About 10 years ago, my Grandma, Hilda taught me how to make patê. I’ve no doubt made one or two slight changes since then, but here are the basics.
What You Need
Livers (I use chicken, but feel free to use another animals)
Onion – chopped/sliced (doesn’t matter so long as all the pieces are pretty much the same size)
Garlic – smashed (optional depending on your taste buds)
Bouquet Garni – (I tied together some rosemary, thyme, flat leaf parsley and bay leaf and made my own. I used these herbs as they are what we have growing in the garden. You can buy bouquet garni ready prepared. Again, you choose, but think about the flavours)
Sherry (I use Cream Sherry but be adventurous! If you’re using duck livers, why not use Cointreau!? = Duck and Orange Patê! Yum!)
Salt & Pepper to season
Frying pan (size is quantity dependant)
Blender of the hand or food processor variety
How You Do It
OK! As you will no doubt have noticed, there are no set quantities listed above. (I did warn you… :)) So, first of all think about how much patê you want to make and buy your livers accordingly.
Then you will need onion equating to around 25% of the livers. If you’re not a fan of onion, use less. If you love it, use more, but as a general guideline, you want the liver to onion ratio to be 4:1.
The garlic is entirely optional. As you’re smashing it, you can cook it with the other ingredients but then fish it out before putting it in the blender if you wish.
The bouquet garni (if you don’t buy ready-made) just needs to be a small bunch of herbs. This gets taken out before blending.
Grab the frying pay and sauté the onion, garlic and bouquet garni with a good-sized knob of butter on a medium heat. You don’t want them to colour, just soften and release all the lovely aromas.
Once they are soft, add the livers. You don’t need to be gentle with them. They’re going in a blender so break them up, stir them around for a minute or two then add a good glug of sherry. The smell at this point is heavenly!
Be careful not to over cook the livers as this will make your patê dry! You don’t want blood still oozing out of them, but if they’re a little bit pink, that’s fine. The residual heat will keep them cooking for a short time once you’ve removed them from the hob.
Season. Feel free to taste a piece of liver to ascertain how much salt and pepper you need.
Remove from the heat and blend! You can blend it until smooth or leave it a little bit coarse.
Last but not least, put the patê in a Tupperware, let it cool, cover it and put it in the fridge for a few hours before devouring it. (Grandma taught me to put it in a ceramic dish and cover with clarified butter, which looks nice and was probably the best way to keep it back in the days before air-tight plastic tubs, but a Tupperware will keep it just as fresh in 2012 and beyond!)