Southern-style Livermush is a surprisingly delicious addition to a hearty breakfast or brunch. Especially popular in North Carolina, this pork-based liver pudding is similar to the sausage patty, but with a smoother texture and a slightly spicy, earthy flavor.
Though you can pick up a block of livermush at many grocery stores, nothing beats the homemade version. If you’re in an area where it’s inaccessible, you’ll be glad to know that you’re just one simple recipe away from your very own homemade livermush.
What is Livermush?
Livermush is often found on a Sunday breakfast plate in the South. It’s sometimes called the poor man’s pâté, due to the similarities in taste and texture. Livermush is made using a puree of pig’s liver (and sometimes other parts), combined with cornmeal and a wide array of seasonings. The result is a rich, smooth and flavorful meat spread that’s delicious alongside your classic breakfast platter. Quite often, livermush is made using leftover pork and trimmings, making it a deliciously economic alternative to other breakfast meats.
Livermush vs Scrapple
Livermush and scrapple are both made using pork, but there are several notable differences between them. Scrapple is made using pork scraps (hence the name), but it does not usually contain pork liver. Of course, livermush’s main ingredient is pork liver. In terms of texture, scrapple is a more solid meatloaf, in comparison to livermush’s ‘mushy’ consistency.
Is Livermush the Same as Pâté?
Livermush is sometimes called the poor man’s pâté because they’re quite similar in texture and can be used in similar ways. Pâté is usually made using venison, chicken or duck liver, making it significantly pricier than a good old-fashioned livermush.
The main ingredient for this recipe is pork liver. For a richer, more flavorful end result, we’ll also be including pork shoulder. When it comes to livermush, the seasonings are just as important as the pork. For a classic taste, some salt, black pepper and sage should do the trick. Feel free to add in your own seasonings and spices for customized flavor. Here are the key ingredients:
- Pork Liver
- Pork Shoulder
- Ground Black Pepper
- All-purpose Flour
How to Make Homemade Livermush
Homemade livermush couldn’t be easier to make. Before you begin, be sure to trim the liver, taking care to remove the membrane.
- Cut the liver and pork shoulder into small cubes, then place in a large pot filled with water.
- Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook until tender, which should take around 3 hours.
- Once cooked, transfer the meat to a food processor. Reserve the leftover cooking liquid for later.
- To the food processor, add your seasonings and pulse until you have a fine mince.
- Put the mince back into the pot with the liquid and bring to a boil.
- Stir in the cornmeal and flour, a little at a time, until it reaches a batter-like consistency.
- Remove from the heat and let it cool for 30 minutes, before pouring into a loaf pan. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.
Where to Find Livermush Near Me?
Store-bought livermush can be found at the grocery store or online. Popular brands like Neese’s, Jenkins and Hunter can be found at Walmart (in-store and online) or on their respective company websites.
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Homemade Livermush Recipe (+How to Cook Livermush)
- 1 pork liver trimmed with membrane removed
- 2 1/2 lb pork shoulder
- 1 1/4 cups chopped sage or 1 teaspoon dried sage
- 3 tablespoons salt
- 1 tablespoon black pepper freshly ground
- 1 1/2 cups cornmeal fine
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
For Frying (Optional)
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon butter unsalted recommended
- Place the pork liver and pork shoulder on a work surface. Cut into ½-inch inch cubes using a butcher knife. Then place in a 8-10 quart pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook until tender, about 3 hours.
- Lift the cooked meat out of the pot using a slotted spoon, reserving the cooking liquid. Add the meat to a food processor along with the sage, salt and pepper. Pulse several times until the consistency reaches that a fine mince.
- Turn the minced meat back into the pot with the liquid and bring to a boil. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the cornmeal and flour, alternating ¼ cup at a time until it reaches a batter-like consistency. Remove from the heat and let it sit for 30 minutes. Then pour into a loaf pan and refrigerate for 4 hours to overnight to let it set.
- To make sautéed livermush, place a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil and butter followed by a 1-inch slice of livermush. Fry for 1-2 minute per side or until golden.