Lifrarpylsa - Liver Sausage (Icelandic “Haggis”)

I made some liver sausage with a friend of mine yesterday. This is a popular Þorri food that is available year round in Iceland. It is the season for making liver and blood sausages right now.

There are many ways of preparing liver, and the following is one method of preparing a good, nutritious meal from lamb's liver. This delicacy has relatives in various other countries. The most famous is do doubt the Scottish Haggis. This is an original traditional recipe. Below the instructions you will find a tip on how to make it lighter and healthier. Pork liver can be substituted for lamb's liver, and beef suet for the mutton suet, but for genuineness, you need lamb's liver and suet.

1 kg lamb's liver
50-100 g flour
approx. 450 g rye flour
750 ml milk
150 g oatmeal
30 g salt
1 kg sheep suet
Sheep's stomachs/tripe (optional), large sausage skins, or cooking bags

Wash and clean the liver and remove all blood vessels and membranes. Mince the liver thoroughly into a paste. Mix with milk and salt and then rye flour, oatmeal and flour (best done using one’s hands). The mixture should be thick. Chop the suet, finely or coarsely, depending on your tastes, and mix with the liver paste. This mixture is traditionally sewn up into sheep's stomachs that have been cut down to size, but sausage skins or plastic bags that are suitable for cooking in can be substituted, and are much quicker. Fill the bags and close them well. One lifrarpylsa should be about the size of a man's clenched fist. They can be made larger or smaller, but the cooking time given is for this size.

Drop the sausages into boiling salted water and cook for 2-2 1/2 hours. Right after the sausages are dropped into the water, it is a good idea to prick them few times with a pin to prevent them from bursting. Turn over occasionally.

Health tip:
To make this healthier, halve the amount of suet you use in the recipe. To keep the paste thick, use 1/3 less milk to begin with, and if it needs more, add a little at a time until you reach the desired thickness.

Eat hot with boiled or mashed potatoes, cold with porridge or skyr, or use as topping for bread.
Frying is a good way to use up leftover sausage. You can either brown slices of it in a frying pan with some sugar, or sprinkle some sugar on it before eating. Serve with mashed potatoes.

Liver sausage is often preserved in skyr-whey, along with other traditional foods, such as blood sausage, sheep's head jam and whale blubber. This pickling produces a sour flavour that is definitely an acquired taste. Food preserved in this way is traditionally eaten during the old month of Þorri, at festivals called Þorrablót.

convert measures from metric to your preferred system


Peko Peko said…
Hello there, I just happened upon your blog. Interesting recipes! I wish that there were a few more photos though.

Lamb liver sausage is something that I have never heard of. I think I would like to come and try the food in Iceland! It sounds very interesting!

Alice said…
This is very useful thank you. I am wondering if the sausages need to be cooked first before being preserved in the whey, as you say? Or can they be pickled still in the raw state.
Bibliophile said…
Alice, they definitely need to be cooked.

Popular posts from this blog

Hangikjöt - Icelandic smoked lamb (instructions)

How to cook a whale

Harðfiskur – Icelandic hard (dried) fish