You’ve probably heard of duck pate, chicken pate, perhaps even mushroom pate, but have you come across venison pate? Also known as deer liver paste, this isn’t a much sought after recipe for a lot of people – ourselves included. However, adventures always lead to new experiences, and while we aren’t in Rome just yet… when in Yakushima – the venison pate must be tried!
Nature’s delicate balance is always a tricky thing to comprehend; this is certainly true in regards to Yakushima’s deer situation. With no natural predators on the island and a ban on deer hunting, the number of Yakushima deer grew to such an abundance that the native plant species started to suffer. This led to a number of culling exercises, where strangely only the tails were taken as proof. Nowadays, the sale of Yakushima deer meat has been approved and you can find organic, wild grown venison at a number of shops around the island.
Laura drew the lucky straw to slice and dice the deer liver and get it prepped for the paste – the best way is to soak the liver in milk or buttermilk for an hour or so to extract the, ahem, blood. Sounds delicious we know. But it’s the key to creating this tasty pate without the pungent aroma usually associated with liver. Alternatively if venison isn’t your thing, you can substitute with chicken, duck or mushrooms for all the vegetarians out there.
Next on our hit list were the organic vegetables. In a flash we sliced and diced the carrots, onions, celery, mushrooms, and herbs from Sato’s garden.
These went straight into the fry pan with the drained liver, a splash of wine and a smattering of herbs, before being tossed around until nice and soft.
A dollop of fresh cream and then the blender took care of the rest.
Quick shout out to Sato from Yakushima for teaching us this eccentric recipe. Sato also taught us another great recipe on the day for Flying Fish Cakes – these tasty little morsels are as fun to say as they are to eat. Check out the recipe here in Part 1 of our Cooking Yakushima Cuisine posts.
- 1 venison liver
- 100 ml milk
- 100 ml fresh cream
- 1 carrot
- 1 celery
- 1/2 brown onion
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/2-1 tsp oregano
- 1/2-1 tsp sage
- Red wine
- Slice the liver in half, then slice each section into 2cm strips. Soak liver in milk for minimum 1 hour to extract the blood. Drain.
- Melt the butter in a pan and fry the garlic and herbs until fragrant.
- Add the vegetables and sautee. Add the liver and red wine and continue to sautee until the vegetables are soft. Allow to cool.
- Add the cooked ingredients to a blender or food processor and blend. Add the fresh cream and season with pepper then blend until the cream has incorporated and the mixture is smooth.
Why not serve as a side to an antipasto platter?