Cobblestone Cooking Music XXXVI – Danish Classics: “Leverpostej”

There, in the bowl to the upper left next to the bacon…

Like so many other Danish staples or classic recipes, “leverpostej” or “liver paste / pate” involves pigs – well, pork – and is best eaten with a cold beer alongside. And, just to get the disclaimers out of the way: it in no way looks anyway near appetising while you make it up…

  • Bette Midler, The Rose
  • Kate Bush, Feel It

There is a Danish saying that the only thing of a pig that is not utilised in Denmark is the last squeal it makes when it is slaughtered. Surely, for some, this lunch dish is made with parts that not everyone would involve in regular cooking: lard and liver.

Liver, of course, can of course be eaten on its own – at least according to approximately half the population. In that case, fried – but never, ever beyond pale rose. Liver, fried until it’s dry? Those doing it will be among the choices for first against the wall when the revolution comes 😉

  • Chris Isaak, Wicked Game
  • Celine Dion, Pour Que Tu M’aimes Encore

In the old days, these two items would be passed through the mincer together and end up in a paste – nowadays, we buy them separately, frozen in 1/2 kg portions. You can buy them premixed – but we prefer a bit higher a liver to lard ratio than the regular mix offers. So we use 1 kg of liver to 0.5 of lard.

  • Paul Young, Everytime You Go Away
  • Queen, My Melancholy Blues

The downside of buying it that way is that the lard is very hard – yes, yes, also after thawing it, you cheeky… 😉 It takes quite some working with a couple of utensils to split it into reasonably small chunks and I’ve always had a devil of a time mixing it evenly into the rest of the ingredients.

That, however, I solved today with a lucky mix of engineering thinking (I am a chemical engineer by education) and general methods development 🙂

  • U2, With Or Without You
  • Diana Krall, The Boy From Ipanema

See, to bind everything together and possibly also to further stretch the valuable ingredients and feed more people on the farm, you add in  a “poor man’s roux” – melt some butter or cooking margarine, add in flour and bash together, then slowly add water, bring to a boil, stir until even and repeat. For this, 100 g of butter, 3 dl of flour and 8 dl of water. Finally, let it boil for a little bit to get the most flour-ish taste out of it.

And then I thought – maybe just bring this, as it s hot, and the lard together. And presto!, it became manageable and easy-peasy to mix everything else in. “Everything” else is the minced liver, 4 finely grated onions and salt, pepper and allspice.

  • Nat King Cole, Unforgettable
  • Styx, Clair de Lune / Ballerina

And here we are, far enough down on the page for me to throw a few pictures in from the proceedings. See, told you is wasn’t really pretty…

Finally, I for one don’t really fancy tasting that mix to judge whether it’s had salt or pepper enough. The trick here is to take a couple of teaspoons of the “slurry” and microwave it for a minute or so to bake it. And taste that – also has the benefit of being closer to the end product, so to speak. It took two iterations to get it right.

Most of this rather big amount is now portioned and in the freezer – we have these ceramic bowls that can go straight from the freezer to the oven, so for a number of weekends in the coming half year or so, we can enjoy freshly baked “leverpostej”.

  • Roy Orbison & kd lang, Crying
  • Joan Jett, Have You Ever Seen The Rain?

Because that is how you prepare it – you bake it for about an hour or so at 200°C / 390°F. And serve warm on Danish rye bread with crispy (!) bacon and pickled red beets (or, as it will be today due to a sad lack of those, cornichons). Optionally, also put champignons on a pan or in the oven for a bit. And, as mentioned, with a cold beer – could well be a dark variant.

Happy cooking!

Photos by me.
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