Versatile and delicious, pâté is a deserving favourite for snacks, starters, lunches and buffets. The word pâté is French for ‘paste’, which gives a pretty good (if not enormously appetising) description of what it is. You can make yours super-smooth and refined or coarse and rustic in texture. Whichever you choose, this is a surprisingly quick and easy way to make the most of top-quality ingredients.
Liver – be it chicken, duck or ox – is one of the most popular meaty bases for a pâté. The flavour’s rich and hearty and, when cooked carefully, results in a soft and delicious spread. As all of our animals here at Coombe Farm are reared in an organic system it means they’ve eaten a natural diet so their livers haven’t been overworked. It also means they’re free of chemical or pharmaceutical taint, so you can be assured they’re clean and pure.
So whatever are you waiting for? Whip up a delicious, moreish pâté to enjoy at any time of the day – on hot buttered toast for breakfast, with crackers and chutney at lunch or as an elegant dinner-party appetiser.
250g chicken livers, roughly chopped
2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
2 shallots, finely chopped
A sprig each of thyme and rosemary, plus extra to garnish
2 tbsp double cream
2 tbsp brandy
100ml white wine
-Melt 25g of the butter in a frying pan, then pop in the livers and fry over a gentle heat for a few minutes. Check they’re cooked by cutting a piece in half – it should be blushing gently pink in the middle. Transfer to a food processor.
-In the same pan melt another 25g of butter and add the garlic, shallots, rosemary and thyme and fry for about three to four minutes until the shallots have softened. Splash in the booze and let it bubble vigorously until reduced by two-thirds. Pour the contents of the pan into a sieve, pressing down well to gather all the liquid. You should have about three tablespoons of the thickest juices.
-Add the juices to the livers in the food processor and season with salt and pepper. Melt another 50g of butter and pour it, as well as the double cream, over the livers and juices. Whizz in the blender until the mixture is smooth.
-Transfer the pâté into four small ramekins, smoothing the top flat. Melt the remaining 50g of butter in a small saucepan, removing it from the hob and letting the white milk solids settle to the bottom of the pan before spooning some clear butter over the top of each pâté to form a seal. Garnish with a sprig of rosemary or thyme leaf and chill in the fridge overnight.
-Serve with crisp melba toasts or crackers, adding some punchy chutney and a green salad to make a tasty, but simple, lunch.