Thursday, 2 May 2013
DUCK LIVER PATE' RECIPE
Hands-down, my favourite dish from the Pig"s Ear Dinner that we (that's hubby & I) hosted on Tuesday evening was the starter course of Duck Liver Pate' with Quince Jelly. The Duck Roast Ravioli was delicious and the Brandy Prune Brownies decadent but there was something about that Pate' that just hit the right spot for me.
As it turned out I made a fair quantity of the stuff and lucky for me there was a pot left over which i have been finding ways to include into almost every meal. Okay, let me rephrase that. In all honesty every meal has just been pate' .....and melba toast.....and toasted bagel.....and melba... I just can't stop eating it.
With so much enjoyment going on and the euphoric sense of liver happiness fresh to my senses, I feel it only fair to share in the knowledge of the making of this superb pate'.
Even a non pate' lover was converted by this recipe......
Duck Liver Pate' with Quince Jelly
If you can't find duck livers you can substitute free range chicken livers. However, do try your best to get hold of the duck variety as it really does make an enormous difference. If you are not going to make the quince jelly yourself -which is understandable as this can really only be done in season- simply follow the more traditional method of preserving the pate' with a clarified butter "seal" on top.
40ml olive oil
20g butter + 200g butter cut into cubes
2 shallots - peeled & finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic - peeled & finely chopped
400g duck livers - trimmed of sinew and any white fat
60ml brandy or cognac
2 teaspoons thyme leaves
50ml pouring cream
salt & white pepper for seasoning
In a frying pan over a medium high heat melt only 20g of the butter with the oil and fry the shallots and garlic until soft and translucent, about 6 minutes. Transfer this to a blender and return the pan to the heat. Now fry the livers 1-2 minutes each side, allowing them to caramelize nicely. Be careful not to overcook the livers otherwise you will get a grainy texture to your pate'. You want them still slightly pink in the middle. Transfer the livers to the blender with the shallots & garlic. Place the pan back on the heat and deglaze it by adding in the brandy and using spoon to lift off any of the caramelized bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Allow the brandy to bubble and reduce by half then transfer this to the livers and shallots. Allow the livers to cool down and bit for about 5 minutes then blend them to a course consistency. With the motor running pour in the cream and add the thyme leaves and continue blending until smooth. Now add in the remaining butter a few cubes at a time allowing them to be incorporated into the pate'. When all the butter has been added taste for seasoning. Pass the pate' through a fine and transfer into a serving jar. Allow to set in the fridge.
When the pate' has set on top and the jelly is ready - pour over a thin layer to seal in the pate', place back in the fridge and allow the jelly to set.
Serve with melba toasts and the extra jelly on the side.
To make the Quince jelly :
Take 2kg of quinces and roughly chop them up into small pieces - skin, pips and all. Scrape all of it into a saucepan and pour in about 600ml of water. Bring to the boil and allow to simmer, stirring often until the quinces are soft and turned puree like. Place this mix in a muslin cloth and string up over a bowl allowing the liquid from the quinces to strain out overnight into the bowl. In the morning measure the juice. Place the juice and equal quantity of sugar (1litre juice = 1kilogram of sugar) in a clean saucepan with the juice of 2 lemons and bring to the boil stirring constantly. Allow to boil for about 5 minutes Take off the heat and allow to sit for another 5 minutes. Skim any more frothy skum that has arisen then transfer the hot jelly into a pouring jug, which will make it easier to pour on top of the pate' and the remaining jelly into a jar.