Haslet

I have been looking at old North of England recipes and came across haslet – which reminds me of Polish pasztet or paté.

  • The name haslet or acelet – comes from Old French – hastilles which means entrails.
  • Traditionally it was made with a mixture of offal such as heart, kidney, liver, and sweetbreads.
  • Liver is most popular and pig’s liver most of all.
  • Oatmeal is used – one of the staples in the North of England.
  • Sage* is used –  a very popular herb in England
  • Originally the mixture would have been cover in caul – a thin lacy looking membrane of animal fat – and then cooked.
  • Nowadays this is hard to find – so butter or lard can be used in adapted recipes.
  • Haslet is usually eaten cold, in slices, often with pickles.

Ingredients

  • 500g pig’s liver
  • 2 onions.
  • 100g oatmeal or rolled oats blitzed
  • Lots of fresh sage
  • Salt & pepper
  • 50g butter or lard.

Method

  • Peel the onions – leave them whole.
  • Place in a saucepan with a little water and with the lid on – gently simmer till soft.
  • Leave the onions until they are cold.
  • Mince (or use a mini-chopper) the liver and onions.
  • Add the liver mixture to the oatmeal in a bowl – mix and leave for around 10 minutes.
  • Pre-heat the oven to GM7 – 220°C.
  • Line a small roasting tin with foil and grease well.
  • Chop the sage and add with salt and pepper to the mixture.
  • Place the mixture in the roasting tin and dot the top with the butter or lard.
  • Bake for around 35 minutes.

 

*Sage – Salvia officinalis –  szałwia – in Polish – was brought to Britain by the Romans. It was a popular cooking herb in Tudor times.

Salvia comes from the Latin word salvere, which means to heal and it is known for its antibacterial properties.

Sage is a member of the mint family and is a Mediterranean herb.

 

Serving dish – Blue Mist – Burleigh Ware by Burges and Leigh Ltd from the 1930s.

Liver Pulpety Served in Green Soup

I wrote about pulpety over three years ago. They are small meatballs which are simmered, often in stock, not fried.

They are often used as an accompaniment for soup,

In this recipe the liver pulpety are cooked directly in the soup and served with it.

Ingredients – Pulpety

  • 150g of pork liver or chicken liver
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped flat-leaved parsley.
  • 60g-80g of dried breadcrumbs – see Breadcrumbs – Bułka tarta
  • Salt & pepper
  • *
  • Some plain flour for your hands for shaping.

Method -Pulpety

  • Mince the liver or wizz in a mini-chopper.
  • In a large bowl mix all the liver, egg and parsley together.
  • Add salt & pepper.
  • Add enough dried breadcrumbs so that it is a firm mixture – best to do this using both hands, making sure that all the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
  • Put some flour in a dish for your hands to make it easier to shape the pulpety.
  • Pinch off small bits of the mixture and roll the piece between your hands to make small round balls and place these onto a floured board or tray whilst you make them all.
  • *
  • Leave these to chill in a cool place or in the fridge.

Ingredients – Soup

  • 1 litre of vegetable stock – can be from a cube or powder
  • 100g frozen peas
  • 100g frozen whole green peas
  • Bunch of spring onions
  • 2-3 tablespoons of butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method – Soup

  • Chop the green beans  into small pieces similar in size to the peas.
  • Chop the green and white parts of the spring onions in to small pieces.
  • In a large pan melt the butter.
  • Add the chopped spring onions and fry gently till golden.
  • Add the peas and beans.
  • Add the vegetable stock and bring to the boil.
  • Reduce the heat and simmer gently until the peas and peas are cooked.
  • Season to taste.
  • Bring the soup up to the boil.
  • Drop the pulpety into the boiling liquid and then let them simmer for around 5 -7 minutes.

To serve

Polish style would be to have 3-5 pulpety in a bowl of soup –  but for a light lunch  have a large bowl of soup with lots of pulpety per serving.

 

Pasztet – Pâté

Most Polish households have their own recipe for  pasztet.

