Burn After Reading: Pork Liver Pâté

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It feels like I haven’t been posting enough about my cooking recently.  Well, that’s about to change and it’s coinciding with the launch of a new segment: Burn After Reading.

In an effort to start working through my collection of cookbooks this regular segment will feature me working my way through a chosen recipe.  The name comes not only from my love of fire and barbecue but also my habit of reading a recipe, declaring “I got this bro” and then attempting to complete from memory.  As a result there will be the occasional omissions, errors and improvisations which will all be duly noted in the recap.

To get started I decided to pick a recipe from a book my good friend Wu Tang Clam bought me recently: Recipes For a Good Time, by Sydney based chefs and restaurateurs Ben Milgate and Elvis Abrahanowicz.

The book features a multitude of meat-laden recipes with an Argentinean focus plus some amazing sides, desserts and cocktails; the photography is stunning which is always what wins me over in a cookbook.

Needing something delicious to take away on a holiday with friends I picked the Pork Liver Pâté as it seemed reasonably simple yet delicious.

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As mentioned above I have a hard time following recipes exactly, I always find myself thinking of the perfect addition or variation, despite the fact that the authors are professional chefs and I’m a backyard barbecue addict with a penchant for rambling on the internet.

Anyhow, I did manage to follow this recipe almost to the letter but for one slight twist (lemon twist?) – I decided to incorporate some smoke.  I mean, I’ve got a reputation to uphold here and I think you would all be sorely disappointed if I cooked this entire dish inside my house without any BBQs.

Ingredients: 

Onion and sherry base:

  • 50ml olive oil
  • 10g chilled unsalted butter
  • 1 brown onion, finely chopped
  • 60ml sherry (recipe calls for Amontillado sherry – I just used whatever I had on hand)

Pâté mixture:

  • 190g chilled unsalted butter, cubed
  • 40ml olive oil
  • 500g pork livers, trimmed
  • 1/2 a nutmeg

Method:

  1. To make the base you will need to fry the onion in the butter and oil over  a low-medium heat until translucent, add the sherry and cook until almost entirely reduced.  Season with salt and pepper throughout the process.
  2. Optional: In my version I cold smoked the livers for an hour – it’s important to cold smoke as you do not want to start cooking the livers at this point.  I used an a-maze-n tube smoke in the weber kettle for this but you can use any method you like for cold smoking.
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  3. Heat 40g of butter and the remaining olive oil over a low heat then add the liver and cook for around 3 minutes, turning once until they are lightly coloured and pink in the middle.  Season with salt and pepper throughout the process.  Let them rest along with all the buttery, juicy goodness.
  4. Add the cooked livers in to a food processor and mix until smooth.  While mixing gradually add the remaining cold butter and leftover resting juices.
  5. Okay, so it turns out I added another step at this point.  As I have an old food processor I found my mixture wasn’t completely smooth so we passed it through a sieve to get it super smooth.
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  6. Add the cooled onion base and grate the half a nutmeg over the mixture.
  7. Season to taste – I decided this gets its own point because it takes a fair amount of salt to finish the dish – just keep tasting as you go until you’re happy with it, if you don’t know what pâté is supposed to taste like maybe don’t make this dish.
  8. Pour in to a container, the mixture will firm up once refrigerated.

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This recipe was super easy to make and the pâté was freakin’ delicious.  I was concerned I had overdone the cold smoking but it complemented the other flavours well.

The best part about this recipe is there so much of the stuff you can smother it on as much as you please without feeling bad.

Recipes for a Good Time is a fantastic read and you can bet your ass you’ll be seeing more food from there (in fact I’ve already got my eye on the beer and miso lamb ribs recipe!).

In the meantime, go make some delicous pâté and let me know what you think of this new segment – good idea or no?

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2 Responses to Burn After Reading: Pork Liver Pâté

  1. Bill says:

    That is looking good Gus. I always try and follow new recipes to the letter the first time I cook them. Doesn’t always happen, but I do try…

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