Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Cook: Pâté

(First of all, this has absolutely nothing to do with why I was sick over the weekend. Let's just get that cleared up first!)

Having requested all possible bits of our cow back from the butcher (and I intended to try and get even more for next time) I was then faced with these lovely little packages of meat with such tasty sounding names as "liver" and "heart" on them. My mother was a big fan of the 'don't tell the kids what it's made of' school of thought on the more exotic dishes. Which all in all I think is a really good plan.

I've always loved pate enough not to want to ask what it was made of, and honestly after finding out after years of eating it, put me off even then. But I'm slowly learning how silly it is to be squeamish of these lovely dishes that have been made for hundreds of years, passed on because they are delicious.

So for Christmas dinner, my little brother the chef & I made beef liver pate, recipe from:

Beef Liver Pate
500g beef liver (you can substitute lamb’s fry), cut into pieces
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 cup red wine
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
(We used a few dashes of dried Thyme & Rosemary)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup butter
2 tablespoons cracked black pepper
*because I killed my food processor a few months ago, I added a bit of cream & used my blender. 

  •  Saute the liver and onions in a couple of tablespoons of the butter until the livers are browned and the onions are tender.
  • Add wine, garlic, mustard, herbs and lemon juice and cook uncovered until most of the liquid has gone.
  • Cool and blend to a smooth paste in the food processor along with the rest of the butter. (This is easier if the butter is not fridge cold!)
*This is the part where I added a bit of cream & used my blender instead, it was slow going & the blender started to heat a bit... but it worked!*
  • Add salt to taste.
  • Check the consistency of the pate. If it seems dry and crumbly rather than smooth and creamy, add more butter.
  • Put pate in a shallow dish and press the cracked pepper onto the top of it.

I thought it was just delicious! Even between about 6-7 people only half the recipe got finished off so the rest is in the freezer for next time.

In fact it was so good I bought a book called Odd Bits, How to Cook the Rest of the Animal by Jennifer McLagan. So far it's been a really interesting read, I've never had anyone so thoroughly convince me I must try pig ears (as in those things I'm always feeding the dogs!) once in my life! I'll have a full review of the book once I finish reading through it, I'm just into how to cook brains right now.

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