Presskopf (Pressed Head Meat Sausage)

Presskopf is a German cooked sausage with meat inserts, usually cured head meat.

Pork head meat600 g1.32 lb
Pork, lean with connective tissue100 g0.22 lb
Pork belly, medium fat100 g0.22 lb
Pork jowls100 g0.22 lb
Pork hocks and legs with skin100 g0.22 lb
Ingredients per 1000g (1 kg) of meat
Salt18 g3 tsp
Cure #12.0 g1/3 tsp
Pepper2.0 g1 tsp
Paprika0.5 g1/4 tsp
Nutmeg0.5 g1/4 tsp
Coriander0.5 g1/4 tsp
Cardamom0.3 g1/8 tsp
Ginger0.3 g1/8 tsp
Garlic, smashed3.5 g1 clove
  1. Cure split pork head and pork hocks in wet cure. Make 40° Salometer brine (10° Baume): 1 gal water, 333 g (0.73 lb) salt, 120 g (4.2 oz) Cure #1. About 1 quart (946 ml) of brine is needed for 1 kg of meat. Place meats in curing solution in a suitable container. Hold them completely submerged for 4-5 days. Drain and wash briefly.
  2. Remove skins and meat from cured head and legs. Boil skins at 95° C (203° F) until a finger is able to go through the skin. Grind skins through 3 mm (1/8") plate.
  3. Cut lean meat into 25 mm (1") chunks.
  4. Grind all other meat through 3 mm (1/8") plate.
  5. Mix ground meat with all ingredients.
  6. Stuff into pork or beef blind caps or beef middles.
  7. Hot smoke at 70° C (158° F) for 60 minutes.
  8. Cook in water at 80° C (176° F) according to the following rule: 15 minutes for each 1 cm (10 mm) of casing diameter. The meat should reach 71° C (160° F) internal temperature.
  9. Immerse in cold water for 10 minutes. Cool in air until sausages reach 18° C (64° F) internal temperature.
  10. Cold smoke at 18° C (64° F) for 12 hours.*
  11. Refrigerate.
It is not easy for a hobbyist to obtain pork head meat so the lean chunks of pork butt (upper shoulder, Boston butt) will work just fine. It will also be easier and faster to cure using the dry curing method. Simply cut all meats (except skins) into 25 mm (1") chunks and mix with salt and cure #1. Pack tightly in a container, cover with a cloth, hold for 2-3 days in refrigerator, then follow the above instructions.
* this is the optional step which was practiced in the past to produce a semi-dry sausage by removing more moisture. This extended the life of the sausage so it could be kept at room temperature (<18 C/64 F).
Curing time not included in preparation time.

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