mild enough that I think it would appeal even to people who don't like liver.

    I also did a taste test on the braunschweiger tonight.  A very nice hickory taste, without being too strong that it overpowers the taste of the liverwurst.  The color and cross sectional view look the same as the liverwurst, so I didn't take another picture.  I'm looking forward to seeing how the flavors of the liverwurst and braunschweiger develop overnight, and see how they compare tomorrow.

    Thank you for checking out my post!!  Hope everyone has a great night and great rest of your week!

    Last edited: Jun 20, 2013
    stewie-q likes this.
  2. Hello Clarissa.  Do you ship internationally?  [​IMG]   Man that's some GREAT lookin eats.  Thanks for the recipe, I love tha stuff.  I have some shipped from Germany now and then ( hard to find here ).  Gonna have to give 'er a try.  Keep Smokin!

  3. reinhard

    reinhard Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I appreciate your efforts in making this with great results!! Thanks for showing us that tasty stuff and the step by step. Reinard
  4. Oh my Clarissa - not do you ship internationally but do you ship? That is some great looking braunschweiger and liver wurst. I love the stuff but of course Rock won't go near it because of the liver. Outstanding step by step and recipe! Thanks for sharing! made the SM Facebook today!!!
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2013
  5. snorkelinggirl

    snorkelinggirl Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hi KC, 

    Thank you so much!  I'm definitely happy with how it turned out.  I love Braunschweiger, but I can't find it locally either.  It is great to be able to make a passable version of it!  I hope you give it a try!  

    Have a great day!
    Hi Reinhard,

    Thank you!!  And thank you for taking a look at my post.  As a newcomer to sausage making, I always appreciate hearing from the experts like yourself!

    Have a great day!

  6. snorkelinggirl

    snorkelinggirl Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hi Alesia!

    Maybe we could trade some elk pastrami for the braunschweiger??  Looks like we were both busy yesterday!   [​IMG]

    Too bad that Rock doesn't like liver. Ah, the sacrifices we make for those we love.

    Thank you so much for the compliments, and also for posting me on the SM Facebook!!!

    Have a great day!
  7. nepas

    nepas Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Looks good.

    But 2 questions

    4g cure 1 to 5 lbs?

    7g should be = 1 tsp

    IMHsausage making opinion there is not enough salt in the cure 1 to make a big salt difference.

    Why the poach 1st then the smoke? Could be setting the chubs up for some C.Bot?

    Just sayin

    Smoke On
  8. boykjo

    boykjo Sausage maker Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Looks great Clarissa...... you did a great job with emulsifying the meat..... its not easy unless you have the right equipment... I have been saving up for a Robot Coupe Blixer 3 they're about $1600 dollars... When using your food processor add chopped Ice instead of water to emulsify....

    You can go to you tube and search blixer3 and see a demo..... I want one.....[​IMG]
    snorkelinggirl likes this.
  9. snorkelinggirl

    snorkelinggirl Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hey Nepas,

    Thanks so much for checking in.  Dang, did I calculate out a little low on the cure #1?  Crap.  I'll edit my recipe to say 6 grams cure #1 instead of 4 grams, so nobody else gets into trouble.

    I poached first for 1 hour then smoked for 2 hours just following the recipe I had. I thought that poaching first then cold smoking was the standard method for making braunschweiger, but maybe not?  I'm a little nervous about it, which is why I only smoked for 2 hours. 

    Would love any advice or suggestions!  I definitely don't want me or my loved ones to get sick!


  10. snorkelinggirl

    snorkelinggirl Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Thank you!!  The emulsification was the part I was most nervous about.  I wanted to get the consistency smoother, but was afraid that if I kept processing it would break. Ice chips are a great suggestion, I'll definitely do that next time.

    Robot Coupe Blixer!  Looks amazing. Can't wait to see the emulsified sausages you can make with that!

    Have a great day!

  11. -
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2013
  12. nepas

    nepas Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    Looks like you are on the right track afterall with the poaching and smoking.

    Here is how TSM suggests in their recipe.

    Have water ready in the cooking tank at 180° F, then carefully place the braunschweiger into the tank. Be sure the braunschweiger is fully submerged. The water temperature should drop to about 160° F. Maintain that temperature until the internal temperature of the braunschweiger reaches 152° F. This should take 2-2 1/2 hours.

    After cooking, braunschweiger should be removed and placed in a container full of ice and water. Add additional ice to chill the braunschweiger as fast as possible. Chilling will take 1-2 hours. Remove the braunschweiger and hang on smokesticks. Shower with 180° F water for about 30 seconds to remove all surface grease from the casings.

    Hang at room temperature for 1 hour or until dry. Place in preheated smokehouse at 115-120° F. Hold at this temperature for about 3 hours. Apply a heavy smudge or until the desired color is obtained. Place in 35° F cooler overnight for use the next day.

    Sorry didnt mean to hijack or confuse.
  13. kathrynn

    kathrynn Smoking Guru OTBS Member have done it again.  I am impressed!  Great job!

  14. snorkelinggirl

    snorkelinggirl Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    It is delicious!  Even better this morning. 

    From the time I started chopping meat until I started poaching the chubs, took about 4 hours. But most of that time the meat was sitting in the refrigerator or the freezer unless I was actively grinding or emulsifying it.  From the time I started poaching it until I pulled it out of the smoker was another 3 1/2 hours (1 hour poaching, 1/2 hour cooling down, 2 hours smoking). I put it back in the refrigerator immediately after I pulled it out of the smoker.
  15. snorkelinggirl

    snorkelinggirl Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Thank you so much, Kat!!   Have a great day!

  16. boykjo

    boykjo Sausage maker Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Its always better the next day..................[​IMG]
  17. snorkelinggirl

    snorkelinggirl Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hey Nepas,

    Thanks very much for posting the TSM instructions. Good reassurance! 

    I'm glad you posted your questions, because you are right my cure #1 was too low.  Somehow I was thinking that a level tsp of Cure #1 weighed 5 grams.  I've edited my recipe. 

    Have a great day!
  18. -
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2013
  19. great recipe and great pictures!

    i just have one question... if you heat it to an IT of 150,  what is the purpose of the cure salt?


  20. snorkelinggirl

    snorkelinggirl Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hi Zed,

    Thanks so much for checking out my post and for the compliments!

    An IT of 150 deg F for pork will kill off bacteria and other nasties, but it won't destroy the botulinum spores which might exist on the surface of the meat. Botulinum spores require 3 things to germinate and produce botulinum toxin (the toxin is what causes botulism).  The 3 things are: anaerobic (no oxygen), moisture, and a low acid environment. All 3 conditions exist when smoking sausage. Botulism toxin is neutralized around 180 deg F IT, but this is way higher temp than you want your sausage to get. Cure #1 is one of few things known to inhibit the botulinum spores from germinating and producing toxin.

    The USDA actually wants ground meat to be taken up to 160 deg IT.  Ground or whole poultry (including chicken liver if you make that substitution) should be taken up to 165 deg F.  Most pork and beef sausage recipes have you cook to an IT of 150 - 155 deg F, and then assume that the carry over heat will take the IT up to 160 deg F.

    Have a great day!


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