One of the best experiences of the past year was developing technique and recipe for our country levain. Working with sourdough is an exercise in patience and love. The sourdough culture that gives this bread its character, its profile, and its lasting power is fed every day. In return it helps us to make bread. The culture is years old, and this loaf was started 48+ hours ago. Any shortcuts taken subtract from what this loaf can be. We bake our bread in a wood-fired oven. Another exercise in patience and love. An oven is a fickle thing and must be watched carefully if one wants the best results. But what results! The oven spring can’t be matched.
Liverwurst in the Style of GTF:
If you have a whole pig by chance, make some liverwurst and serve it to a gaggle of friends with red wine and crackers. It makes one feel elementally healthy. Split some firewood or something.
Place your pigs head in a big enough pot and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil. Skim all of the scudge that comes to the surface. Reduce the heat to a simmer and add all the normal aromatics (whole carrots, onions, celery, bay leaf) and simmer for 4 hours.
Remove the head from the pot and let cool enough to handle. Strain the poaching liquid. Return it to the pot. When the head is cool enough to handle, pick all the meat from the head. It is a bit gnarl,y but you needn’t be too choosey. Everything but glands and bones is fair game. Don’t forget the tongue. Weigh the harvest from your pig’s head and calculate the recipe.
Julienne the onions and sauté till translucent and beginning to color. Pull off the fire and leave to the side at room temperature.
Weigh and poach all the scraps left over from your butchering, the shoulder sliced into pieces that will fit into the grinder, and any organs such as kidney and heart until cooked through.
Remove from the poaching liquid but keep the pot and liquid on the fire.
Take the still warm head, the bits you were poaching, the onions and the liver and pass them all through the grinder. It will be soupy.
Add all the seasonings and mix well.
Now would be a good time to test the mixture. Lay a piece of plastic wrap flat on the table and put a tablespoon of the mixture in the middle.
Wrap up the liverwurst like a beggars purse and tie the end. Toss the little liverwurst grenade into the simmering poaching liquid for five minutes. Remove and place in ice water for five more. Taste and correct seasonings.
If it tastes right, and I bet it will, stuff into beef middles.
Place the wursts into a pot that will hold them with room to spare and fill with cold water. Salt the water generously. Bring to a simmer over a medium heat and poach until the wursts reach 150°F internal temperature. Drain and cool under cold running water for five minutes. Leave to cool in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Call your friends and enjoy.