I have always been a bit squeamish about eating liver and it probably dates back to memories of horrible baked liver and bacon in Home economics class all those years ago. Organ meats generally don’t really do it for me and I’m sure I’m not alone, however given that it is nutrient dense, I do try and eat liver from time to time. This recipe for Liver Pate is delicious, quick and easy to make and keeps in the fridge under the clarified butter for 4 days. It makes a nice addition to a cold starter selection if you are having a few friends over – I would include it with a selection of lovely meats like prosciutto, other terrines, and a selection of roasted peppers tomatoes and the like. Some flat salted bread or brown bread to accompany if it works for you….
A note on clarified butter – it is great to cook with as it is far less likely to burn and helps prevent your food from sticking. Clarified butter is unsalted butter melted and brought to the boil. Once it bubbles take it off the heat and leave it to cool slightly for a minute or two. Spoon the froth off it and discard it. Gently pour off the clear butter leaving the milky solids behind which you discard. Store in the fridge.
Chicken Liver Pate
1 lb chicken livers
5 oz unsalted butter
1 tbsp sunflower oil
2 shallots chopped
2 cloves of garlic chopped
a few glugs (about 2fl oz) brandy
1 tbsp redcurrant jelly or to taste
2 fl oz double cream
2 sprigs of thyme
Equipment – Food processor
Trim the livers of any dark or green bits (sounds horrible I Know but just do it quickly). I usually tip them into a bowl at this point and cover them with milk for about 20 minutes. Remove from milk and pat dry before proceeding. There are mixed views on this – I’v always been told it removes any bitterness from the livers but there are many more knowledgable than me who don’t do this so suit yourself.
Melt the butter with the oil in a shallow pan. When it starts to foam, drop in the livers, drained of their milk. Take care – they will spit a bit. Let them develop a pale golden crust on one side, turn them over and do them same on the other side. Make sure the butter is hot enough for this to take only a few minutes as you want the centre to stay pink.
Remove from the pan and set aside.
Chop the little leaves from one sprig of thyme and add and shallots garlic and thyme to the pan with another knob of butter if needed. Cook gently till softened.
Pour a couple of good glugs of brandy into the empty pan and bring to the boil to deglaze and bring all the lovely flavours with you. Boil till it reduces by about half. Tip everything into your food processor including the livers and add the cream. Blend till smooth, Season well with salt and pepper. Add some of the redcurrant jelly and taste. Add a bit more salt and pepper and redcurrant jelly if needed. Transfer to a few little serving dishes and cover with some clarified butter. A sprig of thyme and a few pink peppercorns inthe clarified butter looks very nice.