In the weeks leading up to Christmas a few years ago, a local farm market was selling duck livers at a surprisingly reasonable price – a reflection of the number of ducks being purchased for festive dinners. That was the year I learned to make duck liver pâté. I had hoped to do it again in the following December, but none of these delectable livers were ever to be had again. Instead, I saw a mouth-watering display of cheeses, deli meats and … pâtés! Someone had figured out how to charge four times as much for the same meat and a little extra work by turning the duck liver into pâté. Definitely a value-added product.

Pâté is a savory peasant food gone elegant. You can have it on toast with your soup for lunch or serve it as a canapé at your next party. If you make it yourself, you will save a lot of money, but even more importantly you’ll contol the ingredients so you know that it is pure and health-giving too.

How to Make Duck Liver Pâté

If you can find duck livers you are lucky and your pâté will be delicious. If not, use chicken livers and it will be just about as amazing.

1/2 sweet onion, diced
1 tablespoon duck fat (saved from the last duck you roasted). Butter or olive oil is equally good.
1 pound duck livers
2 sprigs of thyme
a large sprig of sage, about a dozen leaves
1/3 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 teaspoons grey sea salt.

Fry the onions in the fat until golden and just starting to caramelize. Scrape into the bowl of a food processor and set aside. In the same frying pan, cook the livers until just cooked, adding more fat if needed. Strip the herb leaves off the stalk into the pan, stir a couple of times and then remove the pan from the heat. Add the wine and salt. Let it sit for five minutes, the scrape this mixture also into the food processor. Blend until smooth. Divide into two small serving bowls, cover and refrigerate.

This pâté freezes well.

Black and Blue Berry Sauce

Offset the hearty flavour of the pâté with a garnish of spiced black and blue berry sauce.

2 cups blackberries
1 cup blueberries
equivalent of 3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1/4 teaspoon powdered cloves
1/4 teaspoon powdered cardamom
1/4 teaspoon powdered cinnamon
a pinch of black pepper
a pinch of salt

Thaw the berries if using frozen. Puree everything together in a high -powered blender. (I use my Nutribullet Pro because it breaks down the blackberry seeds.) Put the puree into a pot and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and cook for another ten minutes, stirring often. Cool.

Put the sauce in a bowl with a spoon or tiny ladle.

Serve the pate with crackers, toast, celery cut into one-inch pieces, or the small inner leaves of romaine lettuce.