Pasztet translates as pâté and is made with liver and other meats,  both cooked and uncooked, often with smoked bacon.  Left over cooked meats can be used.

Pasztet is a baked pâté – more a terrine & usually the sort of pâté you slice rather than spread. (A sort of liver based meat loaf).

 

 

Many recipes use rabbit but I have not included this as it is not as readily available but  I hope try this in the future.

Pork shoulder is good to use and this can be casseroled first in a chicken or vegetable stock or left over from a roast.

Cooked chicken can be roasted or poached once again in a chicken or vegetable stock.

It is good if you have a mincer to mince the meat, however I do not have one and have used a stick blender to blend the liver and a sharp knife to finely chop the cooked meat and bacon.

Pasztet is often cooked in a  loaf tin – but I thought my quantities looked too large for my tin and have used a rectangular Pyrex dish – 19 x 24 x 8cm.

The cooking times quoted are approximate  – it will depend on the amount of mixture and the depth in the dish.

Recipe 1

Country Style Pasztet

The original recipe used finely chopped shoulder pork – I used minced outdoor breed pork.

I used smoked streaky bacon as Polish bacon tends to be fatter than English bacon and this is the nearest.

The amounts of meats does not have to be exact.

Ingredients

500g minced pork

350 streaky bacon (rind removed)

350 – 450g of chicken livers

3 eggs

3 tablespoons of dried breadcrumbs

2 cloves of garlic  – chopped fine

1 teaspoon of Italian herbs or marjoram

Salt – maybe a little but often the bacon is salty enough

Pepper

Butter for greasing the dish.

Method

Pre-heat the oven to GM4 – 180°C.

Chop the bacon into small squares.

Blend the chicken livers using a small blender or stick blender.

Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl.

 

 

Butter the dish well.

Place the mixture into the dish and smooth down the top.

Cover the dish with foil.

Place the dish in a roasting tin with added water.

Cook for around 70 minutes.

Remove the foil and cook for a further hour without the foil (more if necessary).

Leave to cool completely and then refrigerate for several hours.

Slice to serve.

 

Decorated here with fresh bay leaves – you can use parsley or similar.

Recipe 2

Chicken Pasztet

Any poultry can be used here – this is good way to use up roast turkey – you can even freeze the cooked turkey meat for a pasztet in the future.

Ingredients

450g chicken livers

3 onions

6 tablespoons of butter

600 – 700g of cooked chicken meat (I used breast meat as that is what I had – but thigh meat  would or a mixture is also good)

Dilute vegetable stock (can be from a cube or powder)

2 eggs

1 teaspoon of Italian herbs or marjoram

1 teaspoon of sweet paprika

Salt and pepper

Method

Slice the onions and fry them till soften in the butter.

Add the chicken livers and cook them through.

20180602_081248

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leave to cool completely.

Blend the liver and onions – I used a stick blender.

Place the cooked chicken in a pan and cover with dilute vegetable stock and simmer gently , stirring often.

You want the meat to be soft and falling apart and the liquid to have been absorbed.

Leave to cool completely.

Pre-heat the oven to GM4 – 180°C.

Chop the meat as finely as possible.

 

 

Mix the meat and liver together.

Add the eggs, Italian herbs & sweet paprika.

Add salt and pepper.

Butter the dish well.

Place the mixture into the dish and smooth down the top.

Cover the dish with foil.

Place the dish in a roasting tin with added water.

Cook for around 1 hour.

Remove the foil and cook for a further hour without the foil (more if necessary).

Leave to cool completely and then refrigerate for several hours.

Slice to serve.

Served on a dish – Made in England by H & K Tunstall

Recipe 3

Pork Pasztet

600 – 700g cooked pork (from a casserole or roast)

Dilute vegetable stock (can be from a cube or powder)

250g smoked bacon (rind removed)

250g pork, veal or chicken livers

1 large onion

4 tablespoons of butter & extra for greasing the dish.

