Adventures in liverwurst

Pioneer John is making the most of his deer bounty.  Not content with mere roasts, he decided to use the organ meats (liver and heart) to make liverwurst.  For those of you shaking your heads and laughing while saying “Poor Kathy…,” it’s not really that big of a deal.  I know for a fact that some of you like giblet gravy, love making appetizers out of chicken liver, and are even known to enjoy pâté de foie gras.  Your issue is not with liverwurst; it’s with Bambi.  To that I say: better to eat Bambi than to have Bambi cause a major accident while running across I-83.

If you want to shake your heads and pity me, it will be over all the other uses for deer that John would explore if given the opportunity (ie., if I let him).  The Native Americans wasted no part of a deer, even using rendered fat for candles and sinews for thread.  John already has a jar of rendered fat that he wants to use.  It’s probably the only candle that smells worse than a cigar.  But I do have to draw the line somewhere and currently it is at John’s suggestion that he use the sinews for surgical thread to stitch himself after do-it-yourself-at-home gall bladder surgery.

So,  compared with that, what’s a little liverwurst?  And guess what?  It looks like “real” liverwurst, smells like it, and even tastes like it (although next time John will cut back a little on the marjoram).  John enjoys his slice on saltines.  I prefer to spread it on baguette and pretend it is pâté de venaison.  Hmm, it would probably be really tasty with a dollop of cranberry-dill sauce. 

John’s recipe came from Bill Mende at in case you want the actual recipe.  The highlights are below:

John’s liverwurst

meat:  venison liver and heart

salt pork

cure #1

onion, grated and cooked

dry ingredients:  sugar, cardamom, ginger, mace, marjoram, black pepper, cloves, coriander, nutmeg

John's liverwurst begins with fresh venison liver and heart


Salt pork adds fat as well as flavor


Next, the meat is cooked

Cooked meat is then put through the grinder

After freezing the ground meat, it is cut into cubes and fed through the grinder again

Spices are added

The really, really cold meat is blended by hand--brrrr!

We fill the water-proof casings as John makes disgusting noises


The liverwurst is simmered in 170 degree water to an internal temperature of 145 degrees F.

After a day in the fridge for the flavors to bloom, the liverwurst is ready to eat. And it does taste good with cranberry dill sauce!

One thought on “Adventures in liverwurst

  1. Only the heart meat is cooked brfore grinding. The liver is cut in cubes, frozen raw and then run through the grinder. Also I simmerred the liverwurst at 200 degrees since I read online that all bacteria is destroyed at 176 degrees.


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