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Fatty Goose Liver Pate (Almost Goose Foie Gras Pate)

This mousse-like goose liver pate is made with fatty goose liver or extra fatty goose liver.  Neither product is goose foie gras.  They are somewhere in between a standard goose liver and goose foie gras.  The liver is harvested in the fall, just after the free-range geese have devoured extra quantities of food, as they naturally do in preparation for migration.  The goose liver is enlarged, more buttery and lighter colored than an average goose liver would be at another time of the year.  The size of each fatty goose liver is about two to five ounces–much smaller than a goose foie gras liver would be.

There are two grades of fatty goose liver, one which is more buttery than the other and closer to goose foie gras (extra fatty goose liver).  Either of these products can be used in this recipe with delicious results.

Fatty Goose Liver Pate: Almost Foie Gras


12 Tablespoons unsalted butter

2 shallots, minced

1/2 tart apple, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/3 cup cognac or brandy

2/3 cup rich chicken, duck, or veal stock (preferably homemade)

2 sprigs thyme, stems removed

4 – 6 leaves sage

1 lb. fatty or extra fatty goose liver, cleaned of veins and fat

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

Sea salt, to taste

3 teaspoons powdered unflavored gelatin

2 1/2 cups Concord grape juice


Turn over to 300 degrees.  Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a small skillet.  Add the minced shallots, apple and garlic and cook for about 5 – 10 minutes or until slightly golden.  Add the thyme and sage and cook for another minute.  Add the cognac or brandy and set on fire by tipping the pan toward the gas flame or by lighting with a match.  When the flame has died, add the stock.  Cook until the stock is reduced by half.

Puree the fatty goose livers and butter in a food processor.  Add the reduced stock mixture from the skillet and process.  Add the cream and process until smooth. Add salt to taste.  Strain the goose liver mixture to remove any chunks and the particles from the herbs.

Pour the strained goose liver mixture into a terrine, with inside measurements of about 11 1/2 by 3 1/4 inches.  Set the terrine in a roasting pan and fill the roasting pan with boiling water to come about 2/3 of the way up the side of the terrine.  Bake until set, about 35 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, soak the gelatin in 1/4 cup of the grape juice (it will harden). Put the remaining juice in a medium saucepan and boil until the juice is reduced by half, about 15 minutes.  Remove the juice from the stove and stir in the hardened gelatin until the gelatin dissolves.  Gently pour the juice on top of the terrine.  If you want some of the grape gelatin inside the pate, cut a 3/4 inch line down the center of the pate, allowing the gelatin to penetrate the goose liver pate when the juice is poured on top.

Serve with salad and crusty bread.



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