"A rustic pâté, no temperature control or sous-vide required," says Louis Couttoupes of Canberra's Bar Rochford. "It's all done with pans and a blender." Begin two days ahead to soak the liver and chill the mixture.
- 500 gm duck livers, cleaned and trimmed
- 500 ml (2 cups) milk
- 80 ml (⅓ cup) vegetable oil
- ½ onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves
- Finely grated zest of 1 orange
- 2 thyme sprigs
- 100 gm unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp Cognac or brandy
- 1½ tbsp raspberry vinegar
- 1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced on a mandolin, fronds reserved to serve
- 3 tsp lemon juice
- 1½ tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- Toasted pistachio nuts and grilled bread, to serve
- 200 gm caster sugar
- Juice of 1 orange
- 1 cinnamon quill
- 4 cloves
- 1 tsp finely ground black peppercorns
- 5 rhubarb stalks, trimmed, cut into 2cm lengths
- 1Soak duck livers in milk in a non-reactive bowl in the refrigerator overnight to remove blood. Drain (discard liquid), and pat dry with paper towels.
- 2Heat vegetable oil in a large frying pan over low heat. Add onion and garlic and stir occasionally until very soft, but not browned (20-25 minutes). Add orange zest, thyme and butter and stir until butter has melted. Transfer to a bowl and return pan to high heat. When pan is smoking, add livers and cook, turning, until golden but still rare (1½-2 minutes each side). Add Cognac and flambé to burn off alcohol. Discard thyme, Place onion mixture and livers in a food processor, add vinegar and a pinch of salt, and process until smooth. Pass through a fine sieve into a container, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until set (6-8 hours).
- 3For compote, combine sugar, orange juice, spices and 200ml water in a saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Strain syrup over rhubarb in a heatproof bowl and stand until tender (20-30 minutes). Drain, reserving syrup, then transfer to a food processor and process until very smooth, loosening with reserved syrup if needed. Pass through a fine sieve (optional).
- 4Dress fennel with lemon juice, olive oil and a pinch of salt. Divide among plates with pâté and rhubarb compote and serve with pistachios, fennel fronds and grilled bread.
Drink suggestion: A floral white-blend such as the 2017 Momento Mori "Staring at the Sun", produced in the Gippsland region of Victoria. Drink suggestion by Nick Smith.