Skip to Content

German Presskopf Recipe: Bavarian “Head Meat” Sausage

German Presskopf Recipe: Bavarian “Head Meat” Sausage

Presskopf is a German sausage that is cooked in a broth containing various animal parts and internal organs. Pork meat, heart, blood, muscle meat, rinds and calf or pork head meat are common ingredients.

This sets up into gelatin and is often called aspic (jelly like consistency) or terrine. It is usually flavored with onion, garlic, nutmeg, salt, pepper and sugar and then filled in sausage skin.

Also commonly referred to as head cheese, and similar to the traditional Canadian Jellied Moose Nose dish, it is eaten as slices of gelatin and is an absolute treat for the carnivores. 

Origin and Cultural Significance

The word Presskopf literally means head pressed.

Presskopf has been popular in German culture for a long time but originated in Europe. Presskopf is called by many different names in different regions of Germany such as ‘presssack’, ‘’schwartenmagen’ or ‘schweinkopfsülze’.

Germans are big beer drinkers and sausages are always a part of the menu, a perfect partner. They are also among the largest consumers of pork which explains their love for numerous kinds of sausages, presskopf being one among them.


German Presskopf Recipe

Prep Time: 5 days 13 hours
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 5 days 14 hours



  • Pork head meat : 600g
  • Pork, lean meat
  • with connective tissue : 100g
  • Pork belly (medium fat): 100g
  • Pork jowls : 100g
  • Pork hocks and legs with skin : 100g

Spices per 1000g (1kg) of meat

  • Salt : 3 tbsp
  • Cure #1 : 1/3 tbsp
  • Pepper : 1 tbsp
  • Paprika : 1/4 tbsp
  • Nutmeg : 1/4 tap
  • Coriander : 1/4 tbsp
  • Cardamom : 1/8 tbsp
  • Ginger : 1/8 tap
  • Garlic (smashed) : 1 clove


  1. Cure (preserve) split pork head and hocks in a brine solution ( 333g salt, 1 gallon water, 120g cure #1]. 1kg meat requires about 1 quarter (946 ml) brine.
  2. Leave the meats in curing solution (completely submerged) for 4-5 days.
  3. Wash it gently after draining the solution.
  4. After removing the skin and meat from the cured head and legs, boil it at 95°C (203° F) until a finger easily slides through it. Grind it through a 3 mm plate.
  5. Cut about 25 mm chunks of the lean meat.
  6. Through a 3 mm plate, grind all the other meats.
  7. With the aforementioned spice ingredients, mix the ground meat thoroughly.
  8. Stuff the mixture into beef blind caps or beef middles or pork caps.
  9. For 60 minutes straight, hot smoke it at 70°C (158° F).
  10. At 80° C (176° F), cook the meat in water. Follow the rule: for each 1 cm (10 mm) diameter casing, cook for 15 minutes. Ensure the internal temperature of the meat reaches 71°C (160° F).
  11. For about 10 minutes, immerse the meat in water. Let the sausages cool in air until the temperature drops to about 18°C (64°F).
  12. Cold smoke it for 12 hours at this temperature and refrigerate.
  13. Your flavourful presskopf is ready to be served.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 100g
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 280Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 70mgSodium: 840mgProtein: 16g

Photo credit: Open Food Facts

Share on Social:

Skip to Recipe