Knackwurst, or knockwurst, is a German sausage that derives it’s name from the German word knacken, which means “to crack”, and wurst, which means “sausage.” The knack in knackwurst refers to the cracking or snapping sound the sausage makes when you bite into the crispy skin. Knackwurst is very simililar to an american hot dog, but usually contains a fair amount of fresh garlic. Knackwurst is a fresh sausage that is hot-smoked. Most recipes call for the combination of pork and beef, or pork and veal, in varying ratios. We followed Michael Ruhlman’s recipe from his book Charcuterie, but added fresh garlic and used a 1:1 ratio of veal and pork.

  • 2 1/2 pounds (1350 grams) boneless veal shoulder
  • 2 1/2 pounds (1350 grams) boneless pork shoulder butt
  • 3 Tb (40 grams) kosher salt
  • 1 tsp (6 grams) pink salt
  • 1 1/2 Tb (15 grams) coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp (4 grams) ground mace
  • 1 Tb (8 grams) Hungarian paprika
  • 1/2 tsp (2 grams) ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp (1 gram) ground allspice
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced (add more or less if you like)
  • 1 cup (140 grams) nonfat dry milk powder (optional)
  • 1 cup ice water, plus more ice as needed
  • 10 feet hog casings, soaked in water for at least 30 minutes and rinsed

1. Chop your meat into 1″-2″ cubes (small enough to easily fit through your grinder) and prepare your spices.

2.  Grind your meat into a bowl set on top of ice. Add some crushed ice and run the meat through the grinder a second time.

3. Mix in the spices and milk powder. Add more crushed ice and/or ice water to keep the mixture chilled. Mix for about two minutes until the meat is cohesive and sticky (the primary bind).

4. Stuff the sausage into casings and twist into links.

5. Hang the sausage links on smoke sticks (or if the weather is slightly chilly you can hang them on your laundry line like we did) to dry for one to two hours at room temperature, or in the refrigerator.

6. Hot-smoke the sausages to an internal temperature of 150°F. These can be eaten out of the smokebox as is, or transfer to an ice bath to chill thoroughly, then refrigerate or freeze.

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