The July Charcutepalooza challenge is to stuff an emulsified sausage, or smooth textured sausage…think hot dogs. Some of the options for the Accidental Locavore were bratwurst, hot dogs, or mortadella, but since there’s two of us, the thought of eating our way through a huge hunk of luncheon meat that neither the Locavore or her husband are particularly fond of, seemed like a non-starter. Boudin blanc was an option, but that’s kind of ho-hum in a French way (comme ci, comme ca?). How about liverwurst? It’s emulsified and happens to be one of Frank’s favorite sandwiches: on a roll with lots of onion and mustard. Personally, the Locavore only likes liver from two-footed fowl, but that’s a blog for another day.
The challenge with liverwurst, from what I understand, is finding pork liver. As it turns out, a few weeks ago, at the Brooklyn Kitchen for a pickling class with Rick Fields from Rick’s Picks (great pickles using all local goodies; if you don’t know about them, you should), what did a Locavore run into but a nice hunky (and local) pigs liver! Which is a roundabout way of telling you how I deviated from bologna to liverwurst via Williamsburg.
Armed with the liver and shoulder of a pig, the liverwurst is ready to proceed. The trick with forcemeats (chef-speak), which is what this is, is keeping everything really cold to ensure a very smooth, almost creamy texture. I don’t think my Kitchen Aid gave me a fine enough grind, even after two passes and while emulsifying the liverwurst-to-be, the Cuisinart passed out from abuse.
When everything was done, the Locavore ended up with one liverwurst in a hogs casing and another larger one which I rolled in Saran Wrap, then vacuum sealed. They then get poached, or for more chef-speak cooked sous-vide and cooled.
The final verdict? I thought the texture was a little too coarse and since I used fresh herbs from my garden, instead of dried, there were tiny specks of green, which you don’t see in commercial liverwurst.
Frank thought the same about the texture, it wasn’t as fine and creamy as what he’s used to. He liked the flavor a lot and is happily looking forward to packing a couple of sandwiches to take to the tennis matches. Be glad you’re not sitting next to him…