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Stockwurst – A Reanimation Attempt

“The stockwurst is as good as dead.”, Bavarian satirist Gerhard Polt said in an interview [link in German] over 15 years ago. Unfortunately this has not changed until today. But of course this also means that it is still around. It is still not quite dead yet but it is definitely on the list of endangered specialities. A good stockwurst is just as good as a weisswurst, and it would be a shame if this type of sausage eventually became extinct.

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Stockwurst is a close relative of the well-known Munich weisswurst, and this is probably also the reason for its fate. With weisswurst becoming increasingly popular beyond Munich and Upper Bavaria the stockwurst has been continually vanishing from butcher’s shops since the second half of the 20th century. Today only very few butchers still make it.

The name “stockwurst” derives from its short sturdy shape which is called “g’stockert” in Bavarian. There is a shocking lack of information about this sausage, there are hardly any recipes to be found. While the production method and ingredients of Munich weisswurst are very well documented it still is a matter of debate what actually makes a stockwurst a stockwurst. Generally speaking stockwurst is somewhat “cruder” than weisswurst and has a firmer texture.

Some say it contains “more beef” than weisswurst, but this is an awkward wording because beef is not used in weisswurst at all anyway. Others say it has “a higher proportion of pork”, which I can’t really subscribe to because outside Munich there are quite a few producers that make weisswurst only from pork and it still is no stockwurst. Those I have eaten, though, do make me belive that beef might have been added. But I would not rule out that there may be some Munich butchers who make 100% pork stockwurst and create the “crudeness” by adding less skins or water. Also whether parsley is used or not is disputed.

Both weisswurst and stockwurst have their common origin in the French boudin blanc, even if that usually also contains egg or milk. It came to Bavaria with napoleonic troops, and evidently sparked the creation of the white sausages as we know them today. How this development actually was in detail is probably impossible to reonstruct anymore, and also the legend of the invention of weisswurst at the “Gasthaus Zum Ewigen Licht“ appears to be only partly true, if at all.

Now is stockwurst a predecessor of weisswurst or do they have a common ancestor? It’s only speculation, but name and shape of both weisswurst and stockwurst for me hint to stockwurst being created as a kind of “rustic” alternative to the tender and delicate weisswurst. Weisswurst shares both its name and its caliber with boudin blanc, so it may well be regarded as its Bavarian variety. Also boudin blanc is made with white meat (veal, pork, chicken) but not with beef.

Possibly to avoid confusion with the very similar weisswurst the stockwurst was made in a different shape which ultimatley gave it its name as well.

As I said, I think the use of beef is the defining element of stockwurst. This is why I have made mine with 50% pork and beef each in the used muscle meat. To enhance firmness I kept fat content, skins and water at a low level compared to classic weisswurst.

Ingredients per kg meat base:

  • 360 g lean pork (e.g. leg)
  • 360 g leam beef (e.g. leg)
  • 280 g raw pork fat
  • 70 g boiled pork skins
  • 100 g raw onion
  • 200 ml ice water or crushed ice
  • 7 g parsley, chopped
  • 20 g table salt
  • 2 g pepper
  • 1 g grated lemon zest
  • 0,5 g mace
  • 3 g sodium diphosphate (E 450)
  • Beef casing 43/46 mm

Special equipment needed:

  • Meat grinder with 2 mm disc
  • Meat cutter or food processor with rotary blade
  • Meat thermometer
  • Sausage stuffer
  • Butcher’s twine

Preparation:

Soak sausage casing in tepid water. Cut meat and fat in cubes and freeze them over in the freezer. Begin by grinding the pork skins, catching them in a separate vessel. Continue with meat, fat and onion and change the receiving vessel as soon as all skins have left the grinder. Put the ground meat into the freezer again and set aside the skins. In the mean time you can weigh the spices and set up the meat cutter or the food processor.

Fill the cutter with the meat and add the spices on top, then add one third of the ice water (or ice). Chop in 3 stages, adding another third of the water each time, take care that the temperature will not rise above 14 degrees. The final stage may last as long as the temperature permits.

sw4sw5Put the meat paste into a bowl and mix in the parsley and the ground pork skins by hand.

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Now fill the sausage stuffer, apply the casing and stuff the sausage. With butcher’s twine tie off individual sausages of approximately 10 cm length. Dont’t stuff the casing too tightly to avoid the risk of bursting when tying off the sausages. Exactly that happened to me, and I could only save six sausages from 1.5 kg of meat. Luckily I was able to make Leberkäse from the rest of the meat which is perfectly possible with this recipe.

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Slowly simmer the sausages at 70 to 80 degrees in water just like weisswurst, because they are thicker this takes about 45 minutes here.

You can eat stockwurst the same way as weisswurst, but they are more versatile. For example they are also served with roast potatoes.

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The result:

Even without a given recipe the sausages turned out excellent and they match my concept of a stockwurst to 100%. I haven’t been making sausage for very long, but these don’t need to hide behind professional products.

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