Known in German as Churer Beinwurst, this sausage comes from Chur, the capital of Graubünden, in the north of the canton. The town lies in the upper valley of the Rhine, at the foot of the mountains. The tradition of curing meats here dates back centuries, and products include many salami made from pure pork, or a mix of pork and game, and a distinctive dried beef. But the one with the longest history, passed down to the present day against the odds, is Beinwurst. It was mentioned as far back as the early 19th century, in an article by Heinrich Zschokke codifying the recipe.
Beinwurst ("leg sausage") was traditionally made from leftover cuts of pork, mostly the leg, and eaten directly on the farm.
As it was made from less-prized meat, it was usually given to farm workers and laborers. Today some of these parts of the pig are no longer used, and the sausage is mostly made from back speck, neck fat and sometimes extremities like the tail.
The meat is carefully trimmed of any tough parts that would make it hard to chew, then cut roughly with a knife and spiced with salt, pepper, nutmeg, coriander and cinnamon. The mixture is left to macerate in white wine for about a week.
The wine used is Veltliner, characteristic of neighboring southern Austria and South Tyrol, but probably originally from Lombardy, brought north by the Romans and reaching Graubünden from the Valtellina, which explains the origin of its name. After maceration, the meat is used to fill beef casings and the sausages are arranged in a smoking room, where they stay at low temperatures for around eight hours, absorbing ﬂavors from the beech and fir wood used for smoking.
Once the sausages have been made, they last only a few weeks, and a month at the most. They are usually eaten after being cooked in boiling water. Cooking times vary depending on the size, from 1½ hours for sausages around 350 grams, up to 3 hours for those weighing 2 kilos or more.
Chur and surroundings, Graubünden canton
Presidium supported by
tel. +41 813821139
Obere Gasse 22