Now, I’m not massively experienced at cooking liver, but I have successfully followed a simple pate recipe once or twice. So I felt sufficiently qualified to have a bash at making pate with the liver from our pigs. Even though I have only previously made it with chicken livers, they can’t be that different, right?
As I knew I would be blogging about this I decided to eschew my usual style of cooking, which takes disorganisation and chaos as it’s central philosophies. Instead I prepared all (most of) the ingredients before even heating my pan. Here they are all neatly laid out on my chopping board.
In the ramekin at the back is a tablespoon of dried green peppercorns and two small bayleaves soaking in two or three sloshes of whisky, then on the board is some chopped red onion, chopped rosemary, freshly picked thyme leaves and about a pound of pig’s liver. You can also just see a bit of butter at the back there. The original recipe calls for a whole pack of butter, but I had used up most of my butter making caramel the day before and forgotten to stock up. So I improvised by softening the onion in olive oil and saving the butter for cooking the livers and just a little bit to pour over the top of the finished pate. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
First I softened the onions in a large frying pan over a medium heat, using olive oil instead of butter. Then I added the herbs and the peppercorns in their liquid, and carried on cooking until much of the liquid had evaporated. It smelt delicious, particularly the whisky and rosemary .
As it is nigh on impossible to hide from who you really are (disorganised and chaotic), I did take my eye off the onion to chop up the liver. Not too small; largish chunks seemed to work for me.
I put all the onionherbpeppercorn yumminess aside, back into the ramekin the peppercorns and whisky came out of to be honest. Then melted most of my butter in the frying pan and added the liver pieces.
Like I said before, I’m not a liver expert, but I believe liver is supposed to be slightly pink inside. So I cooked it, over a medium heat, gently turning the liver pieces over occasionally, until they looked like this when cut open.
In a flash of inspiration and spontaneity (another one of my normal cooking techniques), I decided to leave half of the onionherbpeppercorn mixture unblended to add at the end to give a little texture to my pate. I also fished out the bayleaves to use as a garnish later.
So into the blender went the liver pieces with all their buttery juices and half of the onions, and all this was blitzed until smooth. The pate seemed to be quite thick. I did have to stop in between pulses to push the liver back into the path of the blades with my trusty spatula. But we got there in the end, not forgetting to taste and season with salt and pepper as required. After mixing in the reserved onionherbpeppercorns it looked like this.
Then I transferred it to a serving dish, smoothing out the top to make it as even as possible, melted the remaining butter and poured it over the top. Ta da! Oops, almost forgot those bayleaves to make it pretty.