We had a big cook-up the other day. We made spaghetti bolognese for us, dinner for a fortnight for the three dogs and pâté galore.
We made 13 containers of dog food. There were 2 big pots of it. We cooked up 2kg of chicken drumsticks, 1kg of kangaroo meat and 1kg of beef livers. We then added lots of silverbeet (I have plenty), pumpkin, carrots, sweet potato and 1½ cups of rice. That will last them for about a fortnight.
We love spag bol in this house. It is great to have containers of it in the freezer for those days when you have come in from the paddock late or just can’t be bothered cooking. Maus cooked 2kg of beef mince. Along with all the other ingredients, we ended up with 8 containers of spag bol. Eight days we don’t have to cook. Yippie!
Maus loves pâté. She has been giving me hints for ages about making some. The recipe I use makes much too much for us so I put the pâté into little serving-size bowls and freeze it. We have it for lunch or as part of a nibblies plate when we have guests. It is so much better than bought pâté, much cheaper and so very convenient. A small bowl takes hardly any time to defrost.
The recipe for the pâté is from the Australian Women’s Weekly Best Ever Recipes. I make this recipe all the time.
The Blueberry and Balsamic Glaze is from a book called Pâtés and Terrines by Fiona Smith. It was featured in Cuisine Magazine Issue 121 March 2007 and two recipes from the book were showcased. The idea of the glaze really appealed to me.
I don’t use Fiona Smith’s pâté recipe. I have always made the AWW recipe and love it. I decided to stick with the pâté recipe and put the glaze on top. If you like the idea of the glaze and have your own favourite pâté recipe, feel free to substitute. Similarly, you can make the pâté without the glaze. If you do, I would seal it with some melted butter.
People often rag me about all my kitchen toys but, when you are making pâté, they sure do come in handy. To get your pâté really smooth (no one wants lumps in their pâté), you need to blend it and then put it through a fine sieve.
I have made this using a run-of-the-mill food processor and my Vitamix. When I use my Vitamix, virtually all the mixture will go through the sieve. Prior to owning a Vitamix, I would get a substantial amount of fibre that would not go through the sieve.
Chicken Liver Pâté
- 1kg chicken livers
- ⅓ cup brandy
- 90g butter
- 6 bacon rashers
- 2 large onions
- ½ tsp thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- ⅓ cup dry sherry
- ⅔ cup cream
- salt and pepper
- 150g butter, extra
- Roughly chop the chicken livers then put them in a bowl.
- Poor over brandy and marinate for 1½ hours.
- Drain livers and discard brandy.
- Heat 45g butter in pan, add livers and saute until browned. Do this in batches so as not to stew the livers. Set aside.
- Heat remaining oil in pan and saute onion and chopped bacon until the onion is soft and transparent.
- Return livers to pan, add thyme and a bay leaf and saute for 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and discard bay leaf.
- Put mixture with sherry into a blender or food processor and process until smooth.
- Put mixture in a mouli and press through. If you don’t have a mouli, use a fine strainer, a wooden spoon and elbow grease.
- Add cream and extra melted butter to the sieved mixture and mix well.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Put into containers and then into fridge to cool and set.
Blueberry & Balsamic Glaze
Don’t make the glaze until the pâté is cold and set. I added the glaze too early once and it seeped down the sides of the containers and set on the bottom… so be warned. These are the quantities I used for the above amount of pâté which made 16 small containers.
- 500g fresh or frozen blueberries
- 150g sugar
- ¾ cup water
- 2 x 5g sheets of titanium gelatine leaves or the equivalent in gold leaves or, if you can’t get gelatine leaves, you could use the appropriate amount of powdered gelatine.
- 37½ mls balsamic vinegar
- Put the blueberries, sugar and water in a saucepan.
- Bring to the boil then simmer for 3 minutes.
- Strain through a fine sieve. Discard berries or, better still, have them for breakfast tomorrow on yoghurt.
- Soak the leaf gelatine in cold water for a few minutes to soften.
- Squeeze excess water out of the gelatine then add to the hot blueberry mixture.
- Stir to dissolve.
- Add the balsamic vinegar.
- Leave to cool slightly before pouring over cold and set pâté.
- Put in fridge to set.
Once the glaze is set, I vacuum pack the individual dishes of pâté and then freeze them for later use. It is great to be able to go to the freezer and pull one out. Don’t worry if you don’t have a vacuum sealer. Before I got the sealer, I would just put a lid on each bowl of pâté and freeze it. Vacuum sealing merely extends its freezer life.