Leberkäse is an emulsified sausage mixture that is shaped into a block, baked, and sliced to order. Picture hot dog filling, only instead of stuffed into casings it’s packed into a loaf pan.
Yes: a hot dog terrine.
For the record the name literally means “liver cheese,” but usually contains neither liver nor cheese. There is, however, a preparation called Käseleberkäse, which is Leberkäse studded with cubes of cheese in the style of a Käsekrainer.
Where would you eat Leberkäse? Austria and Bavaria, for starters. More specifically sausage stands, beer gardens, grocery stores, and any other place that might hot-hold food for quick service. The loaves are baked till they have a brown, crusty top, then kept under a heat lamp until ordered, at which time a half inch slab is sliced from the end. Leberkäse is commonly served in a kaiser roll with mustard or mayonnaise.
I didn’t return from Austria with an authentic Leberkäse recipe, but the flavour and texture of the dish reminded me so much of North American hot dogs that I have developed my own formula from a standard hot dog recipe. The main departure is that I substitute a small amount of the beef shortrib with pork shoulder, and add a healthy dose of sautéed onion to the mix. And of course it’s baked as a loaf.
For meals at home I slice slabs from the baked, chilled loaf, then sear them on a griddle and eat them on a crusty kaisersemmel. Think fried baloney sandwiches.
|Ingredient||Percent (%)||for 5 kg (g)|
- Combine the beef, pork, kosher salt, curing salt, and water. Mix briefly, then cover tightly and let stand in the fridge for 48 hours.
- Add the remaining ingredients. Chill thoroughly and grind through a 1/4″ plate. (See this post for details on grinding technique. Properly chilling the meat is especially important for emulsified sausages such as Leberkase.)
- Chill thoroughly and grind through a 1/4″ plate for a second time.
- Chill thoroughly and blitz in a food processor in small batches until mixture is a uniform paste.
- Line loaf pans with parchment. Bring a pot of water to the boil.
- Pack the meat paste into the loaf pans. Cover with foil. Cook in a water bath until an internal temperature of 150°F is reached.