Ever since I was pregnant and was advised against eating pate, I’ve had a craving for it. So I decided that post pregnancy I would venture into the world of cooking livers and make some myself. After all, they say that pate is great for breastfeeding mothers as it’s packed with nutrients and very high in iron. I’ll take it…
The french deli at my local market has a lovely whisky and rosemary pate that sounds strong in flavour, but to the contrary, it’s beautifully subtle and the flavours go so well together. So I decided to make my own version. Having never made pate before, or cooked with livers, I was guided by a Jamie Oliver parfait recipe and the result was surprisingly good (otherwise I wouldn’t be sharing it…).
Whisky and rosemary pate with fresh figs
400g chicken livers, trimmed (cut off all the sinewy bits)
300g butter, softened
2 shallots (little red ones), peeled and finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
3 tbs whisky
2 sprigs of rosemary, finely chopped (plus extra to garnish the top)
1/2 tsp nutmeg
Fresh figs and micro herbs to serve (I used basil)
Salt and pepper
Place half of the butter in an overproof dish and put in a pre-heated 110 degrees celsius oven for approx 10 minutes or until melted. You will see that the butter has separated. You’ll have lovely clear melted butter on top (this will seal the pate) and a milkier butter at the bottom. Strain. Discard the milky butter and keep the clarified butter to one side.
Meanwhile, saute shallots and garlic in a frypan with a little olive oil until nice and golden. Set aside. Wipe your frypan out with paper towel and place it back over high heat. Add the livers and rosemary and cook until the livers are nicely browned on both sides but still a bit pink in the middle. If you overcook the livers, the texture becomes grainy.
Add whisky and simmer for a minute or so. Take off the heat and put in a food processor with the shallots and garlic. Process until nice and smooth. Add the remaining butter, salt and pepper and the nutmeg and continue to process. You should have a nice smooth paste now resembling pate!
Place pate in a bowl or container and flatten the top with the back of a spoon. Slowly pour over the clarified butter. Add a couple of rosemary sprigs if you like and put in the fridge to set. I left mine in the fridge for a couple of days before eating to let the flavours develop.
Serve pate on crusty bread (grilled if you like) with fresh figs and micro herbs.
Once you’ve broken the seal on the pate, it only lasts a few days. This recipe makes a decent quantity though so you can wrap the pate up in small portions and freeze. Always nice to have homemade pate on hand if friends are coming over ;-).
This recipe has been adapted from Jamie Oliver’s chicken liver parfait.