My wife is starting a new health kick, or a least a variation on one of her many health kicks, so requested a healthy pate she could eat either for lunch or dinner. So, knowing that animal liver provides us with a good supply of vitamins A, E, D and K this seemed like a good option.
Looking at various recipes for chicken liver pate (incidentally you should be able to replace the chicken liver in this recipe with any other animal liver, but there may be different preparation of the liver required) fat is a key element. Using a pastured butter (not pasteurised!) helps but I thought about other fats I could add which could provide an additional boost to our bodies. So I picked up some beef marrow.
Animal bone marrow not only gives any dish a deep meat flavour, it also has loads of collagen. Collagen is really important for our bodies – it helps our skin, joints and aids recovery from injury.
I have taken the liberty to include alcohol in this recipe, feel free to miss it out and use more butter or cream.
- 350g liver
- 50g bone marrow, rendered
- 50g butter
- 1 banana shallot, finely diced
- 1tsp thyme leaves, chopped
- 75ml alcohol, I used port and brandy
- 75ml double cream
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- freshly grated nutmeg
- salt and pepper to season
- 100g clarified butter
- Heat a pan on medium heat; add a little oil and sweat off the shallot, lower the heat as required. Add the thyme leaves and a little black pepper half way through sweating.
- Meanwhile, trim the livers of any sinew and tubes.
- Set the shallot aside, turn the heat up and add some fresh oil. Once hot, brown the livers off; you want them to be pink in the middle. If they are overcooked they will become tough. Once happy, lay them on a sieve to allow any liquid to drain off – it is bitter so we don’t want it in our pate. If necessary, you may need to fry the livers in batches.
- Scrape the bone marrow into a pan and put on a medium-low heat. The marrow should just melt (render) down into a liquid fat. Add the butter to melt, then the double cream and keep warm. Throw in the cayenne and nutmeg an allow it to infuse.
- Now get organised. We need to get all the ingredients into a blender or food processor whilst they are all at the same temperature. You will also need a sieve and a bowl ready as well as the container(s) you are going to store the pate in. The pate will oxidise really quickly so speed is of the essence.
- Add the livers back into the pan followed by the shallots and the alcohol. Now flambe the alcohol off and take off the heat. Once the flames have died tip the whole lot into the food processor and start blitzing. Now slowly pour the butter, marrow and cream mixture into the livers. If either element is too cold there is a chance the mixture will split. Season with salt and pepper and blitz in.
- Now, quickly pour the mixture into the sieve and push it through into a bowl. Then fill the storage containers and drop into the fridge to firm up for 30 minutes.
- While in the fridge, melt the rest of the butter in a pan and let simmer on a low heat for 15 minutes – the milk solids should drop to the bottom. Pour the clarified butter over the top of the pate and let set in the fridge.