Paté makes a perfect low carb high fat snack. When it comes to superfoods, liver is very near the top of the list providing way more nutrients per gram than the fruits and vegetables which often hog the limelight.
Liver is well-known to be a great source of vitamins A and D but few people realise it’s also a great source of B vitamins – and iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc. It provides lots of choline and important phospholipids that are so lacking in our diets these days, with a keto-friendly balance of protein and fat.
Liver gets a bad press because it’s a storage organ and used to process toxins. But liver’s toxicity may, in fact, be a food myth: its job is to process toxins, not store them. Nevertheless, I always buy organic liver to be on the safe side.
Livers are a cheap food so, while it currently costs £3.99 to buy an 80g pot of Heston’s Chicken Liver paté, you can buy 400g of organic chicken livers for £2.69. And once you realise how ridiculously fast and simple it is to make, and how easy it is to adjust the flavours to your liking, you’ll never buy it again:
- 400g chicken livers, cleaned
- 200g butter, diced
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 1 tsp thyme leaves, finely chopped
- 75ml madeira or sherry or brandy
- 75ml double cream
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 allspice berry, ground
- ¼ tsp ground ginger
- Optional – a couple of prunes or cranberries or some chopped hazelnuts
- Heat a knob of butter in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the shallot and thyme and soften for a couple of minutes.
- Meanwhile cut the livers into roughly 1.5cm pieces, discarding the stringy bits. Turn up the heat to medium-high, add the livers and saute for a couple of minutes until browned on the outside but still pink inside. Tip into a food processor or NutriBullet.
- Now add the madeira to the warm pan and boil until reduced to a couple of tablespoons. Tip into the food processor, add the cream, salt and spices and whizz until smooth.
- Add all but 75g of the butter, and whizz again. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary.
- Option: at this stage you can also add some prunes or cranberries to the mix and process to smooth or leave visible. Alternatively, you can add some finely chopped nuts after sieving. Or leave out both these steps for a plain paté
- Pass through a sieve into a serving dish (I find a camembert baker is the right size for this recipe) and chill for half an hour. Melt the remaining butter and pour on top, then refrigerate until set.
For daily use, serve on Raw Flaxseed crackers, circles of courgette, or squiggled into sticks of celery. Use to thicken and boost the flavour of stews and gravies. Or just sprinkle with black pepper and eat as part of a pick and mix lunch.
To serve as a starter, pair it with some watercress and radicchio and some red onion marmalade. As a nibble on courgette rounds with cranberry sauce on top. Mini oatcakes work well if you’re happy to eat a few carbs.
This recipe keeps for several days and freezes well too, so you can make a batch, decant into smaller containers and have a steady supply.