Duck Liver Paté

Offal is definitely a passion of mine, as you can see in my previous post titled You Eat Meat, Right?. This Duck Liver Pate is a pretty good introduction to the taste of liver. The thyme and red wine give the pate a great nose, the honey makes it nice and sweet, and the smooth texture is quite palatable atop some nice crackers. If you make too much, just put it in a couple jars, melt some butter, and pour the butter on top to make a 1 cm seal. They will keep in the fridge for a while and make you seem classy as hell when you have guests over.

Difficulty: Medium

Prep Time: 10 Minutes

Cooking Time: 25 Minutes

Yield: 1 lb

Grocery List:

  • 1 lb raw Duck Livers (or chicken livers, but these will not be as rich)
  • 1 lb Butter
  • 2 Red or Spanish Onions
  • 1 bunch Thyme
  • 1/2 cup Red Wine
  • 1/3 cup Honey
  • 1/4 cup Red Wine or Apple Cider Vinegar (as needed)

Equipment:

  • Blender/Food Processor
  • Medium Sautee Pan
  • Fine Sieve/China Cap
  • Baking Sheet/Hotel Pan
  • Cheese Cloth is preferred though not necessary

Start by dicing the red onions while you melt a good hunk of the butter to medium/low heat. Put the onions in the pan and allow to sweat until tender. While the onions are sweating, rinse the livers really well to get the blood out of them. Make sure not to use a lot of pressure with the water. This can bruise or even tear the tender organ. Allow to drip dry.

Duck Liver Pate

Two red onions, diced.

Duck Liver Pate

Sweat the onions down in copious amounts of butter.

Duck Liver Pate

Rinse the livers thoroughly to get off all the blood. If you want to be fastidious, soak any offal in milk for 24 hours.

Duck Liver Pate

While the onions sweat, pick out any tough connective tissues attached to the livers. Be as gentle as possible, you do not want to bruise or tear the livers.

Turn the heat in the pan up to medium high and add the livers, tossing to coat in the butter. Once the livers are medium, hit the pan with the red wine and gently scrape off any brown bits on the bottom of the pan. The brown stuff is better known as Flavour Country. As the wine slowly reduces away, add the picked thyme (you can add the stems too, but I suggest tying them together so you can easily remove them before blending), and season with salt and pepper.

Duck Liver Pate

Saute the livers with the onions until medium.

Duck Liver Pate

Hit the pan with red wine, salt, pepper and thyme. (Please excuse the camera shake, I was at work after all)

Once most of the liquid is reduced away transfer the pans contents to a food processor. Start that baby up and add butter one cube at a time. Let the blender run for a few minutes, the idea is to make it unbelievably smooth. Taste along the way and adjust seasoning. Add the honey with the blender running. If it gets too sweet or if you feel like you need something to cut through the richness of the pate you can always add a splash of good vinegar.

Duck Liver Pate

Use a robot coup to blend the livers until incredibly smooth.

Duck Liver Pate

While blending, add a good splash of honey, and mount with cold cubed butter until the texture is silky. Taste taste taste, adjust for seasoning, taste taste, taste.

The next step is to strain it as fine as you can. If you don’t have a fine mesh strainer (or even if you do and want to make sure it is as smooth as silk), line a strainer or colander with a brand new j-cloth. Pour the mixture into the strainer and use a rubber spatula or wooden spoon to work the pate through the strainer and onto a pan. Discard whatever will not go through the strainer and place the tray into the fridge right away. Once the mixture is cool it is ready to eat!

Duck Liver Pate

Finally, pass through a fine sieve onto a baking sheet or hotel pan, spread into a thin layer and chill immediately.

Duck Liver Pate

Eat like a baller.

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