If you’re gonna eat liver…
Let me start this post by letting you know that I hate liver.
In fact, it’s not even hatred, it’s complete and utter revulsion.
So imagine my surprise a few months ago when I was walking past the meat counter in Whole Foods and my body started craving liver upon sight.
Who would dare to ignore the cravings of one’s body just because of sheer abhorrence?
Not me… definitely not me.
So I bought the liver. And I cooked it. And I took one bite. And I wanted to vomit.
Never to be defeated so easily, I tried again, and then again, and even a third time, all with different recipes, all with everybody’s favourite “oh you don’t have to hate liver to like this recipe– you can hardly even taste it” or their “my grandma made this one and I swear it’s delicious”, and guess what… it still tasted like liver, and it still made me want to vomit.
So I went to my favourite cuban restaurant and ordered the liver on their menu (by this time I was thoroughly determined to eat and like liver, as during the interim I had read Ron Schmid’s “Traditional Foods Are Your Best Medicine”), and I couldn’t even swallow the first bite. After that experience, (where Cuban restaurants use more onions and garlic were used than I thought was humanly possible) I gave up and ordered freeze dried organ extracts because I don’t want to get a name for myself as the world’s biggest masochist.
On Saturday, I went to rawsome, and for some reason (and I don’t even fully remember doing this) I grabbed a [grass-fed***] buffalo liver and brought it home. After a lengthy conversation with Jamie’s mum, Nicki, where she explained to me how to make her delicious pate (and I left out the fact that it was a buffalo liver I’d be using after she said “make sure it’s chicken livers”) we set to work to try and make liver palatable.
Let me just say that given my one day of experience, and thanks to Jamie’s mum, I think I have found the key(s) to making liver edible:
1. TONS of butter
2. TONS of garlic
3. TONS of onions
4. TONS of brandy
It’s a delicate formula, but given these four things, really, you can’t go wrong. With a hunk of butter and then spread on a chunk of sourdough fresh out the oven it’s the perfect snack, or meal, if you eat like us.
SURPRISINGLY EDIBLE LIVER PATE
1/2 lb liver (any liver will do)
2 tb bacon grease, if you have it
2 sticks butter
10 cloves garlic
1/2 cup brandy
herbs de provence
parsley, for garnish
milk, for soaking
Cut the skin off the liver, and cut out all the veins and yucky bits. Then cut it into pieces and soak in milk for at least half an hour. The longer the better– the milk helps to remove the liver-y flavour.
Melt half a stick of butter in a pan, along with the bacon grease. Add the chopped onions, and cook over low to medium heat until they are very soft. Add the garlic, and cook for another few minutes. Pour contents of pan into food processor/ blender (don’t blend them though).
Melt another half stick of butter in the same pan, and throw in the liver. Add 1/2 tsp pepper and 1/2 tsp herbs de provence. Cook until the liver is almost cooked through, then pour in the brandy, and set on fire.
It’ll burn for quite a while because there’s so much brandy. Jiggle the pan around to get more of it to burn, and then when it’s done, let it simmer for a few minutes to reduce a tiny bit. When done, turn off the heat and pour into the blender/ food processor.
Throw in the other stick of butter, cold, add salt, and blend until smooth.
It’ll still be warm, and careful on opening it because you might get a nose-full of brandy fumes (weeeee!). Pour into ramekins, cover with a layer of pepper and sprinkle with parsley, and put in the fridge to set.
Serve with a loaf of crusty bread and a big chunk of butter!