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!