3 eggs

6 tablespoons of dried breadcrumbs & extra for the baking dish and top

250ml of milk

2 teaspoons of Italian herbs or marjoram

1 teaspoon of sweet paprika

Salt & Pepper

Method

Place the cooked pork in a pan and cover with dilute vegetable stock and simmer gently, stirring often.

Chop the bacon into small squares and add to the pork and simmer for another 20 minutes.

You want the meat to be soft and falling apart and the liquid to have been absorbed.

Leave to cool completely.

Chop the meat as finely as possible.

Slice the onion and fry it till softened in the butter.

Add the liver and cook it through.

Sprinkle with salt.

Leave to cool completely.

Blend the liver and onion –  I used a stick blender.

Pre-heat the oven to GM4 – 180°C.

In a large bowl throughly mix all the ingredients together.

Butter the dish and sprinkle with dried breadcrumbs.

Place the mixture into the dish and smooth the top with a spoon.

Sprinkle the top with breadcrumbs.

 

 

 

 

 

Cover the dish with foil.

Place the dish in a roasting tin with added water.

Cook for around 80 minutes.

Remove the foil and cook for a further hour without the foil (more if necessary).

 

 

 

 

 

Leave to cool completely and then refrigerate for several hours.

Slice to serve.

Served on a dish by Portmeirion – Dawn Chorus – designed by Sophie Conran in the 21st century.

Easy Pâté

Not long to go now and I will have been blogging for 3 Years.

This is my 150th Post!

The Polish for pâté is pasztet.

Pasztet recipes tend to be for large cooked pâtés which are served as slices – I will be looking at recipes for these later.

Here I am looking at 2 easy recipes using chicken livers which are very simple to make.

These are more spready pâtés – which you can put into a large dish or into individual pots.

I could not find any fresh chicken livers in my local shops but did find tubs of frozen chicken liver – they contain around 225g per tub and the cost was very reasonable.

Soaking the livers

All my recipe books say to soak the livers for at least 1 hour and up to 6 hours in milk – to help remove any bitterness.

I do not remember doing this in the past but decided to try this out – they tasted lovely – not sure how much was due to the soaking.

Chicken liver pâté version 1

Ingredients

450g chicken livers

50g butter

1 small onion

2 cloves of garlic

1 teaspoon of dried Italain herbs (or chopped fresh herbs such as oregano and thyme if you have them).

6 tablespoons of sherry or marsala or brandy.

Salt & Pepper

Method

Soak the livers for at least 1 hour and up to 6 hours in milk.

Drain the milk off and pat dry the livers.

Chop the onion into small pieces.

Peel and chop the garlic.

In a frying pan melt the butter and add the onion and garlic.

Fry gently to soften the onion.

Add the herbs.

Add the chicken livers, mix and fry gently for 10 – 12 minutes, you can use a spatula to help break up the livers as they cook.

Sprinkle with salt and ground pepper, mix and then leave to go cold. (I often do this at night and then the rest the next day).

Place the cold cooked livers into a large bowl and use a stick blender start blending it all together.

Add the sherry and continue blending until you have a smooth paste.

Place the mixture into a large dish or into individual ramekin pots – mine made 4 pots.

Cover the pots with clingfilm and refrierate them for around 3 hours.

 

 

 

 

Served here with toasted rye bread and gherkins.

Served on La prune by Jet for Ter Steege of the Netherlands.

 

Chicken liver pâté version 2

This is more creamy and spreadble than version 1

Ingredients

450g chicken livers

50g butter

1 small onion

2 cloves of garlic

1 teaspoon of dried Italain herbs (or chopped fresh herbs such as oregano and thyme if you have them).

2 – 3 tablespoons of creme fraishe or soured cream

1-2 tablespoons  of sherry or marsala or brandy.

Salt & Pepper

Method

Soak the livers for at least 1 hour and up to 6 hours in milk.

Drain the milk off and pat dry the livers.

Chop the onion into small pieces.

Peel and chop the garlic.

In a frying pan melt the butter and add the onion and garlic.

Fry gently to soften the onion.

Add the herbs.

