Family recipes are an awesome way to keep traditional skills and methods alive, as from one generation to the next, small tweaks and improvements are often made so that the “family tradition” is adapted to the current time.
Our Swedish mum has for years made the most delicious traditional baked pâté at Christmas time, and we’ve always awaited December eagerly because of it. Then, one winter, she whipped up a quick, no-cook version. It’s just as tasty as her baked one, but it only takes half an hour to make, so it’s an easy dish to whip up in the afternoon to enjoy on a grazing board that evening. It’s also a brilliant food to make once a month during winter, as liver, thyme and garlic are all chock-a-block with vitamin C as well as other nutrients to help boost your immunity.
Using offal such as chicken livers is a good skill to learn as you move towards Zero Waste living, but as an alternative, vegetarians could try this out using some flavoursome mushrooms and plant-based butter and sour cream instead.
**NB you will need a stick mixer or blender for this recipe.
1 large onion (brown, red or white), diced
1-2 cloves crushed garlic (optional)
3 sprigs thyme
2 bay leaves
12 juniper berries
1/4 cup port (optional)
500g chicken livers, rinsed, trimmed and chopped
Salt & pepper
1-2tbsp sour cream
- Sauté the onions on medium heat with a little water and all the herbs until onion is soft. Pay attention to how many berries you put in, as you’ll need to remove them later!! 😄
- Add port and simmer until reduced.
- Add butter, liver, salt & pepper to taste, and fry, stirring, until almost cooked through. Turn off heat when you notice most pieces are brown (ie a few pieces are still slightly pink). They will continue to cook in the heat of the pan.
- Remove herbs.
- Blend until smooth.
- Add sour cream and blend well. Adding less will result in a thicker/firmer pâté.
- Spoon into ramekins or airtight containers and pop in the fridge to firm up. We decorated ours with the juniper berries, because we like our food pretty.
Keeps for 5-7 days in the fridge.
Serve with crackers and cucumber or some pickles. The crispness of gherkins really compliments the rich creaminess of the pâté.
Permaculture Principle 2: Catch & store energy; 3: Obtain a yield; 6: Produce no waste