This recipe for liver pate is based on Apicius 9.10.10. The original recipe is written as follows:
Salsum sine salso: iecur quoques, teres et mittes piper aut liquamen aut salem; addes oleum. iecur leporis aut hedi aut agni aut pulli, et si uolueris in formella piscem formabis. oleum uiridem supra adicies.
Salt fish without salt fish: cook liver, pound it and add pepper and either liquamen or salt. Add oil. Use hare’s or kid’s or lamb’s or chicken’s liver, and if you like you can shape it like a fish in a mould. Pour green oil over it.
Latin text and translation from Grocock, C. W., and Sally Grainger, eds. Apicius. Prospect Books, 2006, p. 294-295.
Apicius 7.10.2 tells us to soak the liver in milk prior to cooking it to get rid of the metallic taste of liver due to its high blood content. This is a common technique used nowadays as well. He says:
Aliter [iecinera] in pulmonibus: ex lacte lavas pulmones et colas quod capere possunt…
Liver and lung are also cooked in this way: soak well in milk, strain it off if offensive in taste.
Latin text and translation from Grocock and Grainger, Apicius, edition.
- Giacosa, Ilaria Gozzini. A Taste of Ancient Rome. Rand Corporation, 1994, p. 59.
- Grocock, C. W., and Sally Grainger, eds. Apicius. Prospect Books, 2006, p. 294-295.
Liver Pate - Salsum Sine Salso
- 1 lb Chicken Liver
- 6 tbsp Olive Oil
- 2.5 tbsp Wine Vinegar
- 1 tsp Black Pepper Coarse Ground
- 1 tsp Salt
- Wash the liver from blood and put in a bowl of milk (or other milk substitutes such as coconut, almond or soy milk) to soak. Soak the liver for at least 30 minutes, but preferably longer. This will get rid of the metallic aftertaste that people often taste when eating liver.
- Cover the bottom of a pan with olive oil. Fry the liver in the pan on all sides. Make sure it is fully cooked by cutting the liver pieces in half and checking them in the center.
- Pass all of the liver through the meat grinder twice.
- Add all of the olive oil, wine vinegar, black pepper, and salt to the ground liver and mix really well in a bowl. Taste the liver pate and add more salt and pepper if necessary. If you like a more liquid consistency add more olive oil.
- Optionally, you can add the liver pate to a form and let it chill in the refrigerator, taking the shape of the form. Otherwise, just serve in a bowl.