Sunday, 25 December 2011

Giblet Pate (with Shiitake Mushroom, Thyme and lots of Butter)

I can't believe it, it's finally here. Even though my family never really celebrated Christmas while I was growing up, all the countdowns and jingles and christmas lights and all those festive recipes on everyone's blogs have gotten to me. I'm actually pretty excited about it. Going to roast my first whole turkey in a few hours' time, fingers crossed. I know everyone will probably be too busy preparing/eating a feast to check on your blog feed, so no one's going to read this post, but I thought I'll just do it anyway. A final little entry before I go and make merry.

Whether you decide to roast a turkey or a goose or a duck or even a chicken, the unfortunate bird will very likely come with giblets, i.e. the liver, heart, and gizzard. I know they don't look the most appetising of things, but please, don't throw them away! I hate the idea of wasting good food, food that's good not only health-wise (it is one of the most nutrient-dense foods you can get), but good taste-wise. Make stock with it for fantastic gravy, or chop it up for fantastic stuffing. Or make this pate and serve with posh crackers or thin slices of toast as appetisers.

Giblet Mushroom Pate
giblets from 1 turkey, minus the neck (about 250g), chopped up
small handful of dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked to soften and sliced
2 shallots, chopped
2 sprigs of thyme
75g grassfed butter, plus 50g at the end
unrefined sea salt and black pepper, to taste, be generous

1. Heat about 25g of the butter in a frying pan until foaming. Add the mushrooms and cook till softened. Set aside, along with mushroom juices.
2. Add another 25g of the butter in the frying pan and allow the shallots to sweat and slightly caramelise. Add the chopped giblets and let cook till a golden brown crust forms but the insides still remain pink.
3. Tip the mushrooms and juices back into the pan, along with the leaves from 1 sprig of thyme, and let all the flavours mix for a little while. If you want a slightly chunky pate, reserve a bit of the mushrooms for later.

4. Puree everything with the 25g of butter till smooth. If you want a very smooth pate, pass through a sieve. If you want a chunky pate, chop finely the reserved mushrooms and add to the puree.
Ooh more butter!

5. Spoon into ramekins, or teacups for me. If not eating imediately, you can add a sprig of thyme for prettiness, then melt the last 50g of butter over a low heat, and pour the yellow liquid clarified butter over the top of each cup. Once chilled, the butter will solidify and that layer protects the pate and allows it to keep so you can make it in advance!

This is rich and buttery smooth, but chunky at the same time with little bits of shiitake mushrooms. I would imagine an offal-lover loving it, but an offal-hater quite liking it too, with the sweetness from the caramelised shallots, savouriness from the shiitake mushrooms and fragrance from the thyme. I hope this comes in useful, and in time before you throw away your pack of giblets.

Last of all, here's wishing everyone a MERRY CHRISTMAS, ho ho ho!


  1. Well, I'm here to tell you I'm reading your blog on Christmas morning. And I love the pate idea. We're doing a duck later today for dinner. I'm going to make this pate (although without mushrooms, don't have any). If there is a neck I will use it also. Happy Christmas.

  2. Nice use for giblets - my mother usually used them only for gravy. Seems like a paté is another great idea. Looks delicious on the bread! Hope you're having a wonderful day Shuhan :)

  3. Merry Christmas Shu Han!!! Hope you have a fabulous day!! Wishing you all the best in the New Year! xox Emily

  4. WAAAUUUUU!!! Que delicia de paté,me apunto la receta y te pediria por favor que si sabes algo de español,cuando me dejes algun comentario no sea en ingles,pues ando un poco pegada jeje un besote guapa!! FELIZ NAVIDAD!!

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  6. Totally agree with you about hating to waste food and this paté looks just brilliant. Merry Christmas!

  7. This looks delicious! My mom's the one who deals with the turkey at our house; I'll have to ask her what she did with the giblets. Happy Holidays (:

  8. stephen: aww, much appreciated! definitely use the neck too if you can, I just thought it too much faff to shred the meat from the bones, easier to save for stock!

    charles: thanks charles, i see you;ve done a xmas post too, brandy butter sounds amazing!

    emily: thank you! have a happy xmas and new year too x

    alsondelmortero: haha i have to translate everytime, but Im always happy to, thanks so much!

    gourmet chick: yup, there is no way I will throw good food down the bin. merry xmas too (:

    kyleen: you're so lucky (: i only see my mum on skype. happy holidays too!

  9. Take a look at a video called "Forks Over Knives," which basically argues that animal proteins are slowly killing us.

    Cheers from "Do You Really Know What You're Eating?" at

  10. We make stock for gravy with the giblets. Then we put the remaining meat out for the birds / cats!

  11. I love pâtés of all kinds, but apart from chicken livers I have never fiddled with any poultry offal yet. Your pâté sounds fantastic! Very Christmasy snack :-) I hope you have spent/are spending lovely holidays!

  12. victor: hey! i think there is a place for animal protein in a healthy and balanced diet, along with vegetables. I don't eat a vast amount of meat myself, but when I do, I like to make sure it's from healthy animals that have led happy lives. it;s also the reason why i support eating offal. if a chicken is killed simply for say, the breast meat that everyone likes, then a lot of chickens will have to be sacrificed. i think choosing to eat an animal is up to the individual, but if we do eat animals, to consider the act and fully appreciate the whole animal. thanks so much for bringing that up though, because this blog was started as much due to an interest and passion for real food and nutrition! x

    mark: haha i don't have pets. oh but wait. the birds eat the chicken meat?? isn't that barbaric ):

    sissi: thanks sissi! i am, though I'm trying to get back on track, so much work to do ):

  13. I'm reading this on New Year's Day :) I've made pate from chicken livers, but you're right that I'm not too sure what to do with the assembled giblets (except the neck, that goes into stock). This looks fantasmic!
    And I agree with your philosophy on meat-eating. I read once that we should eat meat in the proportion it occurs on the animal, and in proportion to the vegetation it ate, and I think that's reasonable on many levels.
    Happy holiday season to you, and your readers.

  14. lauren: some people would put the neck meat into the pate too, but i think that's really too much work, picking the meat from the bones, so I would just throw them into stock! really happy that you've foudn this recipe useful, and that you agree on my approach to food. happy new year to you too (: