I have to admit something, I am not a huge fan of liver. I wish I were, and every year I force myself to keep all the livers from every animal I harvest. So I have a lot of liver, and not so many ways to prepare that I enjoy. I hope that maybe I will find a recipe that is palatable, that maybe I will get some perspective on the unique flavor profile of liver. How do I mask that minerality, or showcase it. Pate seems to be the only way I have discovered to enjoy it. First, the French country style which is more of a loaf, with added pork, dried fruit, and resembles something of SPAM. Then this style, a smear, textured like potted meat, which is quite tasty on bread. I have come to find that liver is its’ own beast. It is bold, strong, flavorful, and very tasty if treated like what it is. It is liver.
This recipe is an adaptation from a Chefsteps recipe for chicken pate. A very buttery, flavorful conduit for this minerally offal. I have to say that not being a liver fan, it is tasty, and has given me an outlet to use livers. Particularly this bunch of Canada Goose livers from the western Colorado. If anything I at least hope to inspire someone to try and use a liver once in awhile. These animals we harvest are a blessing, and I believe we should try and use all we can.
This recipe would work well for any liver you had, so long as you portioned them right. As I hope to try it with elk liver sometime. The use Prague powder(#1 pink curing salt) gives the smear a nice blush pink color. It does not have to be used, but the color will be grey without it. The curing salt also gives it a slight “hammy” bite which is nice. Again this recipe is adapted from a Chefsteps recipe, most of their increments are in Grams. So I scaled them for the amount of livers I had. I will show the amounts I used, and you can scale them as needed. Proper ratios are crucial for use of curing salts so if you are not WEIGHING do not use the curing salt. Always make sure you have the correct amount of Prague for the amount of protein used. Otherwise, have fun experimenting with types of ingredients and proteins.
The difficult part of this recipe is the weighing, after that, it is actually quite easy. Only about 20 min of hands on time. So it’s worth it!
- 340g Canada Goose Livers
- 68g Bacon
- 136g Onion
- 34g Shallot
- 68g Chardonnay
- 68g Sherry
- 34g Brandy
- 136g Eggs (3)
- 10g kosher salt
- 1.8g Prague Powder
- .5g black pepper
- .8g sweet spice
- 136g clarified butter
This recipe calls for a lot of ingredients, it is best to have them all prepped and measured. Chop the onion, shallot, bacon finely. Keep everything organized and ready to go, all separated.
In a small saucepan, add bacon, onion, shallot and cook until the onions are translucent and the fat has started to render out of the bacon. At this point, add the wines and the brandy to deglaze the pan. Bring to a simmer, and let simmer for 5 min.
When the mixture has simmered for 5 min, strain the liquid from the mixture, and discard the solids. The bacon, onions, and shallot were only used to infuse the wine/brandy with flavor and some fat.
Now that you have your infused wine, place the livers, salt, prague, pepper, sweetspice, eggs, and wine/brandy mixture into a blender. Turn on high and blend for 1 minute.
After one minute slowly add the clarified butter, and blend for an additional minute.
When the mixture is done blending, pass through a fine mesh sieve, and put into something easy to pour out of.
Have some jars Sterilized and ready. Making sure to sterilize the lids, jars, and rings. Fill them just until a half inch below the top. Lid and ring, only tightening until finger tight. Over tightening jars will hinder air from escaping and will result in busted jars in your water bath.
I am using a sous vide set up to cook them. 155* for 90 minutes. When they are finished simply pull out and chill. (I placed in the fridge for a night)
How I enjoyed them was simply smeared on a nice slice of sourdough toast, with some honey and salt. The honey was from our late bees, RIP. The use of Hawaiian black salt gives a bit of color, and is nice and coarse. I encourage you to try new things this hunting season. Keep a liver perhaps, they are fine table fare and PACKED with nutrients, you may find you actually enjoy them!