Authentic German Leberkäse Recipe


  • 1 kg pork shoulder
  • 200 g pork belly
  • 100 g crushed ice
  • 50 g onion
  • 30 g corn starch
  • 20 g salt
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • 1/2 tsp mace
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp ginger

Steps and instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 150 degrees Celsius.
  2. Cut the pork shoulder and pork belly into chunks.
  3. Place the pork chunks in a meat grinder and grind until smooth.
  4. Peel and grate the onion.
  5. In a large bowl, mix together the ground pork, grated onion, crushed ice, corn starch, salt, and spices until well combined.
  6. Transfer the mixture to a loaf pan, pressing it down to ensure it’s packed tightly.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven for about 1 hour and 30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and crispy.
  8. Remove the Leberkäse from the oven and let it cool slightly before slicing and serving.

Tools for making

  • Meat grinder - Used to grind the pork shoulder and pork belly into a smooth mixture.
  • Loaf pan - Used to shape and bake the Leberkäse mixture.
  • Oven - Used to bake the Leberkäse until it's golden brown and crispy.
  • Grater - Used to grate the onion for the Leberkäse mixture.
  • Large bowl - Used to mix together all the ingredients for the Leberkäse.

Recipe variations

  • Adding diced bacon or ham to the meat mixture for added flavor.
  • Replacing the pork with beef or a mixture of beef and veal.
  • Experimenting with different spices and herbs, such as garlic, paprika, or rosemary.
  • Using whole wheat flour or gluten-free flour as an alternative to corn starch.
  • Creating a crispy crust by brushing the Leberkäse with beaten egg or mustard before baking.
  • Adding cheese or diced vegetables, such as bell peppers or mushrooms, to the meat mixture for added texture and flavor.
  • Making a vegetarian or vegan version by substituting the meat with textured vegetable protein (TVP) or a blend of legumes and grains.

Recipe overview

Leberkäse is a traditional German dish that finds its roots in Bavaria. This meatloaf-like specialty, despite its name, contains neither liver nor cheese. Instead, it's made from finely ground pork shoulder and pork belly, mixed with a blend of herbs and spices to give it its distinctive flavor. The process involves grinding the meat, mixing it with the other ingredients, packing it tightly into a loaf pan, and baking until it's golden brown and crispy on top. Served hot and sliced, it's a hearty, savory dish that pairs well with a cold beer and some German potato salad. Making Leberkäse at home can be a bit of a process, but the result is well worth it. This recipe will guide you through the steps of making your own Leberkäse, bringing a taste of Bavaria right to your kitchen.

Common questions

  1. Can I use a different cut of meat? Yes, you can use a different cut of pork such as pork loin or pork tenderloin, but keep in mind that it may affect the texture and taste of the Leberkäse.
  2. Can I substitute the pork with another type of meat? Traditionally, Leberkäse is made with pork. However, you can experiment with other meats like beef or veal if you prefer, although it may alter the flavor.
  3. Do I need a meat grinder to make this recipe? Yes, a meat grinder is necessary to achieve the desired texture of the Leberkäse. If you don't have one, you can try using a food processor, but the results may not be as smooth.
  4. Can I make Leberkäse without using an oven? The traditional method involves baking the Leberkäse in the oven, but you can also try cooking it in a pan on the stovetop. Cook it on low heat, covered, and flip it occasionally until cooked through.
  5. Can I freeze the Leberkäse? Yes, you can freeze the cooked and sliced Leberkäse. Make sure to wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or place it in an airtight container before freezing. Thaw it in the refrigerator before reheating.

Serving dishes and utensils

  • Cutting board - A sturdy surface for cutting and preparing the ingredients.
  • Chef's knife - A sharp knife for cutting the pork shoulder and pork belly into chunks.
  • Meat grinder - Used to grind the pork chunks into a smooth mixture.
  • Grater - To grate the onion for the Leberkäse mixture.
  • Large mixing bowl - Used for combining all the ingredients together.
  • Loaf pan - A pan used for shaping and baking the Leberkäse.
  • Oven - To bake the Leberkäse until it turns golden brown and crispy.
  • Cooling rack - Allows the Leberkäse to cool down evenly before slicing.

Origin stories

Leberkäse is a culinary delight that hails from Bavaria in Germany, tracing its roots back to the 18th century. The name, "Leberkäse," translates to "liver cheese" in English, an intriguing moniker considering that the traditional version of the dish contains neither liver nor cheese. This culinary curiosity stems from the old Middle High German words, ‘laib’ and ‘kas’, which referred to a baked loaf and a mass of coagulated milk respectively. The dish offers a blend of finely grounded corned beef, pork, bacon, and onions, baked until it forms a crunchy brown crust. A staple in Bavarian butcheries and Oktoberfest celebrations, Leberkäse often finds itself served in a hearty bun as a traditional Bavarian fast food. Its unique name, coupled with its distinct taste, makes Leberkäse a quirky and fascinating piece of Bavaria's rich culinary tradition.

Disclaimer: This recipe was not created by humans and we cannot ensure that it will turn out as expected. We do not guarantee or take any liability for the accuracy of this recipe (including steps, ingredients, nutritional information, and all sections on this page). You should check to make sure you are not allergic to any ingredients and take safety precautions while making this. The images on this page are generated by AI and may not accurately represent the result of making this recipe.