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
Kosher salt
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
1lb livers
1c dry white wine
Kosher salt

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

3T butter
1T other fat (lard/bacon grease/whatever you’ve got on hand)
1lb livers
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!

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