This duck liver pâté packs a boozy, festive punch.
250 gmsoftened butter150 gmbacon, finely chopped3golden shallots, thinly sliced2garlic cloves, finely chopped4thyme sprigs1fresh bay leaf1 kgduck livers, trimmed60 mlbrandyFinelygrated rind of ½ orange4pimento berries, finely ground in a mortar and pestle80 ml (1/3 cup)pouring creamTo serve:sliced crusty white breadPickled cranberries160 gmfrozen cranberries, defrosted150 gmcaster sugar60 ml (¼ cup) red wine vinegarTokay jelly500 mltokay (see note)55 gm (¼ cup)caster sugar, or to taste (see note)3titanium-strength gelatine leaves, softened in cold water for 5 minutes
Heat 50gm butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add bacon, shallot, garlic and herbs and sauté until tender (5-6 minutes), season to taste and transfer to a food processor (discard thyme and bay). Heat another 100gm butter in pan, add livers and cook without colouring, turning occasionally, until cooked medium (5-6 minutes). Remove livers from pan and transfer to food processor with brandy, orange rind, pimento and remaining butter and process until smooth, then add cream and process to combine. Season to taste, then pass through a fine sieve. Transfer to four 250ml moulds and refrigerate until set (2-3 hours).
Meanwhile, for pickled cranberries, combine cranberries, sugar and vinegar in a saucepan and stir over medium heat until sugar is dissolved, then set aside to cool.
For tokay jelly, bring wine and sugar to the simmer in a saucepan over medium heat. Squeeze water from gelatine and add gelatine to pan, stirring to dissolve. Set aside to cool, then spoon over pâté, season with pepper and refrigerate until set (2 hours). Serve with pickled cranberries and crusty white bread.
Note Tokay is a semi-sweet dessert wine. The
sweetness of the wine varies, so taste as you gradually add the
sugar to prevent the jelly from being too sweet.