Liver Pate

Liver pate makes up a major part of the Scandinavian diet. The pate comes in many forms from a simple basic one to a pate enriched with ingredients such as herrings and truffles. Unlike the French pate Scandinavian pates don't usually contain alcohol or garlic and they have a smoother texture. Pigs liver or calves liver is usually used, I like to use calves liver as the flavour and texture is far superior than the pigs liver version.

8-10 Portions
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 2 hours


Liver Pate

  • 300g calf's liver or pig's liver
  • 300g lean pork meat eg. pork fillet
  • 300g pork fat
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 300ml milk
  • 1 egg
  • pinch ground cloves
  • pinch ground all spice
  • maldon salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Dice the liver, lean pork meat and fat into small pieces. Set aside a 75 g of the pork fat. Place the 75g of pork fat in an oven dish in a low oven. Cook the fat until it has melted down. Lightly coat the sides and base of the pate container. A 1-1.5 litre loaf tin works well.
  2. Preheat an oven to 180°C. Mince the onion, liver, pork and remaining pork fat through a mincer 3-4 times until smooth.
  3. Melt the butter in a saucepan over a moderate heat. Add the flour to the butter and cook it for a couple of minutes. Slowly add the milk while stirring until you have a thick smooth sauce.
  4. Add the minced liver mixture and stir it until well combined. Remove the pan from the heat and allow it to cool slightly.
  5. Mix in the egg, ground cloves, all spice and a little salt and pepper.
  6. Pour the pate mixture into the lined pate container.
  7. Place the pate container into an oven tray and fill the tray 3/4 high with water.
  8. Place the pate on the centre shelf in the pre heated oven.
  9. Cook the pate for 1 1/2 hours. To test if it is cooked insert a thin knife or skewer into the centre of the pate, when it is ready it should come out clear (the centre of the pate should reach at least 75°C, if you have a meat thermometer use this to test if it is ready).
  10. Remove the pate from the oven when cooked and leave it to cool in the container. When cooled turn the pate out onto a plate and serve it as part of as a smorgasbord or use it for smorresbrod (open sandwiches) or as a starter or canapé. Mustard, cress, gherkins, grapes and chutney all make good accompaniments.