Add the chicken livers, mix and fry gently for 10 – 12 minutes, you can use a spatula to help break up the livers as they cook.

Sprinkle with salt and ground pepper, mix and then leave to go cold. (I often do this at night and then the rest the next day).

Place the cold cooked livers into a large bowl and use a stick blender start blending it all together.

Add creme fraishe and the sherry and continue blending until you have a smooth paste.

Place the mixture into a large dish or into individual ramekin pots – mine made 6 pots.

Cover the pots with clingfilm and refrierate them for around 3 hours.

 

 

 

 

Served here with toasted rye bread.

 

 

Chicken Livers

Having written about liver in general in Lovely Liver!  I thought I would also look at chicken livers in particular.

These would have featured in my shopping on a regular basic many years ago but have been somewhat neglected in recent years – this will now change!

I could not find any fresh chicken livers in my local shops but did find tubs of frozen chicken liver – they contain around 225g per tub and the cost was very reasonable.

20180513_155419

Soaking the livers

All my recipe books say to soak the livers for at least 1 hour – to help remove any bitterness.

I do not remember doing this in the past but decided to try this out – they tasted lovely – not sure how much was due to the soaking.

Buttery Chicken Livers with Onions

450 -500g of chicken livers

500ml of milk

3-4 tablespoons of plain flour

3 onions

4-5 tablespoons  of butter

1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning

Salt & pepper

Method

Put the chicken livers in a bowl with the milk and leave for at least an hour.

Drain them off and pat them dry and dredge them in the flour.

Cut the onions in half and cut them into thin slices.

Fry the onion gently in some of the butter until they are golden brown.

In a separate pan fry the floured chicken livers on all sides for 2-3 minutes.

Sprinkle them with the Italian seasoning, mix well and cook for a further few minutes.

Add the livers to the onions and mix well.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

 

These are best served with something quite plain such as boiled rice or crusty rolls and maybe a tomato salad.

Chicken Livers with Apples

450 -500g of chicken livers

6 tablespoons of butter

2 to 3 tablespoons of sunflower oil

2 onions

2 eating apples (I used Pink Lady)

1 tablespoon of granulated sugar

Salt & pepper

Method

This really needs 3 frying pans!

I have described each as a separate stage but you can  do these at the same time.

Cut the onions into half and then slice into thin half circles.

In one frying pan,  fry the onions gently in 3 tablespoons of butter until they are golden.

Peel and core the apples and cut them into quarters.

In another frying pan, melt the 1 tablespoon of butter and heat the apples gently on all sides.

 

Add the tablespoon of sugar and continue to cook on a low heat for 2-3 minutes until the sugar starts to caramelise.

Add the apples to the onions and mix together.

 

In a seperate pan melt 2 tablespoons of butter.

Fry the chicken livers in the butter, stirring and turning them for around 3-4  minutes.

Srpinkle with salt and pepper.

Mix the livers with the apples and onions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Good served with crusty bread.

 

Breaded Liver

This is a very simple and easy way to cook liver but it is delicious.

Depending on how it has been prepared by the butcher,  you might have to remove some veins or membranes.

I used lamb’s liver for this.

Ingredients

300g of sliced liver

1 beaten egg

Dried breadcrumbs

Sunflower oil for frying

Salt & Pepper

Method

Slice the liver into thin equal sized slices.

Dip the liver slices into beaten egg.

Sprinkle with salt and ground black pepper.

Coat the slices in dried breadcrumbs.

 

Fry the slices in hot sunflower oil.

 

Served here with lettuce with a soured cream dressing.

Royal Doulton – Carnation – 1982 -1988.

 

Lovely Liver!

For many people  – liver is love it or loath it.

I think certainly for me and most Poles it is love it!

The Polish for liver is wątroba – which means “waste maker” – as the liver is the organ in the body where substances are broken down.

In Poland the most sought after livers  are calves liver & rabbit liver.

My aunty in Białystok- cooked some rabbit liver for me when I  was there last – I thought it was utterly delicious  –  but as far as I am aware it is not readily available to buy in England.

