Liver Mush

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Butterbean
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Liver Mush

Post by Butterbean » Sat Mar 16, 2013 01:15

Liver Mush is a local dish of the Carolina`s. It is sometimes called poor man`s pate. Its served on sandwiches with a good mustard and some mayo or pan fried and served with eggs for breakfast. You either love it or hate it. To me, its great stuff. Can`t buy it where I live now cause its rare as hen`s teeth and when you mention it to the grocer they just give you a funny look. But in God`s country, its a staple. The flavor is pretty good with a hint of liver that is toned down by the other meat and the sweetness of the corn meal but then a bite of pepper. Since I can only find it when I visit my mom I took it on myself to try and replicated what I grew up on. In my search for hints on how to make it I read that it was a very local dish found mostly in the Carolina's. If this is correct, then I thought some of you might want to give it a try. This recipe is pretty close and a far cry from what I found on the net. Maybe someone will find it as good as I do.


8.5 lbs of fatty pork & liver about 50/50
7 cups cornmeal - reserve 2 cups
4 tsp Sage
2 TBS salt
1 TBS Black Pepper
1 TBS Onion Powder
2 tsp red pepper
2 tsp Garlic Powder
1 TBS crushed red pepper

Boil meat till tender in enough water to cover.
Remove meat from pot and reserve broth.
Grind meat through grinder - smallest plate.

Mix all spices and 5 cups of cornmeal to the meat. Add enough broth to make a good slurry.

Heat in pot on low temp and stir often to keep it from sticking and scorching. Reduce it down till the cornmeal is cooked and the slurry begins to thicken.

I add more cornmeal at this point to thicken it till it`s a gummy tight mixture. Test seaonings. When its good and thick, put the paste in containers and refrigerate overnight.

Simmering in the pot to reduce some of the broth and cook the cornmeal.

Image

Placed in molds for refrigeration. When spooning it, it should be sticky and not runny.

Image

Will update tomorrow with a finished picture.
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Post by ssorllih » Sat Mar 16, 2013 01:40

My first wife was a SC peasant and she often talked about liver mush. She didn't much like liverwurst.
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Post by Butterbean » Sat Mar 16, 2013 02:57

I like liverwurst but I like this better. I think the difference is it has a milder liver flavor than the wurst. Texture is much different too.
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Post by el Ducko » Sat Mar 16, 2013 03:12

There were several things that we never adapted to when I was transferred to North Carolina about 25 years ago. ...and you guessed it ...livermush was one of 'em.

We also didn't care for the local versions of (alleged) barbecue and (alleged) Mexican food. Cornbread is sweet, there, whereas we prefer the slightly salty Texas version, with jalapenos. In fact, most foods are sweeter in that part of the world.

When asked where we were going, my wife (a native Texan) told her friends, "the Far East (coast)." As it turned out, the seafood was good and much more varied. There was one Jewish delicatessen in Charlotte where you could get chopped liver instead of livermush. ...and the bagels- - great. But during the collapse of the textiles industry in the nineties, most of us were laid off. My family and I have since moved back to Texas. ...STILL trying to sell the house in NC. But the comfort food (Texas-style barbecue, chicken fried steak, Mexican food) makes how it turned out seem better now.

Wanna buy a house?
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Post by Butterbean » Sat Mar 16, 2013 04:13

No thanks. I just sold some land up there this year. Darn taxes were ridiculus. They had more different types of taxes than I'd ever seen.

Its a shame the textile industry declined so. My SIL lost her job too and a lot of my friends did as well. A lot of the factories just gave the land to the government and they made parks and things out of them - which explains the arts and entertainment tax on my tax bill. They really gutted the area but at least we can be considered environmentally friendly now.
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Post by Butterbean » Sun Mar 17, 2013 02:00

Finished along with some Braunschweger

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Post by ssorllih » Sun Mar 17, 2013 02:43

Bean, Do you suppose that livermush, and scrapple are just cousins that grew up in different parts of the country? They seem to have more in common than differences. They are both served in similar ways.
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Post by Goat Roast » Sun Mar 17, 2013 04:24

Used to be pretty common in Georgia as well, at least among rural folk that raised their own hogs. I had it as a kid (and hated it, but I was just a kid).

I was actually thinking about liver mush last week, because I was expecting to have half a hog from a local grower to work up this weekend. I figured I could get the liver if I wanted it. I've long since lost my aversion to liver, and was thinking about looking for a mush recipe.

Unfortunately, the hog deal fell through, so I just bought a couple of butts to make sausage to get by on until a better opportunity arises.

