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Pâté is delicious. When it’s made well, it’s silky smooth, rich and moreish.

As we discussed in the Why Sneaky Liver? blog, liver is a superfood. Gram for gram, it is one of the most nutrient dense foods available to us. Pâté, being made from liver, is therefore a great way to have our family eat this remarkable food. Plus, pâté is inexpensive, easy to make and a little bit fancy!

Aren’t livers full of toxins?

This is a question we discuss in our blog and while it is true that one of the liver’s functions is to act as a filter for toxins, it is not a storage place for them. If there are too many toxins for the bowel to process, they generally accumulate in the fatty tissues and nervous system of the animal. The liver will only store toxins if it is sluggish or overwhelmed, such as in sick or conventionally raised animals in confinement. The health of the animal obviously largely affects the health of its organs. For this reason, just as with any meat when you buy liver it’s important that you get it from animals that are organic or grass-fed, free-range and pasture-raised. When sourced from healthy, grass-fed cows, liver is absolutely loaded with a wide spectrum of vitamins, minerals, proteins and fats that outweigh any small amount of toxins it may contain.

Does the butter in pâté make this recipe a source of harmful saturated fats?

At the turn of the century, most of the fatty acids in the Western diet were either saturated or monounsaturated, primarily from butter, lard, tallow and small amounts of coconut oil and olive oil. Over the last 3 decades the public has been fed a great deal of misinformation about the relative virtues of saturated fats versus polyunsaturated oils. Politically correct dietary gurus told us – and some still do – that polyunsaturated oils are good for us and that saturated fats cause cancer and heart disease. The result was that fundamental changes have occurred in the Western diet.

Today most of the fats in the diet are polyunsaturated from vegetable oils derived mostly from soy, as well as from corn, sunflower, safflower and canola (rapeseed). Or worse, other fats and oils used in processed foods today include palm oil and man-made trans fats as well as new-fangled fat-like substances which are used in products like margarine, frozen meals, biscuits, chips and other processed foods.

Even though now experts are revising these recommendations to avoid saturated fats and instead suggest people eat a range of fats, many people are still concerned about saturated fat. When saturated fat however is obtained from healthy sources in moderation, like grass-fed butter and coconut oil, it has anti-inflammatory, heart-healthy, energy-boosting and appetite-suppressing benefits. In contrast, polyunsaturated oils and trans fats that had been endorsed have been shown to contribute to a number of disease conditions including increased cancer and heart disease, immune system dysfunction, damage to the liver, damage to reproductive organs and lungs, digestive disorders, depressed learning ability, impaired growth and weight gain.

Can I use coconut oil instead? Absolutely. Just switch out the quantities.

Nutritional tip

The reason why liver is one of the best superfoods and healing foods known today is that it’s the highest natural food source of B vitamins, and vitamins A, D, E, K and minerals such as copper, iron, chromium, phosphorous and selenium, as well as the powerful antioxidant CoQ10. Health experts now recommend including liver in our diet at least once a week. Liver is so nutritionally complete which is why pate is so satisfying.

Note for preparing liver

If the thought of handling liver freaks you out, you’re not alone. Livers are indeed slimy and as you wash them you may feel like you are part of a murder scene, but take heed knowing that the beastly flesh is rocket fuel for your body.

It is suggested that liver recipes are greatly improved if the liver slices are first soaked in lemon juice for several hours. This may help to draw out impurities and gives a nicer texture. I don’t always do this, so don’t fret in the slightest if you miss this step. After washing the liver, use a small sharp knife to remove and discard any white sinew and if the liver has any greenish patches these need to be trimmed or they can give the pate a bitter flavour. Place the trimmed livers in a colander, rinse gently under cold water and then drain. Pat dry with paper towel.

DUCK LIVER PÂTÉ

SERVES 6-8 PREP TIME 15 minutes COOKING TIME 5 minutes

This recipe is delicious with either duck or chicken livers. I love that these quantities make enough for my family to devour as an afternoon snack plus leaving some surplus to keep in the fridge or freezer. I also love to make the gelatine topping, as gelatine is a type of protein derived from collagen that provides us with important amino acids, the building blocks of proteins.

In this recipe the brandy is cooked until the alcohol has burned off, which makes the recipe friendly for kids and those with autoimmune disorders.

