What is Leverpostej?

B. Koch

Leverpostej is a traditional Danish pâté made from minced liver, especially pig liver. The dish is popular in Denmark and is served as a spread for rye bread. It may accompany any number of foods, including onions and pickled vegetables.

Leverpostej can be served on a baguette.
Leverpostej can be served on a baguette.

Made with pig liver, flour, butter, and cream, along with eggs, spices, and onions, leverpostej is a traditional Danish dish. Chicken or calf liver is sometimes substituted for pig liver, and it is not unusual for pork lard to also be included in recipe. To make this dish, the meat and fat are ground and mixed with additional ingredients. The mixture is then baked in the oven.

Lard is sometimes included in a leverpostej recipe.
Lard is sometimes included in a leverpostej recipe.

Often mistaken for a type of wurst, or loaf, leverpostej is actually a type of pâté, which is a type of spread made from finely chopped meat that is usually baked. Pâtés can be made from many different types of meats, and there are vegetarian varieties as well. Traditionally, pâtés are made from goose or duck liver.

Pickled beets are served with leverpostej.
Pickled beets are served with leverpostej.

Many traditional Danish dishes, including leverpostej, are made from pork. Pig breeding is a popular industry in Denmark, and many Danish recipes are based on pork products. Leverpostej is a common dish in Denmark, and many Danes consume leverpostej on a daily basis.

Typically, this pâté is spread onto slices of rye bread, called rugbrod in Danish. Rye bread is another popular Danish food. Leverpostej on an open faced sandwich is called leverpostejmadder, and it is not uncommon for this dish to be served with pickled vegetables, such as beets, onions, or cucumbers.

Another version of the open-faced sandwich is called dyrlaegens natmad, which translates as "veterinarian's midnight snack." For this dish, dark rye bread and a slice of corned beef, accompanied by another type of meat, are served with the leverpostej. Raw onions or cress may accompany the sandwich. Other toppings include bacon and mushrooms. Leverpostej may be served on warm rye bread or on a baguette.

These open-faced sandwiches may be served with a number of dishes. Fried slices of pork with fat served with parsley sauce is not an uncommon dish. Boiled potatoes with brown sauce is an especially popular side dish.

The origins of this dish in Denmark can be traced to the mid 1800s. A Frenchman in Copenhagen introduced it to the region. Today, the most popular store-bought brand is made by a company that was established in 1945.

Traditionally, pâtés are made from goose or duck liver.
Traditionally, pâtés are made from goose or duck liver.

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Discussion Comments


@starrynight - This dish does sound kind of gross. I suppose I would be willing to try it if I ever had the opportunity though.

I think I would like to try it on a sandwich. Then it would be kind of like mustard or something, not the main thing you're eating. But then again, I may try it and love it so who knows!


I think leverpostej sounds gross to a lot of Americans. Most of us don't eat liver, or pate, on a very regular basis.

However, I tried leverpostej once over at a friends house, and it was actually very good. The consistency was very creamy, and it was spiced to perfect. I ate it on some toasted rye bread, and it was great little appetizer before dinner.

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