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Goose Liver Pate

February 1, 2010

Jerad came home from hunting early last week with a bag full of goose livers.  It’s not as shocking to me as it used to be, since we’ve eaten fresh goose and duck livers a lot lately.  In fact, liver has become our favorite part of those wild birds to eat.  While Jerad’s a fan of simply frying or sauteing the livers, I prefer making a rich pate with them.

Wild goose & duck liver has a more “meaty” flavor that is not as–well–livery as I find chicken liver to be, especially after you soak it in alcohol, saute it with onions, and puree it with butter.  Even non-liver eaters will like this! 
The Ultimate Pate
adapted from Tyler’s Ultimate

1 pound FRESH goose, duck, or chicken livers, trimed of any membranes or fat
6 tablespoons sherry or port wine
14 tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter
2 shallots, chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 teaspoon chooped fresh thyme leaves, plus 1 nice-looking sprig for garnish
1/4 cup heavy cream
Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • Rinse the livers and pat them dry. Put them in a small bowl, pour the sherry or wine over them, cover & refrigerated for 2 hours.
  • Melt 3 tablespoons of the butter in a medium skillet. Add the shallots, garlic, & chopped thyme and cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, until softened but not brown (3-4 minutes).
  • Add the livers, reserving the soaking liquid, and cook without browning until the livers just change color (3-4 minutes). (Browning would toughen the exterior of the livers & the pate would not be smooth.)
  • Add the reserved liquid to the pan and simmer for 2 minutes.
  • Put all of that in a blender and puree until smooth. Add 3 more tablespoons of butter and process again until smooth. Now pour in the cream and pulse just until incorporated. Season with salt & pepper. (Note: Don’t be alarmed if it looks & smells horrid. It’s much better once it’s cooled!)
  • Spoon the mixture into a 3-cup terrine or dish and smooth the surface. Refrigerated for 1 hour or until the pate just firms up.
  • Then, melt the remaining 8 tablespoons of butter (1 stick) and pour it over the top of the pate to cover completely (this will seal the top & keep from discoloring). Press the thyme sprig into the butter and chill overnight (or up to a week).
  • Serve with toasted baguette slices, red grapes, caramelized onions, & gherkins.

Thanks to Steph for taking such great pics!

3 Comments leave one →
  1. ironstef permalink*
    February 1, 2010 7:38 pm

    no, thank YOU! and Jerad!! The pate was awesome, as was the company 🙂

  2. February 20, 2010 9:12 pm

    Really delicious looking pate. The recipe looks well worth tacking a crack at. We haven’t had the good fortune of getting our hands on wild foul liver. The pheasants we brought back to CA from Idaho came without them (pretty sure my dad got to them before the birds were bundled up for the journey). While I’m no fan of wild mallard duck or Canadian goose, I’m betting the livers are well worth the effort. Next time we’re in Idaho, we’ll be sure to jump on those livers early. Thanks for the inspiring photos. They’re terrific!

    Steve & Jason

  3. February 20, 2010 9:14 pm

    Of course, I meant fowl, not foul!

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