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Before I get into the practical how to freeze pâté bit, I’ve gotta be honest and say: if you’d told me I needed to eat liver as part of a healing diet a few years ago, I would have told you to shove it. I grew up with overcooked liver and onions on our school lunch menu and steak & (rubbery) kidney pie a regular on the grandma-of-doom’s dinner table. Blech. 8 year old me had no time for that.
The funny thing was, I would happily chow down on Brussels pâté sandwiches. One side buttered, the other side pâté-d for optimal flavor-bombage. (Ok, those aren’t real words. Probably). Until the day I figured out that the creamy, savory, melt-in-yo-mouth goodness was made of… liver. Gack! Pork liver, no less. Needless to say, I was having none of that. Bye, bye pâté sandwiches! An aside: I also loved black pudding as a kid, until I discovered what was in that, too. My tastebuds were on board with the idea, but my horrified sends-all-my-allowance-money-to-animal-charities brain was yelling, “ABORT! ABOOORT! ABOOOOORT!”.
Liver: The Original Superfood
Fast forward to adult life and my brain was still in the squicked out zone. But the thing is, liver and other forms of offal are veritable superfoods. You know, the kind that doesn’t need a marketing campaign and really expensive PR team to prove how good for you it is. (I’m looking at you, goji berries). The thing is, when it comes to autoimmune disease, nutrition is king and liver is top of the pile when it comes to nutrient density. So when I say superfood, what do I mean? Well, liver is one of the best sources of B12 in existence, which we simply can’t get from non-animal sources but is essential to cell metabolism. Plus, liver is packed with vitamin A, copper, iron, selenium, potassium and zinc. I didn’t love the idea of liver, but that nutritional profile said, “eaaaaat meeeeee”.
So I started experimenting with pâté recipes because I remembered that I did actually enjoy it as a child, before the liver bomb dropped. Another bonus: there were so many options to flavor (and dare I say, disguise) the liver in pâté recipes. Pair that with a dreamy smooth texture and I figured I could probably learn to love liver once again. And I did! Hurrah! (Or some other, less socially awkward, exclamation). Getting my husband on board, though, was tricker.
Pictured just above is The Ultimate Liver Hater’s Pâté from my cookbook, Nourish. I developed that recipe for Mr Meatified, my liver-hating husband. This was the recipe that FINALLY converted him to the joys of pâté! The secret ingredient? Apples! Yup! That little hint of natural sweetness pairs perfectly with smoky bacon, fragrant shallots and comforting rosemary and thyme. If you’ve got the book, turn to page 68 and get cracking! If you don’t have a copy of Nourish (although I’m biased and think you should!), then take your pick from any of the following AIP pâté recipes I’ve linked to below!
How to freeze pâté
The thing with most pâté recipes, though, is that they do make rather a lot, especially since it’s just the two of us at home. At first, I’d make a batch and pop it into dinky little 4 oz mason jars for the fridge. Then I got smarter and would seal each jar with a little melted coconut oil or bacon fat on top that would form an airtight seal once I chilled the jars. But we kept getting halfway through a jar, having enough, then forgetting to finish it off. Which meant finding little liver bombs in the fridge much later (not pleasant) and wasting both time in the kitchen and money on ingredients that kept hitting the trashcan. So I decided to experiment with freezing the pâté instead.
After my over-portioned jars idea, I wanted to try and freeze pâté in single servings to avoid waste. But I didn’t want to monkey around with more glass jars and the smallest ones I had were too large for single servings, anyway. So I figured that my embarrassingly large silicone mold collection would hold the answer! It turned out that this tartlet mold was the perfect size to freeze pâté: I filled each cavity just a little short of the top to make 2 oz portions, smoothing them with the back of a spoon. I popped the mold onto a sheet pan so that everything stayed flat and level, then flash froze the pâté for about two hours.
Once frozen, I popped the pâté from the molds, put some wax paper between each little pâté puck to stop them sticking to each other and transferred them to a freezer safe container. Now when we want pâté, it’s easy to pop out a puck or two onto a plate to defrost in easy one person portions! If you’d like to make smaller, perhaps kid friendly portions, this silicone mold holds a little under an ounce per cavity. If you’re wondering what I sprinkled over the top in the photos, it’s this beautiful Lemon & Thyme Sea Salt from the Cornish Sea Salt Company. You can find their stuff on Amazon, but I picked up a couple of AIP friendly finishing salts of theirs at Walmart, of all places, for less than five bucks: winning!
Pick a pâté!
Here’s a great selection of AIP and allergy friendly pâté recipes for you to choose from! They’re all gluten and dairy free and vary from beef to chicken to pork liver, with a whole bunch of different flavor profiles. You’re bound to find something you like!
- Bacon-Beef Liver Pâté with Rosemary and Thyme from Autoimmune Paleo
- Bacon and Olive Lamb Liver Pâté from The Bacon Mum
- Beef Liver Pâté with Bacon and Rosemary from Gutsy By Nature
- Beef Liver Pâté with Balsamic Caramelized Onions from Enjoying This Journey
- Beef Liver Pâté with Strawberries, Basil and Balsamic from Healing Family Eats
- Blueberry Balsamic Beef Liver Pâté (FODMAP-free) from The Primalist (stick to coconut oil for AIP)
- Chicken Gizzard and Heart Paté from That Paleo Couple
- Chicken Liver Pâté 101 from The Paleo Partridge
- Chicken Liver Pâté from My Big Fat Grain Free Life
- Chicken Liver Pâté from Salixisime
- Chicken Liver Pâté (low FODMAP) from Sweet Treats
- Chicken Liver Pâté with Mushrooms and Bacon from Eat Heal Thrive
- Chicken, Mushroom & Bacon Pâté from Meatified
- Italian Pâté with Fried Anchovies, Capers & Lemon from Meatified
- Low FODMAP Asian Beef Liver Pâté from Beyond the Bite
- Paleo Herbed Chicken Liver Pâté AIP from Beyond the Bite
- Paleo Asian Beef Liver Pâté AIP from Beyond the Bite
- Pork and Chicken Liver Terrine with Spiced Apple Compote from Autoimmune Paleo
- Pork Liver and Bacon Pâté from Comfort Bites Blog
- Pork Liver Cider and Apricot Pâté from Comfort Bites
- “Powerhouse on a Plate” Bacon, Mushroom, Beef Liver Pâté from Gutsy By Nature
- Silkiest Chicken Liver Mousse from The Healthy Foodie (omit pepper & sub mace for nutmeg for AIP)
- Turmeric & Ginger Coarse Lambs Liver Pâté from The Bacon Mum