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Pate & being a good meat eater

The desquishous Grand Marnier pate recipe is below. I love, love, love this dish and make it every year throughout the silly season. It’s a great thing to take to parties, as a little gift or save all for yourself. It does make me giggle when I see how expensive those fancy little pots of pate are when it’s so cheap to make.

I eat pate with homemade soda bread, carrot sticks and crackers made from old wraps and Lebanese bread. Grand marnier pate recipe | Blah Blah Magazine

I’m not a vegetarian

I don’t think I ever will be, but I don’t want to feel guilty, either. Guilt is useless and achieves nothing, so I’ve been trying to wrestle this one over the years. 

I love the concept of vegetarianism, because it’s a good ethical way to live and it’s so much better for our environment and food security, but I also love bacon. Oh, and steak. Oh, and slow cooked lamb. Oh, and pulled pork and am too lazy to manage my iron intake, so I don’t want to give up meat. Instead, I’ve been trying to come up with ways to be a good meat eater.

I’d love to know your thoughts.

1. Being grateful
If I eat meat, I think I aught to acknowledge that an animal has given up its life for me, which is a privilege and the greatest gift, because then I respect the meat more and am less likely to waste it.  When I was a teenager, with dyed black hair and matching ragged clothes, trying to look gaunt while shoveling a steak down as fast as I could, because my friend and I were rushing off to stand in a noisy room with lots of other people also trying to look miserable,
my friend’s mother said, ‘Slow down and appreciate that steak, the beef was years in the making.’

I’m not saying this to beat myself up, but rather to appreciate the life cycle. Things die, sometimes so others may live. To me, it’s a bit like accepting the shadowy side of myself, the cranky cow who would probably bop some clown to death with a squeaky toy if it meant saving my baby.

2. Choose quality over quantity
It’s wonderful we’re all starting to ask where and how the animal was farmed. It makes me happy that there seem to be some changes in what’s available, in terms of ethical meat, even at the supermarket.

It costs more to buy ethical meat, but I’m a cheapskate and buy less meat or cheaper cuts, besides those cheaper cuts are often tastier, anyway.

3. Eating more vegetables and less meat
It’s good for our health and environment to eat smaller portions of meat with lots of vegetables. I’ve been trying to cut our family’s meat consumption in half, but don’t tel my husband 😉 One trick that has really helped is to serve the vegetables first. The family fills up on greens while they’re hungry and magically we eat less meat. I’d love to know what tricks you use.

4. Eat all of the animal
This is the one I find hardest. Yes, it’s good for our health to eat offal, it’s an economical way to eat, it means we are able to source more meals from one animal and this in turn is better for our health, the environment and food security. But offal is awful! Okay, I’m slowly trying things I thought I hated and they’re actually pretty good, but I’m still unsure.

So, help me out, tell me what are your favourite organ meat dishes? I need help!

In the meantime, here is an offal dish I’ve never ever had a problem with and always love, especially during the silly season. Below I have listed the standard cook top recipe and the thermal food processor recipe too.

Thank you Oz Cook for loaning me the MyCook to review

Grand Marnier pâté
A fresh orange tasting pâté that's quick and easy to make.
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  1. 650 g/ 23 oz very fresh chicken livers, preferably organic
  2. A few stems of thyme, optional
  3. 1 cup milk
  4. 200 g/ 7 oz butter
  5. 70 g/ 2.5 oz or about 4 eschallots or small onions
  6. 100 g/ 3.5 oz bacon
  7. 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier or Cointreau
  8. 2 tablespoons of orange juice concentrate or 2 tablespoons of orange juice with 2 teaspoons orange zest if you prefer a tarter taste
Standard cook top recipe
  1. Soak livers in milk and thyme, if using, for an hour in the fridge.
  2. Wash and pat dry livers and thyme.
  3. Heat up half the butter in a pan over a medium heat and sauté eschallots or onions until soft but not brown.
  4. Add bacon and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add dry livers and thyme and sauté for 5 minutes, until cooked through. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Take off heat and allow to cool a bit.
  7. Process with a blender until very smooth.
  8. Add Grand Marnier, orange juice concentrate (or juice and zest) and the remaining butter, blend again.
  9. Check seasoning and adjust to taste.
  10. Pour into jars and containers and place in fridge for at least two hours, but preferably longer.
  11. Serve with fresh bread, carrot sticks or crackers.
Thermal food processor recipe
  1. Soak livers in milk and thyme, if using, for an hour in the fridge.
  2. Wash and pat dry livers and thyme.
  3. Heat up half the butter, 1 minute, 120°c/250°f and sauté
  4. Braise eschallots or onions, 3 minutes, 120°c/250°f and sauté
  5. Add bacon, 2 minutes, 120°c/250°f and sauté
  6. Add dry livers and thyme, 5 minutes, 120°c/250°f and sauté
  7. Seal lid and blend until very smooth with turbo button
  8. Season with salt and pepper
  9. Add Grand Marnier, orange juice concentrate or juice and zest and the remaining butter, blend with turbo button again.
  10. Check seasoning and adjust to taste.
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Cybele Masterman (Bele) trained as a beauty therapist, aromatherapist and journalist. After working as all of the above has found herself on a quest for a beautiful and meaningful life that doesn't cost the earth. Follow on google: +blahblahmagazine twitter: @blahblahzine or Instagram: BlahBlahMagazine

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  1. I do like a pate, however I must say that I’m not a fan of much offal unless they are disguised like this… I’d never eat chicken livers, but, I’d definately eat this pate.

  2. You’re a women after my own heart. I’ve started throwing liver in meals that contain mince. It disguises it well so no one knows, and in theory less meat more offal is used.

  3. NOT an offal girl, but we had to eat liver, by itself, as kids! BARF. Sorry. Maybe I might like it more now I’m a grown up.

  4. I’ve never, ever cooked with offal! Perhaps it’s time to start? It freaks me out a little though… and I’m not really sure why! Mind you, your recipe sounds great and a perfect spot to start an offal journey! Thanks for joining our Fabulous Foodie Fridays party! Have a great weekend xx

  5. Oh Bele, I knew there was a reason I liked you… & now there’s another one!
    I LOVE! Pate I used to go to a French restaurant in town & I’d always order there brandy pate was just heavenly so much more silky & delicious than the store brought… But I’m lazy & still buy the ready made.

    I’ve been wanting to try this for a while. I might road test this one Christmas Day see how it goes. Sounds delicious,.
    I used to love my Nan’s lambs fry. I didn’t know it wasn’t meat till well into my teens. I just wish I had got her to teach me before she passed. I’ve never tasted one as good as hers yet. I may ask mum though she’s prob seen her do it before… Hmm you have me thinking..
    I do also love the idea that Sarah had about adding offal to the mince… Would be good in the pasta sauce, kids wouldn’t know & would add some nice flavour too.
    See Hun got me all excited. x

  6. Why thank you, lovely lady. You can replace the Grand Marnier for brandy too x

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