This venison liver pâté recipe is so quick and easy, and is such a great way to put a fresh deer liver to good use. There are options included below for either a smooth or a coarse version to suit your preference.
Venison pâté recipe: Coarse or smooth?
Which do you prefer? A coarse or a smooth pâté?
Many years back, I ordered pâté as a starter in a restaurant. I was horrified when a big slice of terrine appeared.
It was filled with lumps of different coloured and textured meat.
And whilst my now self would probably have loved it. My younger self was totally freaked out by the non-smooth consistency of this so-called ‘pâté’.
Two game pâté recipes for the ‘price’ of one!
The initial stages of the recipe below will provide you with a slightly coarse venison liver pâté.
In case your views on pâté are the same as mine were back then, I’ve included simple instructions in this recipe to make it the smoothest pâté possible.
In fact, it’s so smooth and creamy that you’ll be hard pushed to go back to buying ready-made pâté again.
How do you make venison liver pâté?
Keep reading as the full recipe is below.
However, in case this is the first time you’ve ever made a venison pâté yourself, or indeed tried any game pâté recipe at home. Here are some handy hints to make your first liver pâté making session a positive one.
How to source venison liver
Source your venison liver from a decent butcher.
Being offal you want to know that it is super fresh.
Is venison liver bitter?
There is definitely more bitterness in venison liver than in, for example, chicken or duck liver.
One way to combat this is to soak it for 24 hours in milk before cooking. Or, as one of the commenters have discussed below, coke!
Then simply drain, and carry on with the recipe.
What should you remove from liver to prepare it for making pâté?
Interestingly, deer don’t have gall bladders so this won’t need removing from the liver before cooking.
I do however like to cut away any bits of tendon or tough membranes, leaving only the shiny, dark red liver behind.
However, if you’re following the instructions for a smooth pâté there’s no need to do this as the sieve will catch all those bits.
Using other livers to make pâté
You can swap out pretty much any animal liver for this recipe.
As could likely be expected with game, venison liver has quite a strong flavour. Whereas duck, chicken and pork liver are all very mild in comparison.
I personally find that lamb liver pâté sits somewhere in between and has a lovely sweetness to it.
Liver pâté with brandy, port or other alcohol
You can add a dash of alcohol to a liver pâté recipe if you fancy it.
Traditionally, a port or calvados would be used. But if you get into making regular batches of homemade liver pâté, do shake it up a bit and try something new.
Why not try a dash of brandy, whisky or rum?
If you find a new favourite, please let us know in the comments below!
How do you make a smooth liver pâté?
The magic key to moving from a venison liver pâté that is a little coarse in texture to a smooth a creamy version is… your kitchen sieve!
Once your pâté has been through the food processor it will still be a little ‘grainy’. To rectify this, simply scoop the pâté into a sieve that is suspended over a bowl.
Use the back of a soup spoon, a ladle or silicone spatula to push the pâté through the holes.
Any ‘bits’ will be trapped in the sieve. Whilst the pâté that falls through will be so silky smooth.
The bits that remain in the sieve can be added to any stock pot or casserole. We want to ensure that you don’t waste any of that lovely flavour!
You can then decant the pâté into clean jars or serving dishes.
Allow the pâté to cool fully before covering with a lid or cling film, then refrigerate. Voila!
How do you make a coarse liver pâté?
A coarse, or chunky liver pâté has small pieces of meat that haven’t been blended together.
There are two ways to do this.
- Either remove some of the meat after cooking, but before blending, and mix it back in at the end.
- Pulse the pâté in the food processor, and stop before you have a smooth consistency.
I recommend you play around with the two different styles to find your favourite pâté texture.
It is worth noting that as a coarse pâté won’t be sieved at the end, you must be scrupulous in trimming your liver, and removing any bits that may be chewy.
This includes all membranes, tubes, tendons or anything that doesn’t look like the shiny raw liver.
And now on to the full recipe.
Depending where you are in the world, you may like to toggle between the UK measurements, and the US measurements. The little button to do this is within the recipe card below.
If you give this, or any of my recipes a go, I’d love to see your results! Feel free to tag me in any pics you share online – you can find me pretty much everywhere as @hedgecomber.
- 60 g butter
- 1 onion - finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic - minced
- 450 g venison liver - cleaned, tough membranes removed
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp mixed herbs - sage or thyme are perfect
- 60 ml port - or Calvados
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley
Preheat a large frying pan.
Heat a little of the weighed out butter, and sauté the onion until soft and translucent (do not let brown).
Add the garlic and cook for one minute.
Meanwhile, use a sharp knife to cut away any tough membranes from the liver.
Add the liver, bay leaves, black pepper, herbs and port and cook until the meat is still a little pink in the middle and most of the liquid has evaporated.
Remove the bay leaves and discard.
Tip the mixture into a food processor along with the rest of the butter and the parsley.
Blitz until smooth.
- Taste, adding more butter if you find the taste too strong, or salt/pepper as necessary
Scoop out into your serving bowl, cover with clingfilm and chill in the fridge
Scoop the blended pâté into a clean kitchen sieve.
Place it over a mixing bowl, and use a soup spoon or silicone spatula to press the pâté through the sieve into the bowl below.
When you have pushed it all through, use a clean spoon to scrape the finished pâté from the underneath of the sieve and place into a serving bowl.
FREEZING: The pâté can be frozen really well. Just decant into ramekins (containing as much as you would eat within a day or two) cover well and freeze. Once thawed, keep refrigerated and eat within a maximum of 48 hours.