My favorite spoils from processing day are the organs. Typically that evening or the next afternoon I’ll cook up a mess of hearts with onions & mushrooms to treat myself. I also save the kidneys, though I typically keep them for my dogs & not myself, and the livers. I have now made 2 different pate recipes, both having their merits and delightful notes. My pate 2.0 version is thus far my favorite, but I’ll let you try for yourself!!
Pate 1.0 – Liver Pate with Balsamic Onions (courtesy of Anne Burrell)
For the onions:
3 thinly sliced onions
1c balsamic vinegar
For the pate:
3 anchovy filets
2T sauerkraut or other salty, crunchy bite (originally called for capers but I used my homemade purple kraut)
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1c dry white wine
Start with the onions. Add about 1T EVOO (or butter) to the frying pan. Add onions. Season with salt. Bring to med-high heat, cover & sweat onions 15-20 min. Add balsamic, uncover & cook another 20 min or until thickened & syrupy. Remove from pan & set aside.
For the pate, first rinse & dry your livers. Season with salt & pepper. Coat large saute pan with olive oil, add anchovies, kraut, & garlic. Cook until anchovies dissolve: 3-5 minutes. Add livers & increase to high heat. Cook 5-6 minutes. Add wine & cook additional 4-5 minutes (mixture should be reduced by half – but still soupy).
Transfer to blender or food processor & process until smooth. Run through a fine mesh sieve if you want a very creamy pate. Cool in fridge at least 1 hour prior to serving. Serve on a toasted baguette topped with balsamic onions & a drizzle of olive oil. YUM!
Pate 2.0 – Basic Liver Pate
1T other fat (lard/bacon grease/whatever you’ve got on hand)
1 medium onion, finely diced
2-3 cloves minced garlic
6T cognac/sherry/port (I used port)
S & P to taste
Rinse, dry, & season the livers with salt & pepper. Add to a frying pan with 1T of butter & 1T of fat. Sear on both sides until browned. Remove livers from pan.
Add onion & garlic to pan with the last 2T of butter and cook until translucent and the bits of aromatics begin to burn/crisp a bit. Use the wine to de-glaze the pan and simmer for a minute or two. Add the livers back to the pan and cook an additional 2-3 minutes in the wine & aromatic reduction.
Add contents of pan to blender and blend until smooth. Add salt & pepper as desired. Run blended mix through a fine mesh sieve if you want a creamy, smooth pate. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before eating. Freeze any extra for later. YUM!