Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Liver pate

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Here's another little favourite treat that I like to make on a quiet weekend. It's also great to serve as a starter if you're throwing a dinner party, with toast, a few shreds of salad, and a dish of port & redcurrant sauce on the side.


4 oz butter
1 large onion, chopped
2 - 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 lb liver (whatever kind takes your fancy)
1/2 pint beef stock
Salt, black pepper, Italian seasoning to taste
Dash of cream

Note on quantities

This is another very forgiving recipe, good for seat-of-the-pants cooking. There's a lot of butter, which is what helps the pate set. If you end up with a bit too much or too little liquid, all that will happen is it will end up a bit on the soft or firm side. No real harm done. And you can deal with that by adjusting the simmering time to reduce to the right level.


Melt the butter in a large saucepan, and gently fry the onions until soft. As with most dishes that start with frying onions, I usually go for the long and slow approach. About 15 minutes in this case.

Add the garlic and liver, and fry until the liver changes colour.

Add the stock and seasoning, bring to the boil, and then cover and simmer for between 1 and 2 hours. Check on the pan occasionally and stir to make sure nothing sticks or burns.

The time is not too critical. The liver should be very well-cooked, enough to break apart easily with a wooden spoon, and the stock should be reduced to a sludgy oily soup. It won't look particularly appetising at this stage. Don't worry!

When the liquid is considerably reduced, take off the heat and leave to cool a little. You don't want it to cool completely, just enough so as not to curdle the cream.

Pour the contents of the pan into a blender and blend until smooth. Add the cream and blend again.

The results should be a very thick liquid. It should pour, but reluctantly, and there should be lots sticking to the sides of the blender that you'll want to scrape off. Don't add so much cream that it gets runny or it won't set properly.

Pour into a bowl, leave to cool, then refrigerate for a couple of hours to set.

Try not to eat it all at once, or you'll be sick!


  1. Ah yes Ian. Thanks for sharing your recipe for liver pate. Not everybody likes liver, but I like liver and I notice a lot of folks over here, like liver.
    Very good advice. Eat it all at once and beware!
    Take good care of yourself.
    Gary :-)

  2. Odd thing though, Gary, is that many people who don't like liver are perfectly happy with pate.

  3. Ha--I'm the opposite! I *love* liver, but absolutely abhor pate. Then again, I'm generally not a big fan of soft, formless food.

    But now you got me in the mood for some liver with onions over a bed of steamed rice. Yummmmmm!

  4. Liver & onions, David? Now you're talking! Simmered in cream, and careful not to overcook it.


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