One of my new years resolutions/promises to myself is to incorporate more organ meat in to my diet. (Grassfed) Liver is one of those superfoods that has so much nutrients and minerals, that just starting with that would add so much goodness to my life. I have, however, a slight aversion to the texture and strong taste and am trying to come up with different ways to incorporate it without having to fry it up and eat it straight.

My mother was a fan of liver but neither me nor my sister could stomach it as young ones and she never tried to force us to eat it. We regularly ate bloodpudding which is, among other things, made with pigs blood. It is, however, also filled with lots of other things I now avoid (wheat and sugar) and is (because I’m now based in the US) no longer part of my diet.  Liver pâté though!

Liver pâté is also one of those things I have grown up with, but the cheap supermarket version that you slice with a cheese slicer and have on your bread with pickles. Mmm, so nice for breakfast but is not the best meat/liver combination if you look at quality.

Therefore, I trawled the internet for a while before I found a couple of recipes without wheat. As usual, I didn’t manage to follow the recipe but it still ended up ok. I think next time I will only make it with beef liver or a mix with beef and chicken (the latter is supposedly very mild in flavour) as the pigs liver had a quite specific taste.

The butchers didn’t have lard the day I went to buy all the ingredients but gave me pieces of pork belly instead which I had to render myself. I was a bit worried in the beginning as I’ve never done it before, but there are several great tutorials online. It also left me with some wonderful cracklings in the end which I snacked on whilst cooking.

 

Simple Liver pâté

100g grassfed beef liver

100g organic pork liver

200g pork mince

200g pork belly which was rendered down

1 yellow onion

10 roasted garlic cloves

anchovy paste

salt, white & black pepper

16oz/ 473ml Whipping cream without additives (pasturized – not ultra pasturized)

I chopped up the liver in small pieces that I fried with the onion until everything had browned slightly. I then added in the garlic, mince and poured over the rendered fat (lard) before seasoning with a squeeze of the anchovy paste and salt & peppers.

Once it all had cooked a bit longer, I added the mixture bit by bit in my vitamix, poured on some cream and blended to smooth mixture. In hindsight, I should have added less mixture as it became quite thick and made it hard for my blender. Once everything was smooth, I poured 2/3 of it in to 2 of my smallest bread tins before I placed it in a bigger pan that I filled with water. The water line came up to about 2/3 of the tins and I then baked them in the oven for 1 hour before I took them out and let them cool.

The hard part was taking the pâté out of the bread tin without ruining the bottom – perhaps I should have had some sort of parchment paper in the base to stop this from happening.

I poured the rest of the batter in to a ziplock bag for next time.

The pâté turned out really good for my first time, but as mentioned previously – I will try with different livers next time. I might even try it with been mince + pork lard which might even make it even milder.

As it’s only me eating the pâté, I took the two ‘loaves’ out of the pans, sliced them up and froze them all in ziplock bags. I left 1/4 of one tin out in a bag in the fridge for consumption that week and will take bit by bit out of the freezer when needed. Home made liver pâté don’t usually last more than 1 week in the fridge (provided you don’t leave it out on the counter/in room temperature for longer periods. This reduces it’s life considerably.

Home made spelt bread with pâté and pickles

Just before we moved over to Boston, I saw a fair bit of home made coasters on blogs and thought it such a great idea as we have sooo many photos at home. I bought some cork backings, printed out some photos via Mpix’s website (the hardest thing has been to chose which photos to make into coasters) that matched the cork. Or almost matched them, it turned out when we received the photos.

After some cutting of the photos, I glued them on to the cork with some Modge Podge as well as brushed the photo side with the MP to make it more durable. Searching online for a way to make the coasters properly water/heat proof has given me some mixed results so I will investigate further. In the mean time, I will continue to make layers and layers of the MP and to ensure they all dry properly between layers!