Wednesday, May 4, 2016
I thought it would be interesting to show what goes into the various tasty things we made over the weekend. Naturally, I am starting with the most photogenic end - the result. Most Americans, I think, would be a bit squeamish when it comes to looking at a picture of raw liver. They are totally fine eating pink slime in some disgusting taco hash with toxic flavor chemicals, but raw liver - yuck!
Personally, I always admire the beauty and colors of the fresh organs. In school I watched while my classmates dissected dead cats soaked in formaldehyde for Biology. It was gross, and all the organs and dyed blood vessels looked unnatural and plastic.
The first time I saw fresh organs was when my friend Karen invited me over to help butcher a pig for her family. Back then, I was only a couple years away from having been a vegetarian, and I wasn't sure what it would be like. Would I be horrified and have to leave?
The experience was intense, and when the pig was finally scalded and cut open, I found myself being amazed at the beautiful colors and the delicate forms of the organs. It changed the way I saw myself as a living being.
The most popular kind of Pâté here in the States is usually the creamy chicken liver Pâtés imported from France. I did not even know other kinds of Pâté existed until I began studying French pork cookery. This is a French country-style Pâté that is almost like a dense meatloaf...but way better, of course. It has (as you can see) liver, diced pork fat, ground pork, onion, bread crumbs, wine, brandy, cracked peppercorns, pistachios, eggs, and my own version of a spice blend known as Quatre-Épices. The result is a rich Pâté that is beautiful when sliced open, and has a complex, spicy flavor.