Also spelled met worst, metworst is a traditional type of dutch sausage. It is a strong, lean type of dry sausage, typically sold in rings. The pork sausage is often served with fresh prepared cabbage, such as kale.
The meat is prepared with raw, minced pork. The strong flavor of the sausage makes it a popular choice throughout the Netherlands. It is air dried, which helps to prevent the sausage from spoiling and providing it with a long shelf life. This longevity has made the food very popular with poor farmers and other people in need of fresh, low cost meat throughout the year.
One of the most common uses of this sausage is in the preparation of the food known as Boerenkoolstamppot met worst. This food consists of the sausage, potatoes, and curly kale, as well as a few flavoring agents. Milk and butter are usually included in the recipe, as are salt and pepper. The smoked sausage is boiled with the kale and potatoes, and the latter two ingredients are mashed with milk before being served with the metworst either aside or atop the mixture.
Another common use of the sausage is in the cheap, portable lunch of field workers. Since the meat does not spoil, it is a popular lunch meat that can be eaten without having to travel or access a heavy cooler. Since the sausage is a type of droge worst, or air dried and finely chopped meat, it is filling and tasty without being a mess to eat while working as well.
Different brands of metworst can vary widely. It is important to check the labels when purchasing the product to ensure that it will work with any recipes the cook has chosen. If simply buying the sausage to snack on, checking the label is still important in discerning how to prepare the metworst, as well as its longevity. Though the sausage may be available in some grocery stores, the most common place to find it outside the Netherlands is in specialty food shops or online stores.
Dutch metworst should not be confused with the German Mettworst. Though the two meats sound the same, they are prepared very differently. The latter sausage is not air dried, but instead cured and smoked as a preserved meat. It is much softer, and depending upon the area in Germany in which it is prepared, it may even be spreadable. Its root word, mett, refers to its minced pork base.