Hackepeter is a raw meat spread from Germany made of fresh, finely ground pork which can be flavored with salt, pepper and spices like garlic or caraway. The most popular way to eat Hackepeter is on bread topped with raw onions.
Hackepeter is known by other names depending on the region of Germany and what flavorings are added to it. Outside the city of Berlin, Hackepeter is known by the low German term mett. Mett is quite literal; it means minced pork.
If minced onions or zwiebel are added into the meat it’s called Zwiebelmett. When flavored with onions and marjoram it is then called Thüringer Mett after the state of Thuringia which is located in central Germany.
Meat makes up a large part of the German diet with pork being the most popular meat eaten. While eating raw meat may seem unsafe, in Germany there are regulations safeguarding the consumption of Hackepeter or mett. For instance, it is permitted to sell Hackepeter only if it was produced on the same day.
Origin & Cultural Significance
In pop culture, Hackepeter may be well known as Mettigel. It was popular to serve mett at parties, in the shape of a hedgehog or igel. A mound of finely ground pork would be adorned with strips of onions pointing outwards to create the spikes. Mettigel would come complete with a face, using vegetables like olives to make the eyes and a nose.
Hackepeter is well loved in Germany. This delicacy can be found already flavored at the local butchers and prepackaged in stores. When served between a buttered bread roll with onion and pepper it is called Mettbrötchen, raw minced pork sandwich. In fact, Mettwoch is the observance of eating Mettbrötchen on a Wednesday.
German Hackepeter Recipe
- Pork, upper shell or shoulder - 400g
- Pork belly, fresh - 100g
- Onions - 2
- Clove of garlic - 1
- Caraway seed - 1/2 tsp
- Salt - 1/2 tsp
- White pepper, ground - 1/2 tsp
- About 1 hour before consumption, cut the very fresh pork into thick slices and remove the rind, skin and tendons. Then cut into coarse cubes.
- Place the meat cubes next to each other on a tray and place in the freezer for about an hour. The pieces should not be close enough to get stuck together. Chilling the meat will make grinding easier.
- In the meantime, peel off the onions and garlic. Coarsely dice the onions and crush the garlic finely. Crush the caraway seeds and mix with salt and coarsely ground pepper.
- Remove the pork cubes from the freezer after the hour. Grind them immediately through the coarsest perforated disc of the meat grinder. Also add the onion and garlic to the grinder.
- Quickly mix the spice and salt mixture into the ground pork. Do not over-mix as the mixture may become too firm. Immediately place the meat in the refrigerator until consumption.
Hackepeter should be consumed within 1 day.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 189Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 40mgSodium: 328mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 14g