I don’t usually do back to back blogging, but I made this Duck Liver Pate for my birthday, which was Wednesday and my present to myself is to talk about it! I like to create some new food item for my birthday and this year it was the pate. I special ordered the duck livers from my local butcher, Mr. Feeney. The order came as 2 kgs. (a little more than 4 lbs.!), but it is frozen so we don’t need to eat all 4 lbs. of pate in one sitting. Mr. Feeney cut the frozen livers into quarters for me.
I have made chicken liver pate many times, but never the duck. I have to say this one came out pretty good.
Mr. Feeney is an excellent butcher and also makes his own sausages and other delights. He will special order anything that he does not offer in his shop and is always ready to please. I have been shopping with him as long as I’ve been coming to Ireland, which this year is my 29th year. I think the shop has been in his family for more than 50 years. There is something very pleasing to me about the look of a neat and clean meat counter, and his always is.
On to the recipe…
Liver pate generally has a splash of cognac, bourbon, wine or some other spirit. In honor of Ireland I decided to use Powers Irish whiskey as my splash. It has a rich, sweet flavor and you completely cook off the alcohol so if you are serving to those who do not imbibe; no problem! From the duck I roasted for the 4th of July I had about 2 cups of beautiful duck fat so decided to incorporate some of that, as well. The more I make liver pate, the more I realize that you can be very flexible with ingredients and quantities.
1 lb. duck liver (I used 19 oz. to be exact)
Kosher salt and black pepper-about 1 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
4 Tbsp. Duck fat (or goose fat, or chicken fat, or butter)
1 shallot (about 1/3 cup) minced
1 small carrot; about 1/4 cup chopped
1 small celery stick; about 1/4 cup chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 stick of butter
1 Tbsp. fresh thyme
2 Tbsp. fresh parsley
1 Tbsp. fresh marjoram
Juice of 1/2 lemon; about 3 Tbsp.
1/4 cup whiskey
3 Tbsp. duck stock (chicken stock is fine, too, but I happened to have the duck stock from the 4th of July duck)
3 Tbsp. apple juice
Pat the livers dry with paper towels and liberally salt and pepper both sides. Heat 1 Tbsp. duck fat (or whatever fat you are using) in a heavy skillet. Add shallots, carrot, celery and garlic and gently saute for 5 – 8 minutes until veg are tender, but not browned. Add the herbs, lemon juice and cook for another couple of minutes. Remove from the pan and place the veg in a large bowl.
I love having an herb garden right outside my kitchen. This year I have rosemary, oregano, parsley, sage, thyme, tarragon, basil and marjoram.
Add 2 Tbsp. duck fat and heat the pan until it is nearly smoking. Duck or goose fat is ideal as it has a high smoke point; not the highest at 375 degrees, but certainly hot enough and the flavor of duck or goose fat is fabulous. Saute livers quickly for about 3 minutes per side. Do not crowd the pan. It will take at least 2 rounds of cooking depending on how large your pan is. You want the livers to be cooked, but still pink in the middle. If you overcook, the liver pate will be dry, and even after you remove from the pan, the livers do keep cooking. Add more fat each time you cook another batch of livers. Remove the livers and place together with the veg.
Add the whiskey to the pan and tilt the pan to flame it or just scrape all the brown bits up from the pan and then add to the veg and livers. Add the apple juice and duck stock. Put everything in a food processor or heavy duty blender. Add the stick of butter and blend until all ingredients are very smooth. My blender is not that large, but is powerful, so I had to blend in batches.
This next step is tedious, but very important. Press the blended pate through a fine mesh sieve using the back of a spoon to push the pate through. You will think this is never going to go through, but it eventually does. This is what makes the pate perfectly smooth and removes any bits of herb, veg, black pepper that did not get thoroughly blended. If you are making a country-style chunky pate, of course, this step is not necessary.
These are all the bits that the sieve catches. The pate should be smooth, and slightly pourable as it will firm up. Taste for seasoning (especially salt) and texture. If it is too thick, slowly add a bit of either apple juice or stock, one tablespoon at a time. All of my pate molds are back in America so I used little terrines to hold the pate.
I also tried to top with an apple gelee (apple juice and plain unflavored gelatin), but that didn’t set up too well so instead I made an apple chutney to serve with the duck liver pate.
5 ingredients: Apples (I used Pink Ladies), 1 clove garlic, 1 small shallot, a splash of apple juice and a knob of butter. Salt and pepper. Cook it all down until you have the desired consistency.
Here’s my husband, Jerry, digging in!
And the good news is I have 3 more pounds of duck livers to work with!
NEXT TIME I’M GOING TO SHARE
A BUNCH OF THE THINGS WE HAVE BEEN
FEASTING ON IN DEAR OLD IRELAND!
THANKS FOR SHARING MY SPECIAL
BIRTHDAY DUCK LIVER PATE!
MY APOLOGIES TO SUBSCRIBERS WHO ARE STILL RECEIVING 2 NOTICES EACH TIME I BLOG. GOOGLE WAS GOING TO STOP SENDING EMAILS AT THE END OF JUNE, BUT NOW IT LOOKS LIKE THEY WILL STOP SENDING AT THE END OF AUGUST.
SO, IN THE MEANTIME, YOU MAY RECEIVE 2 EMAILS (1 FROM GOOGLE AND 1 FROM MY NEW EMAIL SUBSCRIPTION SERVER-MAILCHIP. I’M SURE THIS WILL ALL GET SORTED OUT.
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