Cherimoya Recipe: Rabbit Pâté
CHERIMOYA FOOD —DECEMBER ’15 FEATURE
More and more am I inspired and obliged to make smarter choices in the meat I eat. The conscientious consumer is becoming more aware of the benefits of eating meat that is raised humanely and as naturally as possible. These benefits go for both the animal during its life, and after that, for the person consuming it.
Last night’s rabbit feast marked a first for me in two things: cooking rabbit and making pâté. My effort was to use as much of the animal as I could, another important aspect of meat consumption for posterity and again for your own health. Organ meat is a lost commodity in the Western diet, most of us having lost our taste for it even though traditionally humans have consumed most an entire animal. The nutrients you get from eating liver, kidney, bone broth and so on, are unparalleled anywhere else in the diet.
I must admit that I myself have trouble with the taste of liver, so I did my research on making a pâté that was well balanced by other flavors that delicately mask that liver mineral-ish aftertaste. Rabbit meat itself is fairly gamey and tough, so I also did some extensive research on how to make fall-off-the bone rabbit in a beautiful stew of madeira wine, mushrooms, dried cherries and sunchokes. The recipe can be read separately, below. Without further ado, I present you with deliciously palatable pâté.
Ingredients: (makes about 2/3 of a cup)
rabbit liver, roughly chopped into 1-inch pieces, and kidneys
½ cup of leeks or shallot, finely sliced
1 clove garlic, chopped
3 tbsp madeira wine
1 tsp cinnamon
tiny pinch nutmeg
tiny pinch clove
pinch of cayenne
about 8 pink peppercorns
2 tsp orange zest
4 sage leaves, chopped
3 tbsp butter
2 tbsp cream
salt to taste
Heat your cast iron or stainless steel frying pan on low for about 5 minutes. Add half the butter and sweat your leeks for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add garlic, liver and kidneys and cook for a further couple of minutes until livers are slightly browned. Add spices, peppercorns, sage and the rest of the butter, and cook for another minute. Add madeira wine and allow to reduce just for a minute. Remove from heat and place in a food processor or hand-blender (or a Vitamix if you have one!) Add orange zest & cream, and process until very smooth. Add salt to taste. At this point you can choose to push through a sieve if you would like a super smooth texture, but as long as it has been thoroughly blended, this is not necessary. Enjoy on a nice slice of bread, crackers or crudité.
Recipe and photography by Megan McCulloch
CHERIMOYA: A collection of creative food-projects ranging from private chef and catering services, to medicinal food, to cross pollination of food with other art forms.