Our daughter loves pate, but loves even more telling people it is cat food. People who hate liver without ever having tried it are the funniest people to offer “cat food” on a cracker. Pate, or liver mousse, is very easy to make and liver is so nutritious and satisfying when prepared this way. Try to find liver from grass-fed beef or lamb or pastured pork. Offal CSA’s are the most affordable meat CSA’s and we get ours from the wonderful Parker Pastures in Gunnison.
Use what liver you have, this is pork, veal and lamb liver. Usually I thaw the liver and sauté it and all the ingredients in a large cast iron pan on the stove. I was making a large batch so decided to just place all the frozen liver in a large roasting pan.
Slice three onions and peel a head of garlic.
Fresh garden sage if you have it, or use preserved sage in honey and apple cider vinegar, and add whole peppercorns (a lot) and about one third of a pint of rendered lard, cayenne pepper and sea salt. If you do not have rendered lard (certainly never use hydrogenated lard from the store) you can use coconut oil, or olive oil.
Mushrooms make the flavor so much better, and if you have wild mushrooms all the better. These are crimini and baby portabello mushrooms, but you can also use regular button mushrooms if that is all that is available.
Roast in a 250 degree oven, stirring everything occasionally, until everything is roasted and the liver is still a bit pink in places. Keep the pan covered in foil to keep in as many juices as possible while in oven.
Puree everything in a food processor, in small batches, and put back in the roasting pan. Add whole capers.
At this point taste for spices. It was pretty blah. I added more cayenne pepper and sea salt, and had some whole coriander seed on hand. Grind whole pepper and coriander seeds.
Keeping the peppercorns and coriander seeds in larger pieces adds a nice texture to the smooth mousse.
Pack into pint mason jars, or smaller, to about i/2 inch below the rim. Pour on warmed lard or olive oil to make an airtight seal. You can store these unopened in the refrigerator for months or longer in the freezer. Pulling out a jar for a gift or impromptu snack for guests is wonderful. Liver mousse is great as a sandwich spread as well.