At least now I know where to find a liver mush recipe when I need it. Thanks!
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Post by Butterbean » Sun Mar 17, 2013 04:47

ssorllih wrote:Bean, Do you suppose that livermush, and scrapple are just cousins that grew up in different parts of the country? They seem to have more in common than differences. They are both served in similar ways.
Prbably so. Never made scrapple nor have I ever eaten any but it they sound familiar. How is scrapple made. Recipe I looked at says its made about the same but uses boston butts. You could also say its just liver pate cause if you add more of the broth its very similar. Seems like americans have a habit of not giving our foods glorius names like the europeans. Heck, their terminology would make a baked turd sound delicious.
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Post by ssorllih » Mon Mar 18, 2013 02:24

We had a discussion about scrapple a little while back and it seems that the name came from the word "scraps" and almost anything was an approved ingredient. It is/was thickened with wheat flour, buckwheat flour or cornmeal or any combination thereof.
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Post by Big Guy » Mon Mar 18, 2013 21:55

I visited Butterbean this morning and came away with a load of goodies that included the liver mush. I do like it , so thats another recipe to make. :roll:
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Post by sawhorseray » Wed Mar 20, 2013 07:50

Really? Eating a organ that filters waste from a body? I guess it's all to each his own, because I know I'm not going to have much to do with something that was never attached to a bone. While I do love the rare treat of thin-sliced deer heart sauteed in butter with onions, the unique taste of liver is something I find as unpalatable. I don't eat kidneys either, and I really don't even like kidney beans. Obviously a short-coming on my end. RAY
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Post by el Ducko » Wed Mar 20, 2013 14:15

sawhorseray wrote:Really? Eating a organ that filters waste from a body?...
Um... what about sausage casing, Ray?
...guess I have a similar hang-up about bugs. They still make me shudder. ...but I love shrimp and lobsters and crawfish and such, which are really just bugs. Next time I force myself to eat a lobster, I'll think of you. :grinSmiley:

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Post by NorCal Kid » Wed Mar 20, 2013 14:17

sawhorseray wrote:Really? Eating a organ that filters waste from a body? I guess it's all to each his own, because I know I'm not going to have much to do with something that was never attached to a bone. While I do love the rare treat of thin-sliced deer heart sauteed in butter with onions, the unique taste of liver is something I find as unpalatable. I don't eat kidneys either, and I really don't even like kidney beans. Obviously a short-coming on my end. RAY
You're not alone, Ray. Liver is one of those ingredients that truly creates strong opinions from folks. Some love the stuff in practically any shape or form (liver sausages, sauteed in a pan, pates, etc) while the majority (it seems) find it disgusting.

I can do liver in most forms, but I draw the line at brains, blood and kidneys-all of which I've had opportunities to try in varying preparations. Pass! :shock:

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Post by el Ducko » Wed Mar 20, 2013 14:48

Maybe we should try to pin the blame on our parents. (Isn't that the pop-psychology 'thing-to-do'?)

One of my first failed business ventures (everything has to relate to business, these days) was trying to trade my daily liverwurst sandwich for ANYthing during first grade lunch period. Nowadays, I like a good liverwurst, but one from a German or Jewish delicatressen, not the grocery store kind.

Then there's mutton. I love lamb in just about any form. Mutton, smothered like liver-and-onions, is good, although I admit that it's probably an acquired taste. But due to an overdose in the late 1940's, early 1950's, I still can't handle it. These days, mutton is hard to find, at least in the USA.

I blame Mom's cooking. She had a rare talent of being able to render ANYthing edible inedible. As a result, I had one too many grit as a kid. ...likewise, collard/mustard/any kinda green. ...and mutton had the consistency of rubber tire, and tasted and smelled like... eeew. ...something you might have run over after a few days lying in the road.

It was not until I went to work and got to travel that I learned a possible reason: British food. (She was a genealogy nut.) I know better, now: I've had good blood sausage in Chile and blutwurst in Germany. Blood sausage in England is nasty. My mother was an advocate of British-style cooking - - boil it. She was the only person I know who could cook a "no soggy undercrust" chicken pot pie and make it fall apart in goo (...sogs?). All meat turned gray under her eye, except when it went quickly to black smoke. The first time I ate bacon in a restaurant, I didn't recognize it- - it didn't taste burned.

...but the happiest I ever was, at least in the Army, was one day, on KP, when the mess sergeant and I were the only ones in the company who liked liver and onions. I got a full trencher and he got the other, almost untouched. I carry the consequences on my waistline and in my arteries to this day.
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