Sunday, January 24, 2010

Venison Pate

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
2 eggs
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
Pearl onions
venison stock
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.


  1. Looks delicious. I hope there might be a bit in the freezer next time we can get together. I love the idea of whole cardamom pods.

    Also that seasonal foods widget keeps telling me there is nothing to eat in Minnesota.

  2. Amazing today, I wanted to try the Vension Pate to be a good sport but I really liked it--the favors are incredible not strong tasting like I expected. Very rich yet the flavors are subtle. Loved our lunch! Thanks for your great hospitality.

  3. made my first venison liver pate tonight -- it tasted great even before I refrigerated it for the required time....(different recipe though Mr Blog Man, LOL) Anyway I love pate and my husband hunts so I am really not happy right now juct thinking about the number of livers we have discarded in the past...Never again -- the heart wasn't bad either :)

  4. When you say grinding plate do you mean for a mincer? So just mince everything raw then bake in the oven? Sorry for the questions but I'm a complete newbie!

  5. Yummm. Cognac works. You could also use a little allspice and cinnamon with the cardamon. Hmm, no garlic. Okay, you must be a northerner. But if you like the sun, a little garlic will add something and not compete with the wild flavor that drives us to them in the first place. Marinating it overnight in red wine will really make it sumptuous. But don't let that deer swim too much in the spirits or it will get a bit chunky in texture.