Homemade Venison Liverwurst Recipe

Homemade Venison Liverwurst
Venison liverwurst: just one more way to make a deer sandwich

While I enjoy some pan fried venison liver and onions, I also like variety. And if that variety involves sandwiches of some sort, well, sign me up! This recipe for homemade venison liverwurst may not be for everyone, but it does hit the mark when comparing it to a commercially made liverwurst.

Now, I’ll give you two warnings up front:

  1. This is one of the messiest venison recipes I make. It’s not messy in that your kitchen will look like a bomb went off, but you will essentially be making a meat paste. Wear some disposable gloves and have extras. And keep a spatula handy for scraping out bowls.
  2. While this is not a complicated recipe by any means, making it will be a challenge if you don’t have some specialized tools. You’ll want a meat grinder, a food processor, and a sausage stuffer.

To get the right consistency, the meat needs to be processed multiple times. If you have a food processor, but no grinder, you can get by as long as you buy some ground pork to start with. If you have a grinder but no food processor, you could grind several times with a fine blade, but the pastier this gets, the harder it is to put through the grinder.

As for the sausage stuffer, I recommend a stand alone compression style stuffer. Personally, I use a LEM 5 lb vertical stuffer. The gears are all metal (beware, some stuffers come with plastic gears), and 5 lbs is the perfect size for me. I avoid making any batches of sausage more than ten pounds – that’s just my personal limit. There’s only so much sausage I’ll eat in a given year. And when I run out, I can always make more. I usually stay closer to five pounds for any one recipe I do, and this recipe falls under that.

If you don’t have a dedicated sausage stuffer, but have a jerky gun, that would work in a pinch. Stuffing the paste in the small chamber will be a pain, but you can work with it. If you only have a grinder attachment sausage stuffer, you can use that as well, but because the paste gets more challenging to grind, trying to run it through the worm gear of the grinder stuffer will be just as challenging.

Now, just by the fact that you got here looking for a venison liverwurst recipe, I know I haven’t scared you away with any of these warnings. Plus, odds are, if you are still reading, you already have all the tools listed above. So, here’s how you do it:

The Cut:

Well, you know we’re using the liver. You’ll want to do some soaking on it after you dress the deer, like I laid out here. Making liverwurst is not one of my top priorities when I get home with a deer, I like to save it for a boring winter day, so I’ll use frozen liver. When I freeze the liver, I freeze it in approximately 1/3 pound packages of strips sliced to about 1/4 inch thick.

Venison liverwurst breakfast sandwich on a homemade english muffin.
Venison liverwurst breakfast sandwich on a homemade english muffin.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb of diced deer liver
  • 1.5 lbs of ground pork
  • 1 small to medium onion, grated
  • 1 tablespoon of kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon of ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon of allspice

Process:

I will usually start with a whole pork shoulder, so I’ll cut it all up into cubes and run it through the grinder once. Then I’ll take my pound and a half from that. Put it in a bowl with the diced liver and all the other ingredients, and mix thoroughly. Run this mixture through the grinder one more time with a fine blade. It isn’t pretty. Tell the faint of heart to look away should they wander into the kitchen.

Chill for about 30 minutes or so. As the mixture warms, it gets harder to work with. Plus this lets the flavors infuse for a little while.

Taking one third to one half of the mixture at a time, run it through the food processor till it get’s a nice creamy texture. The whole batch may fit in your processor, but most likely it will be too much all at once for your processor to handle smoothly. Pour/scrape it from the processor right into the sausage stuffer and stir it all together. Change your gloves. Probably for the fifth time. From here on in, it’ll be cleaner, I promise. Well, till you need to wash everything that is..

Stuff the mixture into a 2 1/2 inch casing of your choice. I always have mahogany casings on hand for summer sausage, and they work great for liverwurst too. The 20″ x 2 1/2″ will hold close to 3 lbs of meat, so this batch should fit perfectly in one casing. Tie off the end tightly enough to keep good form, but keep in mind you’ll need to jam a thermometer in there to check the temperature as it cooks.

In a pan or pot big enough to hold the stuffed casing (I use a roasting pan, it’s the perfect length, and since it’s oblong, there isn’t a lot of excess water), poach the liverwurst till the internal temperature reaches 160. You want to keep the water from boiling. Make it barely simmer and you should be good. It will take about an hour for the meat to hit 160, but that of course will vary depending on how you manage the simmer.

When it’s done, pull it from the water and let it cool to room temperature. If you used a mahogany casing, you can run it under cold water – this will clean the casing off, and help it cool down faster. Cut into lengths, and share or freeze the extra…

 

A Meat Grinder For Hunters

A meat grinder for hunters.
A durable meat grinder that won’t break the bank.

Over the years, there has been a gradual shift in the way I process my deer as I get it in the freezer. In the beginning, we made sausage out of everything except the loins and tenderloins. And we did it all in one session. With a manual meat grinder. Never. Again.

Lessons learned:

  1. Grinding a whole deer up all at once AND making it all into sausage at the same time is EXHAUSTING.
  2. I do actually like manual grinders. Just not to make 70 lbs of sausage at once.
  3. This was a later lesson: You can do way more with meat that is kept whole. You can always choose to grind it later.
  4. Keeping frozen deer portions to 2 to 5 lbs is ideal – you can do a sausage making session with this much meat in about an hours worth of time.

We already had a KitchenAid mixer, so after that first deer, I bought the grinder/sausage stuffer attachment. While this works great, if you are a serious hunter DON’T GO THIS ROUTE. You will eventually have to buy your wife a new mixer. I prefer a stand-alone grinder, and after a LOT of research, I gave the TurboForce 2000 a try.

I know you just said that in a Monster Truck announcer voice.

Partially Frozen Meat
Partially frozen meat is easier to work with than totally thawed meat.

One of the things I’ve read about grinders, is you want one that is described in horsepower, not watts. And, the more horses, the better. This grinder was over 2 HP. And it was CHEAP. Which concerned me. Grinders of similar power were much more expensive. But the reviews didn’t scare me off, so I figured I’d see how it does.

At first look, it’s a solid little grinder. It comes with 3 blades, a coarse, medium, and fine. That was already better than the KitchenAid. Then I ran it. It is quite loud. But I’m a shooter after all, I have hearing protection. So I put my ear muffs on and ran some meat through it.

It ate everything I threw at it. I even ran some mostly frozen meat through it. It doesn’t sound pretty, but it handled it. When grinding meat, I recommend chopping it up with a knife while it is partially frozen before running it through the grinder. While this grinder has so far proven to be pretty tough, you should help it out if you can (that might have saved my KitchenAid).

Medium Grind
Run the meat through a second time through the medium plate.

I will usually run the meat through twice: first through the coarse blade, and then through one of the finer blades depending on what I’m making. If you are adding some kind of seasoning, add and mix it in with the meat before the second grind. When you grind it again it will be mixed just that much better.

Bottom line:

Is it the best grinder out there? No. For the money? Probably. I really expected this grinder to die pretty quick, just because the price was so low. But it has held up for several years now, and has run through probably 100 lbs of meat for me. If you need to grind constantly, I’d say go more higher end. But if you plan on only doing 5 to 10 pounds of sausage at a time, a few times a year, this grinder is a good way to go. I have not been disappointed with it.

Just PLEASE don’t burn out your wife’s KitchenAid. There are no winners when that happens. There’s a link down below just in case you need to buy a new one…

Check it out on Amazon:

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