Liver Pâté

Classic liver paté recipe with ground pork, calf, chicken, or pork liver, bacon and spices.

  • Prep time: 25 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 8-12.


  • 1 lb ground pork, or chopped pork shoulder
  • 1 lb of liver - (chicken, calf's, or pig's), trimmed of connective tissue, diced
  • 1 Tablespoons of cognac or brandy
  • 1 Tablespoons of dry Madeira or sherry
  • 1 cloves garlic
  • 2 sprays of parsley
  • 1/2 shallot or small white onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon powdered ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon clove
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • Dash of Tabasco or cayenne
  • Sliced bacon - about 1/2 lb


Variation: Use chicken livers, pork, and sausage meat in equal quantities. See my second recipe for pâté maison.

Grind the pork through a meat grinder several times on a fine setting.


Place in a blender cognac or brandy, Madeira or sherry, garlic, parsley, shallot or onion, ginger, clove, cinnamon, nutmeg. Add diced livers and blend a cupful at a time. Season with salt and pepper, adding a dash of Tabasco or cayenne. Mix the ground pork with the blended liver.


Line a 4x8-inch terrine with strips of bacon, fill with mixture, and cover with bacon. Place the terrine in a larger baking dish and fill the larger dish with water up to the halfway point on the side of the pâté dish. This "water bath" will help the pâté retain moisture and make for a smoother consistency in the texture.


Bake uncovered in a moderate oven, 350 degrees F, for about 1 1/2 hours. Cool the pate under a weight so that it will become firm and fine-textured. To do this, lay a piece of waxed paper or aluminum foil over the pâté and set on top of the entire surface a board weighted with a heavy object. Chill in the refrigerator for several hours.


At serving time bring the terrine to the table, slice, and serve with crusty French bread or rolls and a glass of wine. Also good with lettuce and tomatoes.

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  • Bob Mansell

    Can the pork liver pate be frozen

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Bob, excellent question! I haven’t tried freezing the pate, but if you do, please let us know how it turns out for you!

  • John Gallagher

    Hi. I have never made pate before and wanted a coarse pate for my pubs Christmas menu and found yours on the internet. The instructions and pictures made it very easy. I tested it out on my locals who said it was the best pate they had ever tasted. I then needed to see the recipe again to make a new batch. I have spent 3 days scouring the internet and have eventually found it and have printed the recipe. Thank you very much. I will send you a picture when it is made.

  • Chris de Hek

    And for the folks who lover liver – here my Pickled Liverwurst recipe..

    Jinks’s Original pickled liver sausage.

    this is an oldfashioned Dutch bar snack – you used to see big glass jars of them on the tills in the old brown cafe’s in Holland !!!!

    1/2 gallon apple cider vinegar + 1 quart of water
    2 large onions, cut in strips
    2 to 3 tablespoons black peppercorns
    2 to 3 tablespoons mustard seeds
    few whole small red or green Chili peppers
    ~ 12 bay leaves
    6 cloves of garlic
    salt to taste
    1/2 pound sugar

    some hefty liver sausages
    Bells jars, Sealable jars or a large lockable plastic container..

    Pour one half gallon of vinegar in a saucepan with the water.
    Add the sliced onions and Bay leaves. Add the peppers, mustard seeds and garlic.
    Pinch of salt. Finally add 1/2 lbs of sugar.

    Then you heat this mix but do not boil.
    That is important: do not boil, but keep warm and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Then you leave it to cool a bit.

    Meanwhile cut the liver sausage. Thick slices.
    Prop the liver sausage slices in the jars or jug.
    Then you add the cooled down vinegar mix.

    Now you let the jars rest in the refrigerator or cool pantry for ~ 2 weeks to come up to taste.

    (Hint: If you use multiple jars in place of a large plastic container or jug-
    sieve the vinegar mix and divide the solids peppers and onion etc.
    in equal parts over the jars and then pour the liquid in the jars:^)

    • Elise

      Thank you for sharing your recipe Chris!

  • oldjinks

    hi – just a bit late to react to Jenn, but..

    YES you can freeze the pates from my recipe.

    I always make the mini bread sizes and let a couple of them cool – and then Vacuumpack them before they go in the freezer.
    I found out that vacuuming the individual pates before they go in the freezer also preserves the coloring of them very well, I guess, since the outside is not directly exposed to Oxygen.

    Also use the vacuum packeaging (leave them in the Alum pans if you want to) – to make nice little X-mas presents – tie a red bow around the package – and voila!


  • Jenn

    Elise, love your websites and recipes. I have several favorites!

    I’m interested in this pate recipe, but we won’t be able to finish the whole thing quickly. Can I freeze it?

