Offal is not awful, and it is amazingly good for you, but it can elicit strong negative emotions especially from those who have never tried it. Our daughter thinks it’s funny to call liver mousse “cat food.” Even grass-fed people or those who hunt game can be squeamish over organ meats. I heard a friend say the other day that her husband won’t eat any meat that grows on the inside.
I promise you, pure liver mousse or pate might be a bit strong for those who do not think they like liver, but a country pate which is made with both ground meat and ground liver is absolutely fabulous!
Our amazingly talented friends who helped us process the lambs the other day also make their own sausage, pate, traditional English kidney pies… and here is Francie’s picture of the boerewors sausage she made with bison and some of our American Guinea Hog fat.
I was lucky enough to have arrived at their house as she was slicing up the bison country pate, and incredibly delicious bison tongue, she had just made and she generously agreed to let me post her recipe, thoughts and pictures of the process. I tweaked her recipe to ingredients I had on hand and my recipe for lamb pate comes later.
BIG PAPA’S COUNTRY PATE by Francie Ivy
“I think I finally understand what it is with you and hunting. It’s really satisfying to stock food away for someone you love. It’s good knowing it’s there, and that I did it, and that it was done right.”
And so the guys came back with a Bison….they carried all the meat including kidneys, liver and tongue…(don’t waste any of it had been my last words to them)…all the way down from the top of the Henry Mts..over 10thousand feet and real rugged country.
We grew up processing the meat we ate…we have never lost touch with “where our food came from” . The connection from the animal to the steak…we know what it is, we know what it has eaten, we know what is involved right up to the point of enjoying that succulent steak..a connection that most people have lost..most don’t understand, most don’t want to know about. I would rather eat meat that someone has hunted, and that I have personally been involved in the butchering and then the cooking than eat the so called meat that is sold in grocery stores nowadays and that most people eat ……have you thought about the pure animal abuse that goes into that steak, that pork chop, that chicken breast bought from the grocery store?
I digress.. I was really going to write about was my Bison liver experience…at least 3.5 kilos..well one third would just have to be turned into Big Papa’s Country Pate….A beautiful liver it was -Eat liver!? Are you crazy!? Actually, gram for gram, liver contains more nutrients than any other food. And this one had no hormones, no antibiotics…
“The real work of men was hunting meat. The invention of agriculture was a giant step in the wrong direction, leading to serfdom, cities, and empire. From a race of hunters, artists, warriors, and tamers of horses, we degraded ourselves to what we are now: clerks, functionaries, laborers, entertainers, processors of information.”~ Edward Abbey and frankly, I really think that we’re a family of artistic hunters…Thanks Edward! Tomorrow we make a batch of Boerewors!
I was so excited to make some of my own country pate with ground lamb and lamb liver. I would have never thought of adding the apple and Francie also brilliantly suggested cooking it in mason jars, which I loved!
I always start everything out with garlic minced first in the food processor. This was about a half of a head. Then I added in a large apple from the last few of the case I have stored from my applesauce canning, and one onion.
Pulse the apple and onion in the processor until slightly chunky, as you don’t want it minced too finely. Add juice of two small lemons or one large one.
I use a half teaspoon of salt per pound of meat I am using for meatballs, or something like that, and so for this I use one teaspoon of course pink Himalayan salt and two teaspoons of Beaver Dam chile powder.
It’s loud in the processor, but I love big bits of pepper in a pate so I grind whole pepper this way.
Add a handful of some sort of grain, this is a mixture of Kamut, Spelt and Oats.
And then mix everything up in a bowl.
Your ground meat and liver should be thawed the night before. You could use any ground meat for this, and any liver, such as pork, lamb, beef, bison, venison… It is very important to use grass-fed only liver (and meat of course) because the liver is the organ which is the filter of the body.
I don’t have a grinder, and the lamb has already been ground, so I process the liver in the food processor, pulsing so it still is a bit chunky.
Mix everything together.
Taste for salt and spices. “WHAT? Taste it? it is raw!” Yes, we also love steak tartar, and I do know where my meat comes from. I did need to add more salt and chile powder and this is a red Althea sea salt. (I’m not trying to show off my fancy salt, but this was all I had on hand, as I am out of Redmonds Real Salt at about $6 for a tiny bag and am going to switch to Redmonds Fine, unprocessed Real Salt for $10 for a 50 pound bag. It is in the barn, haha.)
Bring out the bacon. I cheated this year and had our processor cure our bacon for us from our dear Drake, our American Guinea Hog boar. It is not as good as the amazing bacon our dear friends from Golden Goose farm smoked for us last year.
Line the pint jars with bacon.
Pack in the pate mixture.
Put jars in an ovenproof pan which will hold water that will come up over half way on the jars for a Bain Marie. I ran out of bacon and so for the small jar in the middle I put some rendered lard which will melt and seal the top of the meat while cooking.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for two hours. When the jars were still hot, but not straight out of the oven, I put on the lids and when they were completely cooled they had pulled down to make a seal. I still store this in the refrigerator, and excess in the freezer.
It truly is divine! The flavor is mild and rich, but not too heavy.
In making this again, I will skip the bacon in the jar and either just put some on top, or just put the lard on top. It would have been nice if I had weighted it down as it cooled, as the texture would have been more firm, but on the larger jars, if I am careful, I can slice it thin like Francie’s delectable pate.
Thank you again, Francie, for the instruction and inspiration. Wow.