Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Recipe: Pate Maison

Liver is a food which divides people, you either adore it or you hate it, generally depending on whether you were force fed it as a child; but no one is ambivalent about paté. Being prone to terrible anaemia paté has become a somewhat signature dish for me as I attempt desperately to pour the iron rich liver into my body. This particular recipe is not one of my fanciest versions, but it is very reliable and simple compared to most of my other liver recipes and it makes a reasonably affordable every day house paté perfect for sandwiches.

Paté Maison

500g chicken livers
100g bacon
1 large brown onion
100g butter
4 tbpsn sour cream (optional)
200ml red wine
60ml brandy
Olive Oil for frying
Seasoning to taste
Butter or Gelatin for sealing


  • Heat the olive oil in a non stick pan, cut the onion to fingernail sized pieces and sweat the onion in the pan. 
  • Add salt to taste at this stage to prevent burning, and then add the bacon cut to small pieces. Bacon with large amounts of fat is best for consistency.

  • Slow cook the onion and bacon, once the fat has melted from the meat and the onions have caramelised slightly add the cleaned and diced livers. 
  • Keep on low heat and cook until the livers crush under a wooden spoon.

  • Add the brandy and the butter, mixing slowly till the livers are well coated. Slowly add the red wine and reduce, there should still be one or two tablespoons of liquid left.

  • In an electric mixer blend the warm mixture until smooth. Owing to the heavy onion and bacon the texture can be hard to smooth so don't be afraid to blend it for significant amounts of time if you like a silky texture.
  • To give a smoother texture add sour cream to the mixture while blending - this lightens the pate and reduces the grainy texture but can also reduce the storage time of the pate. This is not required and can be skipped if you like a course pate.
  • Distribute evenly across ramekins or bowls and leave to cool. This recipe will generally make 3 standard ramekins per batch, if you do not have ramekins then rice bowls or even tea cups make a perfect substitute. 
  • Notice when I make larger batches I use sealable jars, this means I can eat the pate over a couple of weeks due to the airtight nature of the container, however it assumes you are using it in a casual setting and do not need plating flourishes.
  • Seal the pate with melted butter or gelatin and refrigerate until served. You can decorate the container by sealing garnish ingredients into the butter. 


  •  Add ground pepper corns before the liquor for a spicy touch that goes great with a heavy hand on the cognac
  • Use port or other fortified wine instead of red wine
  • Add orange zest and orange liqueur rather than wine and brandy stage
  • Add herbs at the reduction, dried herbs are best to complement the meat

  • Serve on fresh baked home style bread, with crackers or melba toast or on banh mi sandwiches. Delicious however you choose it.


  1. This looks so good and easy to make. Thank you for sharing!

  2. wow so it's like the human version of cat food! ^_^

  3. I love this recipe.

    I will have to make some very soon.

  4. I'm not sure what my opinion is on livers, but pate is awesome. :)