I  see calves liver for sale more and more here in England and I  buy this whenever I can.

My mother always cooked pigs’ liver, never ox liver.

I usually cook lambs liver if I cannot get calves liver.

I think liver is best lightly cooked, even slightly pinky,  it becomes hard and tough if over cooked.

There is a restaurant in Krakow called Dom Polonii ( House of the Poles) just off  Rynek Główny (Main Square) it serves very traditional dishes.

Rynek Główny (Main Square)

 

I like to eat there very much and can never make up my mind which dish I want the most. Their fried liver is super and I will have that at least once when I visit Kraków.

Liver is the main ingredient of  pâtés and similar dishes which are very popular in Poland –  I will look at these in future posts.

Cooking Liver

These recipes are all  variations on a simple theme.

I use calves or lamb’s liver for these recipes .

Preparing the liver

Depending on how it has been prepared by the butcher,  you might have to remove some veins or membranes.

Slice the liver into thin equal sized slices.

Dip each piece into a mixture of plain flour and ground black pepper.

 Simple Style Liver

Lightly pan fry the liver slices in a mixture of butter & sunflower oil on both sides.

Sprinkle on some Italian Herbs.

Add around 150 ml of chicken or vegetable stock (can be from a cube, concentrate or powder) … depends on the size of your pan.

Put the lid on the pan (a glass lid is good for this) and simmer gently for 2 -3  minutes.  (The time will depend on the thickness of the slices)

 

 

 

 

Liver with Soured Cream

Follow the instructions for the simple style but only cook for 1 -2 minutes.

Take the pan off the heat and add 2 tablespoons of soured cream and mix well.

Return to the heat  and allow to simmer for  1 -2 minutes.

Liver with Onions 1

In my old Polish cookery book  (my bible in many respects) this simple recipe (without the herbs) is called  …. po angielskiu  which means  …. English style!

Kuchnia Polska – Polish Kitchen or Polish Cookery

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thinly slice 1 or 2 onions (I like lots of onions with the liver).

Fry the onions in butter & sunflower oil till golden.

In a separate pan lightly pan fry the liver slices in a mixture of butter & sunflower oil on both sides.

Sprinkle on some Italian Herbs.

Add the onions to the fried liver and mix together and serve.

 

Liver with Onions 2

Thinly slice 1 or 2 onions (I like lots of onions with the liver).

In a pan, fry the onions in butter & sunflower oil till golden. (You can fry a little longer to slightly char or caramelise them if you like)

In a separate pan, lightly fry the liver slices in a mixture of butter & sunflower oil on both sides.

Sprinkle on some Italian Herbs.

Add around 150 ml of chicken or vegetable stock (can be from a cube, concentrate or powder) … depends on the size of your pan.

Put the lid on the pan (a glass lid is good for this) and simmer gently for 2 -3  minutes.  (The time will depend on the thickness of the slices).

This will give a tasty sauce with the liver.

Place the fried onions on top and serve.

Liver with Mushrooms

Thinly slice mushrooms around 100g of button mushrooms

Fry them gently in a mixture of butter & sunflower oil.

Add the mushrooms to the fried liver as in the simple style above and mix together.

Add around 150 ml of chicken or vegetable stock (can be from a cube, concentrate or powder) … depends on the size of your pan.

Put the lid on the pan (a glass lid is good for this) and simmer gently for 2 -4  minutes.  (The time will depend on the thickness of the slices).

Liver with Mushrooms & Soured Cream

Follow the instructions for the Liver with Mushrooms but only cook for 1 -2 minutes.

Take the pan off the heat and add 2 tablespoons of soured cream and mix well.

Heat up slowly and allow to simmer for  1 -2 minutes.

 

Served here on Royal Doulton – Carnation, 1982-1998

Serving suggestions

Sprinkle liberally  with chopped parsley.

All of the above go well with boiled potatoes, creamy mashed potatoes, boiled rice, noodles or pasta such as tagliatelle.