What do you do when you're gifted with a goose liver?
Now, I am aware that many may not look at this as a particularly advantageous gift.
Wow... thanks... you shouldn't have. Really.
Of course it can be a particularly wonderful surprise, you just have to work with it a bit.
It's not an everyday thing (yes, or an anyday thing for many... animal factor and ewww factor both included).
And it doesn't need to be from a goose specially raised for foie gras (you could substitute chicken livers if that's easier or a preference).
It was just part of the goose, ok?
Whole animal cooking- it's economical, non-wasteful, and happens to be very popular these days.
That said, this is the only type of liver I've ever had- and only as part of a pâté, mousse, or foie gras.
But really, pate is a lovely special occasion hors d'oeuvres, and how much more special can it get than when it's homemade?
Goose (or Chicken) Liver Pâté
makes about 1 cup
6 T (3/4 stick, about 84 g) butter
1 bay leaf
1 large shallot, minced
1 clove of garlic, minced
2 t fresh thyme leaves, slightly chopped
1/2 lb. (about 140 g) goose liver- rinsed, patted dry, and removed of any connective tissue
freshly ground black pepper
pinch of ground allspice
pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
2 T heavy cream
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the bay leaf, shallot, garlic, and thyme, and saute a few minutes until the shallot is soft. Season the liver well with salt and pepper. Increase the heat in the pan a little and add the liver. Cook the liver in the butter mixture, turning occasionally, until the outside begins to color but the inside remains slightly pink (cut it open if you're not sure). This should not take very long.
Remove the pan from the heat, add the Sherry, and scrape the bottom of the pan to remove any fond. Set aside for a minute to cool slightly.
Remove the bay leaf and puree the liver and butter mixture in a blender or food processor along with the allspice, nutmeg, and cream. For a very smooth texture, force the pate through a fine mesh sieve using a rubber spatula.
Spoon the pate into ramekins or a small porcelain container and smooth the top.
Let cool completely, cover the surface directly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least a couple hours until cold and the flavors have had a chance to meld.
Take the pâté out of the refrigerator an hour or two before serving so it warms up a bit and spreads easily.
Serve with thin slices of a good baguette or good toast points.
The pâté will last only a couple of days, so be sure to make it just before you plan to serve it!