Saturday, May 2, 2009

Pâté de Foie de Porc

That's fancy talk for "pork liver pâté," which is what I made for the Michigan Lady Food Bloggers' "April in Paris" gathering on April 26. The theme for this event was French cooking, using Julia Childs' seminal Mastering the Art of French Cooking as inspiration. (Aside: Julia was a fellow Smith College alumna, class of '34. Smithies represent!)

I decided I wanted to use the pork liver from my Back Forty Acres hog for pâté. I honestly didn't know what on earth I was going to do with those pork livers. This presented itself as the perfect opportunity. I awakened the livers from their frozen slumber and got them ready to perform.

When I read the recipe I had chosen more thoroughly, I realized it called for ground pork livers. Oops. Well, break out my trusty food processor!

Uh, gross. I can only describe this as "liver slurry." I was fairly disgusted.

Stirring in the cream. No, this recipe is NOT healthy. What on earth gave you that idea?

After dealing with the red mush of puréed liver and cream, I had to console myself with a hearty adult beverage, in this case, Dark Horse Brewing's "Tres" Blueberry Stout. It calmed my nerves.

Sautéeing onions and herbs: something I've done scores of times. This, I can handle.

All mixed together and ready to go. It doesn't look quite as nasty now.

Pâté on display: the finished product.

La table français.

A few of the MLFB gang.

I confess I did not get my pâté recipe from "MTAOFC" (as we started referring to it). I was too lazy to procure a copy from my library so I just looked up a recipe online.

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground pork liver
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup finely chopped onions
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground pork
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1/3 cup brandy
  • 3 bay leaves
Put the pork liver in a bowl. Add the cream and let stand for one hour. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Sauté the onions in the butter over medium heat for about five minutes, or until they are very soft. Add the garlic, parsley, thyme and basil and mix well. Remove from the heat. Place the ground pork in a mixing bowl. Add the vegetable mixture, ground liver and cream mixture, eggs, salt, pepper, flour and brandy. Mix well. Spoon the meat mixture into a loaf pan and top with the bay leaves. Cover tightly with aluminum foil. Place the loaf pan in a larger pan that has been filled halfway with hot water. Bake for 1-1/2 hours. Carefully drain off excess fat. Cool. Cover again tightly with aluminum foil and weight it down on top with two or three canned goods. Refrigerate for at least eight hours. Remove the bay leaves. Serve with toast points or crackers.