I have believed for a long time that if you cook anything right it will be delicious. After all that is where the name of this blog came from. Two ingredients that people either hate or love are venison and liver. Now there are those that simply won't eat either because they can't get around the fact that it was Bambi at one point or that the liver is an organ and that's disgusting. There are also those that have been open minded enough to try both and were turned off because it wasn't very good. It is this second group of people that I am interested in. I beg them not to give it up because you tried it and it wasn't very good. I believe that if you have had venison or liver and thought it was bad it had less to do with venison and more to do with how it was prepared and who pepared it. I have said before that at the end of every recipe I have ever read, and I have read a lot, none of them say "when finished it will taste bad". So for this entry I am going to use both venison and liver. This is a variation of a venison pate from Andreas Viestad. I have used a deer liver that I took from one of the deer I shot this last year.
1 lbs ground venison
1 lbs venison liver
1 lbs pork back fat
1 lbs baby portabella mushrooms
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup Glug
2 tbls salt
1/2 tsp pink salt
1 tsp ground white pepper
1 tsp cardomom seeds
enough bacon to line 2, 2 pound loaf pans.
If you grind the meat, liver, mushrooms and fat through a medium sized grinding plate you get a great texture, if you want a more dense texture you can use a small plate or process it in a food processor. For those that don't know what glug is or can't find it you can use an Aquavit and if you can't find that you can use port or brandy. If you can't find pink salt or don't want to use it you don't have to I use it because I like to vacuum seal the pate and freeze it for later use. I leave my cardomom seeds whole because I like the burst of flavor it provides when you bite into them if that is not your thing you can use the ground stuff. I like to boil the pearl onions in venison stock to soften them up and then fill the loaf pans half full then place the onions and cover with the remaining mixture. If you don't have venison stock any stock will do. After the loaf pans are filled place them in a water bath and bake in the oven at 350 degrees until the pate reaches 165 degrees in the center. I like to place a small plate on top of each loaf and weigh it down while I let them cool it gives it a more dense texture.
This is a fantastic pate and is wonderful with with pickled cherries or a rhubarb compote. I also like to cut thick slices and make sandwiches out of it with a little Gulden's spicy brown mustard it reminds me of the brunsweiger sandwiches I ate as a child. I know this is a little odd for some people and the ingredients aren't very common but if you are a hunter and can harvest the liver from the deer you shoot I really think you will like this. It gives me a great deal of satisfaction to be able to use as much of the deer that I shoot as possible. Just remember that when you get the liver you should rinse it in cold water and get it into the freezer as quickly as you can. Leaving it to sit out for the rest of your hunting trip isn't going to help the flavor.