INGREDIENTS

    • 450g duck livers (the fresher and paler the better)
    • ½ small red onion, thinly sliced
    • 1 clove garlic, smashed and peeled
    • 1 large shallot, peeled, finely chopped
    • 1 bay leaf
    • ¼ teaspoon thyme leaves
    • 200g butter, melted 50ml double cream
    • 1 tablespoon brandy
    • ½ teaspoon sea salt
    • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

TOPPING

  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 teaspoons strawberry jam
  • 1 gelatine sheet or 1 teaspoon unflavoured gelatine granules
  • Pinch ground allspice

METHOD

  1. Heat a heavy-based fry pan over a medium heat. Pour a little of the melted butter into the hot pan, add the duck livers, onion, garlic, shallot, bay leaf and thyme and cook for 3-5 minutes until the liver is cooked all the way through.
  2. Remove the bay leaf.
  3. Transfer the liver mixture to a food processor and blend for a minute or so until smooth.
  4. Pour the brandy into the fry pan and bring to the boil. It might ignite so be careful.
  5. Pour the brandy, remaining melted butter and cream into the blender and blend once more.
  6. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and blend to combine.
  7. Transfer the pâté to 2 or 3 large ramekins.
  8. To make the jelly topping, put the boiling water, jam and allspice in a small bowl and sit the gelatine sheet in the liquid for about 5 minutes. Pour a thin layer of the jelly mixture on top of each ramekin of pate. If using butter instead of jelly, pour a thin layer of melted butter on top of each ramekin.
  9. Serve the pâté on carrot or cucumber slices, or create a platter of goodies with sprouted crackers, sourdough toast points, and/or raw vegetables.
  10. Pâté can be stored in the refrigerator, wrapped in plastic, for up to 1 week, or can be frozen for up to 2 months.

BEEF LIVER PÂTÉ

SERVES 6-8 PREP TIME 15 minutes COOKING TIME 5 minutes

I have tried to make this recipe without bacon but in my opinion it’s not a winner. I’m not really a fan of bacon, it’s a sometimes food, but if you’re making for children, then beef pâté requires bacon. It’s that simple. Beef liver has a stronger taste then duck or chicken liver and a small amount of bacon helps to offset that. Make sure you buy the highest quality bacon that you can, organic is preferable otherwise free range, chemical free, uncured bacon.

In this recipe, if you use red wine instead of vinegar, just cook the wine in the pan until the alcohol has burned off, which makes the recipe friendly for kids and those with autoimmune disorders.

Enjoy this recipe! I am amazed that liver can taste… well… not like liver!

INGREDIENTS

    • 450g grass-fed beef liver (cut into thin slices)
    • 3 large slices of bacon
    • 1 small red onion
    • 1 cup butter (or substitute coconut oil, lard or duck fat)
    • 2-3 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
    • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
    • 1 teaspoon balsamic or red wine vinegar (or red wine)
    • 1½ tablespoons fresh rosemary
    • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
    • 2 teaspoons sea salt
    • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Topping

  • enough for 2-3 ramekins
  • 6 tablespoons water
  • 3 tablespoons strawberry jam (less if you prefer the glaze not too sweet)
  • 3 gelatine sheet or one teaspoon
  • unflavoured gelatine granules
  • Pinch ground allspice

METHOD

  1. In a cast iron skillet, sauté the bacon, onion and garlic over medium/low heat.
  2. Add the liver pieces and herbs. Stir constantly until both the onion and liver are slightly brown but the liver is still a little pink on the inside. Then turn the heat to low.
  3. Add the butter to the pan and red wine if using and bring to the boil.
  4. Place the mixture in a food processor.
  5. Add the vinegars (if not using wine), salt and pepper.
  6. Pulse until a roughly textured paste is formed.
  7. Transfer the pâté to 2 or 3 large ramekins or a small baking dish greased or lined with parchment paper.
  8. Press the pate into the ramekins or baking dish and smooth the top.
  9. To make the jelly topping, put the boiling water, jam and allspice in a small bowl and sit the gelatine sheet in the liquid for about 5 minutes. Pour a thin layer of the jelly mixture on top of each ramekin of pate. If using butter instead of jelly, pour a thin layer of melted butter on top of each ramekin.
  10. Serve your pate on carrot or cucumber slices or create a platter of goodies with sprouted crackers, sourdough toast points, and/or raw vegetables.
  11. Pate can be stored in the refrigerator, wrapped in plastic, for up to 1 week, or can be frozen for up to 2 months.

 

For further information please see our related blogs:

LIVER: What to do with this beasty beast?

Dairy Free Pate. Get in my body already!!

Why Sneaky Liver?

Resources:

 

Categories: Healthy Recipes

1 Comment

Dairy Free Pate. Get in my body already!! – WellAdjusted™ · February 26, 2020 at 2:02 pm

[…] Posh Pâté Snacks […]

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