Tag Archives: Butchery products

Pork Liver Pâté

 

In 2009, I wrote:

There are only so many faggots a man can take (I hope that no one in the US misunderstands this!). So what’s different that you can do with the masses of pork liver from your half pig? Liver Pâté is the obvious one but it’s taken me ages to find a recipe that isn’t just too… …well just too ‘livery’.

This recipe, a slight amendment of the one from ‘Charcuterie’ by Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn, is the best so far. The one I formulated myself was too strong in the liver department, and bitter in taste. In my notes I wrote: “add breadcrumbs/rusk, add milk product”, that’s exactly what this recipe does. Some parts of the method are my additions.

Ingredients

1 lb/450 gms pork liver, cut into large chunks
1 lb/450 gms boneless pork shoulder, diced
1 ounce/25 gms salt
1 tsp/3 gms freshly ground black pepper
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 tbsp/30 ml vegetable oil
¼ cup/50 gms chopped shallots
2 tbsp/30 ml brandy
2 slices white bread, crusts removed and roughly chopped
½ cup/120 ml whole milk
¼ cup/60 ml double cream.
2 large eggs
1 tbsp/6 gms chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
¼ tsp/0.5 gm ground white pepper
½ tsp/1 gm freshly grated nutmeg

Method

1. Put the meats in separate bowls with half the salt, pepper, thyme and bay in each, mix and marinate separately for 8 hours or overnight.
2. In a frying pan, sear the liver in the oil until brown, add the shallots and cook until translucent, add the brandy, cook off the alcohol, scrape all the bits off the bottom of the pan and put in a bowl to cool in the fridge.
3. Mix the bread, milk, cream and eggs well and set aside.
4. Keeping everything very cold, mince everything except the bay and thyme (which can be thrown away) through the fine plate of your mincer. (watch out as the liver has a tendency to squirt through the mixer plate!).
4. If you want an even finer pâté put the lot in the freezer with your food processor bowl for 20 minutes or so. Then process until very fine. Check the temperature with a thermometer regularly – don’t let it exceed 15°C. (Food processors heat food very quickly so watch out – or omit this step).
5. Line a mould with cling film, greaseproof paper, or baking parchment and fill it pushing the mix into the corners. Cover the pâté with the chosen lining and then with foil.
6. Put in a bain-marie (roasting tin of hot water) in the oven at 150°C, test with a thermometer after about 1-1½ hours – remove when it’s been above 65°C for 10 minutes if using pork (or when it reaches 72°C for chicken liver).
7. Put weights on top of the pâté and cool.

Butcher’s Faggots

In 2009, I wrote:

I’ve posted before about making faggots, but they were the type you buy in gravy from the shops. This recipe is for the more traditional faggot that you get from a good butcher’s shop. I know most people reheat them and serve with gray; I like them sliced up in thick slices and fried.

The recipe is an adaption of one posted by ‘Somerset Lad’ on the River Cottage Forum. In the original, the meat is cooked in liquid before being ground and mixed. In this area, it is normal to mince/grind the meat and make the faggots before cooking. I also prefer a higher ratio of pork meat to liver than in his recipe.

Ingredients

Meat
Pig’s Fry 60.00%
Fatty Pork (Belly) 40.00%

Other ingredients as a percentage of the total meat:

Fresh Breadcrumbs 16.66%
Dried Sage 0.24%
Parsley 0.16%
Onion 10.00%
White Pepper 0.28%
Black Pepper 0.15%
Salt 1.60%

Method

Mince the meats then mix in the dry ingredients.
Leave to stand for about an hour – it will firm up.
Shape into the size faggots you want (about 9 is good), wet hands help to do this, put in a dish, and fill it about a third of the way up the faggots with stock or water. Cook in a 190°C oven (170°C fan) for about 40 minutes. Cover with foil if the tops are getting too brown

If using caul, soak it in tepid water for about an hour, then wrap a piece around each faggot before cooking.

Faggots freeze well.

Faggots. No ‘Brains’ Needed

An article in the Farmers’ Guardian titled Offal renaissance to boost livestock industry reminded me that I had a bag of pig’s ‘bits’ in the freezer, ready for making faggots.

I used this recipe by Antony Worrall Thompson. Unlike many others it doesn’t boil the meat before mincing. I amended the recipe slightly adding more sage, and parsley instead of chives. The gravy was made using stock, tomato puree, and soy sauce for colour, thickened with a roux – my wife cannot have anything with wine in.

I’m pleased with the end result and Emma, my younger daughter’ loves them – better than Brains dad! Not that that would be difficult! They are very much the ‘faggot and gravy’ type rather than the firmer faggots many local butchers prepare – I like that type sliced and fried.

Next time I’d add even more sage and cover them in the later stages of cooking, but all in all, I’m very satisfied.