|Ground pork liver, lard|
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Leverpostej (Danish pronunciation: [ˈleʊ̯ˀɐpʰosd̥ɑɪ̯ˀ]), lifrarkæfa (Icelandic) (Icelandic pronunciation: [ˈlɪvrarcʰai̯va]), leverpostei (Norwegian), leverpastej (Swedish), maksapasteija (Finnish), maksapasteet (Estonian), Leberpastete (German) or leverpastei (Dutch) is a dish which shares some similarities to French pâté, but is instead made of coarsely ground pork liver and lard, and which is a popular spread in northern Europe.
In Denmark the liver is formed into a paste to which herbs, salt, pepper and other desired seasoning are added. It is then put into a loaf pan and baked in an oven.
The leverpostej is sliced or spread on Danish dark rye bread (rugbrød) and eaten as an open faced sandwich. It might also be topped with any of a variety of pickled items, such as beets or cucumbers, or onions, fried onions or bacon. The leverpostej is served both hot and cold and can be bought in Denmark in supermarkets/butchers as prefab or made directly in the supermarket/butchers kitchen and sold hot.
A more extravagant variation is the prepared Danish open face sandwich (smørrebrød) called Dyrlægens natmad (lit. "Veterinarian's midnight snack")— on a piece of dark rye bread, a layer of leverpostej is topped with a slice of corned beef (salt kød) and a slice of meat aspic (sky). This is all decorated with raw onion rings and cress.
Leverpostej was introduced to Denmark in 1847 by the French François Louis Beauvais in Copenhagen. At that time it was considered a luxury item, and was expensive. Today it is a common and reasonably priced food item. Two surveys in 1992 showed that Danes rank leverpostej as their favorite sandwich cold cut.
Stryhn's, established 1945 on Amager isle, south of Copenhagen, is one of Denmark's main leverpostej producers. For the past few decades, their Grovhakket (lit. "Coarse mince") brand has been the most popular leverpostej in Denmark . A typical recipe from Jylland from around 1920 can be found here.
- Bettina Buhl, curator of the Danish Museum of Agriculture, "Pålæg – fladt eller højtbelagt – en historisk køkkenvandring"
- idadavidsen.dk, "Opskrifter - Dyrlægens natmad"
- tivolihallen.dk, "Vidste du?"
- videnskab.dk, "Madpakken opstod af industrialisering og baconeksport", October 7 2009
- bt.dk, "Leverpostej-katastrofe truer madpakkerne", January 5 2002
- business.dk - "Den danske leverpostej skal fremtidssikres", February 25 2006
- hoer up.dk "Traditional old Jysk leverpostej recipe", 1920