Cognac Elk Pate

Looking for something else to do with elk liver other than the standard fried liver and onions?
This is it! A recipe that is a real special occasion pleaser.

It may be a bit of work, but your guests will rave about it.
It can also be made in advance and frozen for later use.


1 quart water
1/4 tsp salt
1 celery stalk, split and halved
4 sprigs parsley
12 peppercorns
1/4 tsp dry chili flakes
1 -- 2 inch section of cinnamon stick
1 lb elk liver, sectioned into pieces
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 lb unsalted butter (melted or very soft)
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
2 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp ground allspice
pinch ground cloves
3 green onions, finely chopped
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/4 cup cognac
2 tbsp finely chopped parsley
1/3 cup whipping cream
2 tsp coarsely cracked black pepper


Put water in a 3-quart pot.
Add 1/4 tsp salt, celery, parsley, peppercorns, chili flakes, and cinnamon stick.
Bring to a boil.
Reduce to simmer, cover and cook for 10 minutes.

Add elk liver and bring to a boil again.
Reduce to simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes.
Remove pot from heat and let stand covered for 20 minutes.

Strain and set liver pieces aside.
Discard liquid and remaining strainer contents.
Allow liver to cool to room temperature.

Remove thin outside membrane from all pieces by peeling away with fingers.
Coarsely cut liver into smaller pieces removing any noticeable gristle.
Put cut up liver into a food processor.
Add 3/4 tsp. salt, butter, nutmeg, dry mustard, allspice, cloves, onions, garlic, cognac and parsley.
Process at high speed until well blended and smooth to the palate.
Add whipping cream and pulse food processor until mixture is well blended.

Line two 1 1/4 cup size serving dishes or ramekins with plastic wrap.
Fill each with pâté mixture.
Refrigerate overnight.

The next day invert each dish on a serving plate, remove plastic wrap, and smooth any rough edges with a warm knife.
Sprinkle tops with cracked black peppercorns and serve with a wide variety of crackers.

Makes 2 1/2 cups.