Down to Basics Pâté Recipe

When you want all the nutrients, you go for the holy grail, offal, or organ meats. I try to include them in my diet about once per week and my favorite way to prepare it is as pâté. Pair it with any raw vegetables and some apple slices and it’s a most satisfying meal. I make mine with lots of bacon and caramelized onions, which are always a winning combination.

I’ve pointed out the numerous health benefits that come with eating non-musculature parts of the animal in this post

As I know so many are hesitate to jump on board the offal train, this recipe is for you. It’s more of a creamy, bacon onion dip. What’s threatening about that? Once you get past the name, it becomes incredibly delicious!

This recipe gets back the the basics of pâté, an easy one to keep on hand so that you eat your weekly dose of organ meats.

Down to Basics Pâté Recipe

Down to Basics Pate

Down to Basics Pâté Recipe
Yields 16
Basic pâté recipe with bacon and caramelized onions.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 ½ lbs beef kidney or liver
  2. 4 pieces bacon - chopped
  3. 1 tbsp lard from bacon
  4. 2 cups onion - chopped
  5. 1 + ½ tsp salt
  6. 1 tsp black pepper
  7. 2 tbsp dry red wine
  8. 1 tsp ground marjoram
  9. 1 more tbsp lard
Instructions
  1. Cook bacon over medium high heat until crispy, about 4 minutes. Remove bacon from pan and pour off grease into separate bowl.
  2. Use 1 tablespoon of the bacon grease to sauté the onions over medium heat for three minutes. Add 1 tsp salt, pepper, red wine and marjoram and cook for five minutes. Pour into a food processor and set aside.
  3. Sauté the kidney or liver in two batches over high heat. They’re cook fast so you have to work quickly. Sear on each side for 1 minute. Add 1 tsp lard to the pan for each batch and sprinkle ¼ tsp salt as they cook.
  4. When all the cook is cooked, add it to the food processor with the onion bacon mixture. Also add in the final tbsp of lard. Puree until nice and smooth, about 3-5 minutes. Scrap down the sides of the processor to make sure all is incorporated.
  5. Store in mason jars in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Freeze any leftovers.
Sparkle Kitchen http://sparklekitchen.com/

 Down to Basics Pâté Recipe

 

 

Maple Candied Bacon

“Do we eat too much bacon? Are you sure this is healthy?” asks my husband as I put the second tray of candied bacon in the oven. Bacon feels indulgent and almost too good to be true. How can something so delicious be nourishing? It all depends on the quality of the meat.

Bacon is predominately fat and when you’re eating animal fat it’s most important to source humanely-raised, healthy pigs. The fat contains the highest concentrations of an animal’s diet. If a pig was raised predominately on corn and soy meal then it’s fat will have higher levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids than a pig raised on pasture grasses/weeds, roots, tubers, rodents, reptiles and other grains. Pigs are natural foragers and have a varied nutrient dense diet. By consuming bacon from conventional/factory farmed pigs, you’re ingesting higher levels of inflammatory omega 6 fatty acids.

The pig’s health will be reflected in you. If the pig led a suffered, sickly existence then you don’t want that meat on your plate. Pigs should be raised humanely under happy, sustainable conditions. Whatever the pig eats, you’re eating too.

Chipotle recently pulled all pork from their menu after discovering their suppliers were sourcing non-humanely raised pigs. By holding up to this standard, the company is showing how much they care about the health of their customers. They successfully found another supplier, Niman Ranch to fill the loss.

Have your bacon and eat it too. Just make sure you know what’s in it. I like to consider bacon a complement to a meal, there to highlight all the other ingredients. Use this sweet and salty bacon candy as a topping for salads, guacamole or for dessert on ice cream or cupcakes.Candied Maple BaconSourcing Quality Pork:

►List of all the farms in the U.S. that Ship pasture-raised pork, http://www.eatwild.com/products/farmsthatship.html

►Niman Ranch, http://store.nimanranch.com/p-75-uncured-applewood-smoked-bacon-4-12oz-packages.aspx

►Local Famers Markets – Ask the farmers how their pigs are raised and what they feed them.

