Honey Duck Liver Pate

Honey Duck Liver Pate Don't fear it! Liver and other undesired parts of meat animals can be tasty, nutritious, and affordable. I consider one of the largest shames of the the modern food industry is the total disconnect consumers have with their meat. Why is a breast an acceptable muscle to eat with no regard, and a heart is repulsive? If you have an answer to this let me know, because I do not.

Modern-day conveniences of giant grocers provide meat which comes cleaned and packaged to such a degree one might forget that the meat once belonged to living and breathing animals. So in respect to food sources I urge you to look into the 'other meat' known as offal. Kidney's, heart, neck, and of course liver may have a bad reputation in the United States, but these are important culinary elements in other areas of the world, and in respect to using whole animals provide their own set of challenges and delights.

One of the easiest ways I can think of to transform offal is by making a pate. Pate literally translates to paste in French, and this paste-like texture is really the only thing pate's across the world have in common. It's true, despite the misconception that the French foie gras pate is the epitome of gourmet snacks, pate exists in many different forms across the world. In Charcuterie Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn describe pates generally as an emulsion of meat(not always though) and fat, however a pate does not technically need to be an emulsion. (202) There is no steadfast rule to pates, and in my opinion this freedom to explore is incredibly exciting.

Liver is actually a heavily nutritious organ. Duck liver alone is high in the minerals iron, copper, and selenium as well proteins and beneficial vitamins. This is due to the liver's function in the body, livers help with digestion, metabolism, detoxification, and stores many of the bodies reserve of minerals(Taylor). The reserves of minerals in the liver makes it a nutrition powerhouse for humans, however if cooked incorrectly it may contain an unpleasant metallic taste.

There are several ways to reduce the metallic taste liver may have, but the easiest for this pate's purpose is to not overcook the liver. Don't be scared by a little pink in your meat or offal! The honey, white wine, and thyme are subtle but bring the paste to life. Please share other food recipes for liver with me via my e-mail or in the comments below.

Honey Duck Liver Pate

Honey Duck Liver Pate

  • 1/2 pound Duck livers
  • 2 T Dry white wine
  • 2 T Duck fat, and extra to cook livers with
  • 1 T High quality honey
  • 1 Shallot
  • 1 T Whole milk
  • 1/4 t Thyme, minced
  • 1/4 t Orange zest
  • salt and pepper to taste
Cooking Directions
  1. Remove the sinew from all livers.
  2. Dry liver with a paper towel, while drying heat a pan with duck fat over medium high heat.
  3. Once hot, add the livers and brown on both sides, cook the livers to medium doneness.
  4. Remove the livers from the pan and let rest, add minced shallot and let them brown in the same pan which cooked the liver.
  5. Once browned, deglaze the pan with white wine and quickly scrape any residual fond.
  6. Combine livers and the shallot wine mixture to a food processor, add 2 T of duck fat, 1 T of milk and 1 T of honey and combine.
  7. place the mixture in a strainer and press on the back with a ladle or serving spoon.
  8. Add the thyme and zest and seasonings and spoon into ramekin's, once at room temperature transfer to a refrigerator and enjoy cool with bread. Consume within 7 days.
Total Time: 15 minutes

Citations and Further Readings:
  • Ruhlman, Michael, and Brian Polcyn. Charcuterie: The craft of salting, smoking, and curing. WW Norton & Company, 2005.
  • Taylor, Tim. "Liver." Inner Body. N.p., n.d. Web.


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