Erbswurst is German sausage made from pea flour, pork belly, beef or pork fat, onions, salt and spices. Homemade Erbwurst sausage can be sliced and eaten as a snack or dissolved in hot water to make a nutritious and rich in calories pea soup. The product has almost unlimited shelf life, it is cheap to make and easy to prepare. The Erbwurst is a survival food sausage and has been popular with hikers and expeditions. It is somewhat related to Indian Pemmican as both products contain a large amount of fat and the manufacturing process is similar. The difference is that instead of pea flour the Pemmican uses powdered dry meat. Both products are perfect survival food.
The Erbwurst was invented in 1867 in Berlin by Johann Heinrich Grüneberg who was a cook and food canner. His invention was immediately purchased by the Prussian Army which introduced the product as the main mail for the soldier. When the war between France and Prussia broke out in 1870 the factories were producing thousands pounds of Erbswurst daily. Since 1889 the Knorr company has been manufacturing Knorr Erbswurst and the sausage is still being sold in Germany. It may be considered to be the first instant soup in history.
If you are a hiker or a member of an expedition and need a good tasting survival food, well, make yourself Erbswurst. You decide what ingredients go in so you can control the sausages's nutritional and caloric value. Let's say you embark on Appalachian trail that starts in Georgia and ends in Maine. This is a 6 month journey if you keep on walking 8 hours each day. This is wher homemade Erbswurst starts to shine, because it contains a large amount of fat. The fat gives you the power, the energy you need when walking for 6 month on Appalachian trail. One gram of fat provides 9 calories; this cannot be bettered by protein, flour, sugar or even alcohol.
Homemade Erbswurst tastes great and has right texture. It can be cut and will keep its shape, it will not crumbe. The fat glues it together and the fat provides a pleasant mouthfeel. Out tongue loves fat rich foods such as chocolate, ice cream, cakes, mayonnaise, cream cheese, butter etc. Remove fat and you stuck with a pile of bread crumbs like a lean hamburger. Grill a fat ground beef and all will agree that the hamburger is juicy.
- Fresh pork belly or smoked bacon | 350 g | 0.77 lb
- Hard fat | 250 g | 0.55 lb
- Pea flour | 400 g | 0.88 lb
- Salt | 18 g | 3 tsp
- Pepper | 2.0 g | 1 tsp
- Marjoram | 1.0 g | 1/2 tsp
- Nutmeg | 0.3 g | 1/4 tsp
- Thyme | 0.3 g | 1/4 tsp
- Onion | 30 g | 1/2 onion
1. Dice bacon and fat trimmings.
Bacon becomes brown when overcooked and this will result in bitter taste. Cook on low heat, don't allow bacon to smoke.
2. Chop onions finely. Fry onions in some fat until gold. Don't make them dark brown as they will taste bitter.
3. Heat up a pot on low fire and start adding pea flour stirring continuously. This removes any remaining moisture and will inhibit any bacteria from growing. Add all spices, keep on stirring.
4. Stuff into casing.
Butcher or waxed paper works great with this type of a sausage. keep in ming that the paste is pliable only when warm, when it cools down it hardens.
Stuff firmly into 40 mm casings making 8" (20 cm) straight links. There is no need for cooking. Erbswurst sausage will harden soon but you will be able to cut it with a knife. Homemade Erbswurst will keep indefinitely in a refrigerator and can be eaten at any time or made into a pea soup. 100 g (3.5 oz) of homemade Erbswurst mixed with 750 ml (3 cups) will make a delicious pea soup.
Knorr is a German beverage and food company which produces excellent instant soups. It was founded in 1838 by Carl Heinrich Theodor Knorr and Knorr's headquarters are in Heilbronn, Germany.
Since 1889 Knorr has been producing Erbswurst Sausage which might be considered the first instant pea soup.
Knorr Erbswurst comes in green or yellow color, depending whether green or yellow peas are used. There are 6 pre-cut portions each weighing 22.5 g (0.70 oz). Each portion (disc) is combined with 250 ml (1 cup) of water to make pea soup. Knorr Erbswurst contains 6-7% smoked bacon and 66-71% pea flour. This amount of flour makes it very crumbly and hard to cut so its value as a snack is limited. It is better suited for making pea soup. There are many additives, for example MSG (monosodium glutamate) and spices.
Making Smoked Bacon (if used)
- Ingredients for 1 kg (2.2 lb) of fresh pork belly
- Salt, 24 g (4 tsp)
- Cure #1, 2 g (3/4 tsp)
Mix cure 1 with salt and rub into a slab of bacon on all sides. Place in refrigerator for 4 days. Rinse briefly and pat dry with paper towel. Apply smoke for 2 hours.
If smoked bacon is used decrease the amount of salt in the recipe to 12 g (2 tsp).