This beef liver pâté recipe is delicious, thanks to an unexpected spice that magically does away with the liver taste. Even beef liver, which has a stronger taste, can be enjoyed by liver haters.
Most people love to hate liver. Texture, taste, smell: it is not one of the more appetizing foods. There are some edified people who love liver, but they are a special minority.
Even though I do not belong among the elect liver lovers, the nutritional profile keeps bringing me back to it. High in many B vitamins, especially B12, and vitamin A, liver also apparently improves energy levels, or at least improves endurance.
In the 50s an experiment with rats showed that rats who ate liver were able to keep swimming anywhere from one to two hours (when the experiment ended) as opposed to an average of 13 minutes for rats who didn’t eat liver (yes, they let the rats sink, yes, it was inhumane but the information is still valid). And we could all use a little more energy, no?
Beef liver is stronger in taste than other types of liver, but it’s also very abundant – beef livers are huge, especially compared to say a goose liver. The result is that there is plenty of nutritious beef liver that is hard to eat for many.
As a child, my preferred way of eating liver was tempura, coated in a batter and deep fried, with plenty of ketchup on the rare occasion that my mom bought ketchup.
Since then, I’ve concocted a few recipes that even my husband will willingly eat. This liver pate is probably my favourite. It’s also the least work, which may have something to do with it. I was gratified this morning by the twins eating it by the spoonful and, in fact, all the children liked it.
You can, of course, make this pate with other animal livers, like lamb and goat, or even wild animals like elk and moose.
Fat, and lots of it. My favourite fat to use is ghee, due to it’s sweetness, but also use butter. I haven’t tried it with coconut oil or lard, but if you can’t tolerate even ghee I would try them.
Onion, and lots of it. Slowly caramelizing the onions in the fat brings out the sweetness, which helps mellow out the liver taste.
Allspice, and a fair amount of that too. I usually think of allspice as a Christmas or pumpkin sort of spice, like cinnamon and nutmeg. However, once while watching a butcher make all kinds of goods from a pig during butchering, I noticed he put in allspice in some of the mixes.
I added allspice on a whim while making liver pate, and it makes ALL the difference. Beef liver is fairly strong, but allspice magically cancels out the liver taste. I have no idea why. I used freshly ground allspice; if you only have preground allspice you will need to add more, taste testing until the liver taste mellows.
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp (150 g) ghee, butter, or other fat
- 1 very large or 2 med (200 g) onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 14 oz (400 g) liver (beef, lamb, chicken, or otherwise)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tsp allspice, freshly ground (see above)
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 2 tsp whipping cream (or milk alternative or I've even used water for dairy free)
- Roughly chop onion and cook on low heat in ghee (or other fat) until caramelized, about 20 minutes.
- Slice the liver, removing any membrane (white filmy layer).
- Chop garlic and add to onion for about five minutes.
- Using a slotted spoon, remove the onions and garlic to a food processor or high speed blender.
- Cook the liver on med heat in the remaining fat, until no longer bloody.
- Let the liver and fat cool for a few minutes, then add to food processor.
- Add salt, allspice, pepper and cream (or milk alternative or even water).
- Blend until smooth.
- Line a container with plastic wrap and smooth the pate into the container so that when it chills, you can turn the container over and peel away the plastic wrap, making the pate slice-able.
- Alternatively, as I've done here, just put the pate in a bowl or any vessel and scoop it out as needed.
- Eat fresh or chill to harden and further meld flavours.
Feeling adventurous? How about other organs, like…
Beef Tongue Spread (2 recipes)