Candied Maple Bacon

Candied Maple Bacon

Maple Candied Bacon
Serves 12
Candied Bacon with Maple Sugar and Cayenne
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  2. ½ tsp salt
  3. 5 tbsp maple syrup
  4. 2 tsp dijon mustard
  5. 1 lb good quality bacon - sliced
  6. 2 tbsp maple sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 365 degrees.
  2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place a metal cooling rack on top of the backing sheet. Make sure it’s folded down and secure over the pan.
  3. Mix together the cayenne, salt, maple syrup and dijon mustard in a large bowl. Individually dip each slice of bacon into the mixture, allowing excess to dip off into the bowl. Arrange slices onto metal rack.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes in the middle of the oven. It should be golden and not quite done.
  5. Remove from oven and sprinkle with maple sugar. Bake for 5-10 more minute until crispy. If chewy, allow to cook a few more minutes.
  6. Only allow to cool for 5 minutes. If they sit too long the bacon slices will stick together. Move to a plate. Eat as stripes or crumble for salads and desserts.
Sparkle Kitchen http://sparklekitchen.com/

Resources:

The Jungle Effect, Okinawa, Japan by Daphne Miller, M.D.

Hog Production Alternatives, Alternative Feeds, http://thenaturalfarmer.com/article/hog-production-alternatives

Pigs – the food connoisseurs of the farm animal kingdom, http://www.naturalpigfarming.com/feed.htm

Dear Mark: Bacon Fat Stability, Noise Machines, and Pig Feed,http://www.marksdailyapple.com/bacon-fat-stability-noise-machines-and-pig-feed/#axzz3Qiq23Htz

Dude, They Found Your Carnitas: Chipotle Solves Its Pork Crisis, http://www.takepart.com/article/2015/01/16/chipotle-pork-shortage-solved-carnitas-return

Balsamic Bacon Fig Jam

Balsamic Bacon Fig Jam

I attended a grand, Southern wedding this fall with a buffet selection to make a bacon lover weak in the knees. There were four rooms of buffet tables and every single dish involved bacon. Candied bacon, peppered bacon, bacon wrapped potatoes, bacon mac & cheese, bacon shrimp and grits, and even the vegetable dishes were cooked in bacon grease. I think I even heard some guests squeal. All that food posed a predicament though. So much deliciousness and not enough stomach space.

My husband and I must have eaten a pound of bacon each that night. I don’t recommend this. We felt less than optimal the next day and we didn’t have one sip of alcohol. How do you say no to bacon though?! It’s nearly impossible.

I believe in real bacon. None of that sorry imitation turkey stuff. Thick, juicy pork fat. Bacon from happy hogs is preferable too, pastured pigs raised humanely in a natural environment.

The bacon feast inspired me to take the fatty meat to a new level. Balsamic Bacon Fig Jam was born.

Balsamic Bacon Fig Jam
Balsamic Bacon Fig Jam
Makes 2, 12 ounce jars.

4 pieces thick bacon
4 cups of onions – chopped
1 tsp salt
7 fresh figs – chopped
1 tbsp maple syrup
½ tsp black pepper
dash of cayenne pepper
½ tsp fresh rosemary or 1 large sprig
¼ cup water
1 ½ tbsp balsamic vinegar

►Heat a dutch oven over medium high heat and cook bacon until crispy, about 10 minutes. Move bacon to a cooling rack and let the grease drip off into a bowl. Pour ¾ of the bacon grease from pan and leave the rest. Reserve the extra grease for other cooking.
►Sauté
 the onions in bacon grease over medium heat. Sprinkle in the salt, cooking until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in figs, maple syrup, black pepper, cayenne and rosemary.
►Once bacon has cooled, chop into small pieces. Add to the pot with water and stir together. Cook for 10-15 minutes until a thick, jam consistency forms.
►Remove from heat and stir in the balsamic vinegar.
►Keep refrigerated in a glass mason jar. Serve as an appetizer with fresh chopped veggies or as an accompaniment to pork, chicken or eggs.


*Recipe loosely based on Chef John’s Bacon Jam.