    According to Chowhound, yes, you can freeze pate. ~Elise

  • Anna

    While I was visiting family in my hometown, my sister, an avid hunter, got a buck the weekend before Thanksgiving. She saved the beautiful liver and heart for me, plus I had the pleasure of helping with the butchering. On Thanksgiving morning my 15 yo niece got her first buck with a quick single shot through the heart, but I flew back home the day that one was butchered and missed out. The frozen heart traveled well in my suitcase and was still nice and solid when I arrived home. Still mulling over the best way to prepare the heart.

    The venison liver was incredibly fresh and sweet, with only a hint of livery taste. I thinly sliced some and seared the slices in a moderately hot cast iron skillet with caramelized onions & ghee, just cooking long enough to warm the slices through. I don’t think I’ve ever had plain liver I enjoyed so much – I even forgot to eat the onions . Usually I just endure plain liver because I know it’s good for me.

    With most of the liver I made this paté recipe. I was staying with family and didn’t have access to a meat grinder so I bought the pork already ground from a small local grocery store. I used a food processor to grind smaller and mix the ingredients, but its capacity was so small I had to work with several batches, greatly complicating a simple process.

    In the end the paté was pretty good, but I didn’t use enough salt (prob only about 1/2+ teaspoon, should have been more like 1 to 2 teaspoons I guess). I was hesitant to taste the mixture for saltiness while still raw because of the raw ground pork from a grocery store (not because of the raw liver). So I served the paté in slices dusted with ground sea salt crystals. The liver enthusiasts enjoyed it.

  • Jinks

    Pate du Maison Jinks

    1 pork liver
    1 small can corned beef
    1 can SPAM – the original – don’t tell anybody!!
    1 pound ham
    1 jar pickled green peppercorns
    1/2 tablespoon sage
    1/2 cup ketchup
    1/2 envelope green peppersauce mix (Knorr of MCCormick)
    1 cup salted pistachios
    dry mixed whole peppercorns to taste
    6 little “non-stick” minibread baking pans (or little disposable Aluminum baking pans)

    for the Aspic:
    1 tablespoon mixed dry peppercorns
    10-12 bayleaves
    1 small can whole green chili peppers – from the Mexican food section..
    1 quart chicken broth
    2 envelopes clear gelatin powder (5-7 gram)

    Bring a pan of water with some salt to a boil and let the pork liver simmer in it for ~ 15 minutes. Let the liver cool; cut in pieces and grind up in the foodprocessor.
    Set aside in a large mixing bowl.

    Cut the ham in pieces and grind up in the foodprocessor.
    Add this to the liver in the mixing bowl.

    Separate the corned beef and the SPAM with a fork and add this to the liver and the ham in the mixing bowl.

    Take 2-3 teaspoons of the pickled green peppercorns and 1/2 tablespoon sage and add this to everything in the mixing bowl.

    Mix 1/2 envelope of the green pepper sauce mix with the ketchup and add to everything in the mixing bowl.

    Take a big wooden spoon and mix and combine everything in the mixing bowl.
    When everything is mixed well, add the pistachios and work them evenly through the mix.
    Bring the mix up to taste with some salt and pepper if desired.

    Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the mix come up to taste in the fridge for 2 – 3 hours.

    In the mean time make the aspic:
    Let the chili peppers drain a little and cut lengthwise in 4 and discard the seeds.
    Take 1 1/2 cup of the cold chickenbroth and set aside.
    Pour the rest of the broth in a saucepan and add 1 tablespoon of mixed whole peppercorns and the bay leaves to it and bring to a boil; let simmer for ~ 10 -15 minutes.
    When done take the bay leaves out of the broth (and reserve) when you are ready to mix in the gelatin.

    Form little loaves with your hands from the liver mix (slightly smaller than the size of the breadpans and about 1/2″ lower – you want some of the aspic on the sides and top of the pates)) and place them in the breadpans.
    Sprinkle some dry mixed pepper corns on the top and press a little into the livermix.

    Now place the strips of green chili peppers lengthwise on top and place the cans in a 350F oven for ~ 20 minutes.

    When done remove the cans from the oven and place 2 of the reserved bay leaves diagonally on top of every pate and place a couple of mixed peppercorns on top in the middle if you want.

    Now take the reserved cold chickenbroth and dump the contents of the 2 envelopes gelatin powder in it. Let stand and dissolve for about 1-2 minutes. When dissolved whisk this through the warm chickenbroth in the sauce pan bring to a boil and let slowly simmer for about 5 minutes.
    Pour this warm broth in the cans until almost filled to the top – make sure you dump some of these peppercorns from the broth in each can too!!.

    Place the cans in the refrigerator and let everything cool off and the aspic gel!

    mmmm… pretty good on a piece of freshly baked French bread or crackers.

    I normally leave 1 in the can for direct consumption and “Vacuumpack” the rest when they are well cooled! Make sure you cut the sides with a knife to loosen the aspic and turn them on a plate to get the pates out of the cans.
    They keep well in the fridge for ~ 2 weeks or longer when you freeze them!