Making Pate’… One of Life’s Ugly Truths

There is nothing pretty about this process.  You start out with roadkill and end up with gruel.

We were in Rudolph’s Meat Market the other day and noticed they had pork liver in the frozen meat case.  We had to try it.  Unfortunately, we had to buy a package of it that weighed over 2 pounds. 

Mystery meat unveiled.

I’m not squeamish about organ meat.  But, this was a little much.  The wine glass didn’t really help, did it?  I thought it might add an air of elegance and I was definitely sipping.  I’m sorry, but I’m used to those little evenly sliced, leak-proof packages of beef liver that you pick up at the grocery store.  This was slightly different, wouldn’t you say?

So, here’s the recipe…

3/4 lb pork liver
1 onion, quartered
2 cups chicken stock/broth

You bring this to a boil, lower the heat, cover and cook for 10 minutes.

Drain it.  Throw the liver into the food processor and the rest is trash.  Add…

1/4 cup sliced green onion
1/4 cup butter

Process for 10 seconds.  Open it  up and scrape down the sides.

Still looks pretty horrible, huh?  Then you add…

2 Tablespoons brandy
2 Tablespoons mayonnaise
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground thyme

Then you process it until smooth.  The problem is that it never really got smooth.  It got smooth-ish.  I think I’ll look for a better recipe next time and maybe use a food mill to get the connective tissue out of the mix.  When I was ready to mold it I was unimpressed with the flavor.  It seemed salty and maybe a little yucky because of the texture.  So, instead of breaking out the tiny cheesecake pans to make it look pretty (as if!) I just dumped it into a plastic container with a lid.  I like pate’ to be really creamy or a little more peasant-like with even more texture than this.  This seemed to be stuck in the middle somewhere.  Still, it needed to chill and chill it would.

After a few hours, the saltiness had subsided.  It had a lovely mild taste actually.  On crackers, I didn’t even notice the texture that was putting me off in the beginning.  It was good.  Good, like I’d not only eat it myself, but might actually serve it to someone.  Later that evening, Hubbard and I made BLT’s and added a nice smear of the pate’ to the sandwich.  It reminded me of those Asian sandwhiches that I can’t ever remember the name of.

Overall, I was happy.  Of course, now I have another huge hunk of liver to deal with.  And it really never looked pretty.  I thought about sprinkling some parsley on it.  But, why?  It would just look like gruel with grass clippings.  The important thing is that it tastes good and it has inspired me to make more and better pate’. 

Everything can’t be pretty, right?

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11 responses to “Making Pate’… One of Life’s Ugly Truths

  1. That is so brave!

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  2. Margie, you’re so amazing. My first attempts at cooking almost any dish never turn out that well.

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  3. OMG that is a work of art. beautiful work, and I want some.

    And that little sandwich… could it be the banh mi? Best when served with a smear of pate.

    You are GENIUS.

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  4. I was thinking banh mi as well.

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  5. Not a recipe swappin’ kind of guy, but try this with your pate:

    1 very fresh baguette
    4 oz. country-style paté, chopped
    1 oz. Gruyere cheese, grated
    ¼ cup mayonnaise
    1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
    ½ cup red California seedless grapes, quartered or sliced
    ¼ cup Spanish Marcona almonds
    ¼ cup diced celery
    ¼ cup diced tart apple
    as desired, lettuce and tomato

    Mash together the chopped paté and grated cheese. Add the mayonnaise and Dijon mustard; mix well. Stir in the grapes, almonds, celery and apple. Chill until ready to use.

    Slice the baguette lengthwise without cutting completely through. Press down the middle of the bread to make a shallow channel. Spoon the paté salad evenly into the channel. Add lettuce and tomato, if desired. Cut prepared sandwich into 4 even portions and serve.

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  6. I’m so impressed! I love pate, but the thought of grinding up livers in my food processor makes me ill.

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  7. Bahn mi! That’s it!

    SD – That recipe sounds heavenly!

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  8. Im more of an end result kind of guy…what happens in the kitchen sometimes i just dont want to know…but this definitely looks good…would love to try some…

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  9. Here. Watch this and you’ll never forget the name ever again. :D

    http://bruleeblog.wordpress.com/2010/03/12/fun-friday-69/

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  10. I love it!! You’re right! I’ll never forget now!

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  11. hey, can you post something about filling up some salt shakers or something…i am getting creeped out by the liver every time i come to check and see if you have updated… :-)

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