Main plate Bavarian meatloaf ("Leberkäse")

Discussion in 'The Cookbook aka Recipe Forum' started by Michi, Jan 25, 2020.

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  1. Jan 25, 2020 #1

    Michi

    Michi

    Michi

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    It's fairly involved, but worth it. I can't find any good recipe in English, so I'm writing this up. This is for a traditional Bavarian meatloaf ("Leberkäse", which literally means "liver cheese", but contains neither liver nor cheese. Go figure…)

    Here it is, before and after baking:

    IMG_2863-2.JPG

    IMG_2864-2.JPG

    You will need a meat grinder, plus a food processor that can take some abuse. (The kind with two or three large curved blades.) It needs to be strong enough to turn a kilogram of meat into a thick and very fine paste.

    Meat:
    • 300 g pork shoulder
    • 200 g lean beef
    • 200 g pork belly without rind
    • 100 g pork back fat
    Cube the meat into pieces small enough to fit into the grinder. Put the meat into the freezer until it is just starting to freeze. Grind using a fine disk and put back in the fridge, or back into the freezer. We want to keep things as close to freezing point as possible during the entire process (but without actually freezing the meat).

    Spices:
    • 2 g pink curing salt #1
    • 18 g salt
    • 2.5 g ground white pepper
    • 0.25 g ground cardamom
    • 0.5 g ground coriander seed
    • 0.25 g ginger powder
    • 0.75 g ground mace
    • 5 g finely grated fresh onion
    • 4 g baking powder or 2 g phosphate
    The baking powder is used to make sure that things bind correctly ("Kutterhilfsmittel"). It needs to contain phosphate. (Check on the package.) Alternatively, get some phosphate from a site that sells sausage making supplies and use only 2 g.

    "Kuttern" (blending):
    • 200 g finely shaved ice (consistency almost like snow)
    I use the food processor to make the shaved ice.

    Once you start to blend the meat, you need to move reasonably quickly to avoid things getting too warm. (The friction from the blending generates heat.) Have a fast-reading thermometer at hand and check the temperature occasionally. It must not exceed 12 ºC at any time (ideally, it should never go above 8 ºC or so). If things get too warm, stick the mixture back into the freezer for a few minutes.

    Put the meat into the food processor and blend for a minute or so until you have something that's very finely ground. Then add about half the ice and the spices and blend at high speed. The meat will emulsify and start to form a very fine and thick paste that is very sticky and uniform in texture. While blending, gradually add the remainder of the ice. (Remember to check the temperature occasionally.)

    Once you have something that's really gooey (like very thick and very sticky mud that stretches like a yeast dough), put the mixture into a greased rectangular baking dish or greased disposable aluminium container. The dish should hold a little over a litre. Avoid getting air bubbles into the mix. (Butchers take a big handful of the stuff and literally slam it into the dish to avoid trapping air.) Smooth the top with wet hands and decorate by making a diamond pattern with the back of a knife.

    Bake at 150 ºC for 60–90 minutes. (Time depends somewhat on the shape of the dish.) The meatloaf is ready once you get 70 ºC core temperature. Towards the end, if you don't get some browning on the top, turn the heat up a little.

    Cut up into slices and serve with Bavarian sweet mustard, a salad and Brezen. Bavarian-style potato salad is traditional (no mayonnaise!), but you can actually eat it with other kinds of salad without incurring any truly negative side effects ;)

    For the mustard, Händlmaier is heads and shoulders the best:

    https://www.amazon.com/Händlmaiers-Sweet-Bavarian-Mustard-13-4/dp/B003U28EHG?th=1

    If you can't get that particular brand, another Bavarian sweet mustard will do, but won't be as nice. Look for Weisswurstsenf, which is a seeded, slightly sweet style that is normally eaten with Münchner Weisswurst (soft pork sausage).

    Here is a good video (in German) that shows the entire process, both at a commercial butcher and at home.



    You can see the consistency you are shooting for starting at 2:45 and again at 3:10. If you find that the paste during blending gets too thick, you can add a very small amount of iced water, 10 ml at a time. (Be careful with this, the mixture goes from too thick to soupy quite quickly.)
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2020
  2. Jan 25, 2020 #2

    rob

    rob

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    Looks lovely Michi.
     
  3. Jan 25, 2020 #3

    Carl Kotte

    Carl Kotte

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  4. Jan 27, 2020 #4

    mise_en_place

    mise_en_place

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    We make this where I work. If I remember, I'll post the recipe here, too.
     
  5. Jan 27, 2020 #5

    Ryndunk

    Ryndunk

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    Looks good Michi! I sometimes laberkase at the restaurant. Haven't done it for a while. Might have to make some up this week.
    I've not tried the food processor method but looks like it works well, yours looks perfect. I've always ground the meat twice through a fine grinding plate, then beat well in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment.
     
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  6. Jan 28, 2020 #6

    Michi

    Michi

    Michi

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    I don't see why this wouldn't work as well. The desired result is that you have a very fine paste. If the paddle gets the ground meat to the point where that's the case, the outcome is the same. (Even if you don't get a completely homogeneous paste, the taste will largely be the same; it's just that it won't have the traditional texture.)

    Just watch the temperature. All the friction from the grinding and stirring creates heat. I would probably add the ice at the beating stage, or maybe half the ice when doing the second grind, and half when doing the beating. Keeping the mixture cold makes sure that it binds properly.

    In German butcheries, they use something called a "Kutter" after grinding the meat, which is basically an industrial-strength food processor with large blades. The ice is added gradually during blending.
    IMG_0112.JPG
    You can buy these (for a lot of money) in capacities of up to 200 kg (or maybe even more).

    But there are also more affordable units with 2.5 kg capacity, such as this one:

    https://www.amazon.de/Beeketal-Flei...-Spezialklingen-gehärtetem/dp/B079H5KCMH?th=1

    For small amounts, such as a kilo or two at a time, a Kutter is probably overkill; you might just as well use a food processor.
     
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  7. Jan 28, 2020 #7

    Ryndunk

    Ryndunk

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    It works well. Before grinding. Freeze the bowl and paddle. Refrigerate or submerge the grinder in ice. Salt the meat for a few hours before placing it in the freezer. This also helps the meat bind and let's the meat get a bit colder before it becomes solid. Then work quickly. You will get the desired consistently. I'm my experience the food processor creates more heat than the mixer because of the speed of the spinning blade. Which is why you need ice in the mix. I will use a little cold white wine instead.

    This method also works for emulsified sausages like weisswurst.
     
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  8. Feb 9, 2020 #8

    Brian Weekley

    Brian Weekley

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    Question ... what is better than a recipe containing pork belly? ... Answer ... Nothing! Case closed!
     

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