Presswurst-Austrian (Austrian Presswurst Head Cheese)

Presswurst and Sulz are made from precooked meat and skins. Large cuts of meats like split pork heads, pork hocks, and trimmings such as tongue, heart and boned meat are used. Such meats are very rich in connective tissue which will become gelatin when heated and will solidify again upon cooling. All this is just covered with water and simmered for about two hours, cooled and then separated by hand from bones. This results in larger particles of meat which is not ground. Leftover meat stock is added to sausage during stuffing or added to forms when making meat jelly. As it contains a lot of gelatin, the meat stock solidifies upon cooling and binds all materials together. Often, for visual display, especially when making meat jellies, vegetables (peppers, peas, pickles, scallions) and slices of boiled egg acting as are added.

Pork head meat with skin, skins, meat trimmings500 g1.10 lb
Aspic (from meat stock) or commercial gelatin*500 g1.10 lb
  • Salt to taste
  • Cure #1 (if red color needed)-2.5 g (1/2 tsp)
  • Whole pepper berries, 6
  • Allspice, whole, 2
  • Bay leaf, whole, 2
  • Onion, halved-90 g (1 medium)
  • Vinegar, 30 ml (1 oz fl)
  1. Boil vegetables in 3-4 parts of water for 20 minutes. Drain vegetables and add the liquid to meats. Cook all meats in a little water at 80° C (176° F) until soft. Separate from bones when the meat is still warm. In home production meat is usually not ground. Save meat stock for aspic. Mix all ingredients together adding some meat stock. Stuff into 100 mm (4”) artificial waterproof casings (presswurst was traditionally stuffed in pork stomachs).
  2. Cook in water at 80° C (176° F) for about 2 hours. Immerse in cold water for 15 minutes. Place on flat surface and stack sausages one on top of the other. Turn around every hour or so to prevent heavier ingredient settling in one area. When sufficiently cold place sausage in refrigerator.
* vegetables, occasionally blood, maximum total 50%.
Meat stock should not account for more than 50% (500 g) as the sausage might be too soupy. Using too much water may prevent the sausage from solidifying. The remedy is to reheat all contents and add commercial gelatin.
If red color of the meat is desired the raw meat should be cut into 25 mm (1”) pieces and cured with Cure #1 (sodium nitrite) for 2 days (2.5 g/1 tsp of Cure #1 per 1 kg of meat).

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