Fluffy, airy, spreadable pork liver mousse?
December 25, 2019 6:52 PM   Subscribe

I’m making a bunch of fancy stuff for New Years, and I’d really like to make a really nice, smooth pork liver mousse. I’ve had what I’d like to make at French restaurants in the past, where there’s essentially a spoonful of mousse dolloped onto a plate, so it’s fluffy enough to be gently scooped out with a spoon. Any ideas how I get there, and avoid dense, coarse liver spread?

I’m willing to believe the recipe involves a metric ton of cream. I’m looking for recipes, methods, anything that’ll bring about that sort of result. I’ve made a chopped liver esque thing in the past, and I will also be making pate and rillettes, so I’m not exactly a beginner, but I’m definitely looking to learn more here.
posted by Ghidorah to Food & Drink (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Use 1 cup cream for every pound of liver. Whip it first and then fold it in. However if you happen to have a whipped cream maker (the kind with NO2 cartridges) you can put the pate and cream mixture in that and charge it for extra fluffy mousse.
posted by ananci at 6:59 PM on December 25, 2019 [1 favorite]

You need a chinois or a reasonable facsimile of such. I use a very fine-meshed strainer and a spatula because I don't have the room to store a true chinois, and it works okay for what I use it for (mostly for the filling in chocolate pie) but truthfully, a chinois works way better.
posted by cooker girl at 7:44 PM on December 25, 2019 [4 favorites]

Some time ago, I made a huge mistake when I was making a birds liver pate, and it became very mousse-y and light. So this isn't a recipe, but if no one comes up with one, it's something worth trying.
The recipe called for 200 g chicken liver, 150 g soft butter, 1 finely chopped shallot, 1 finely chopped clove of garlic, 3 cl cognac, 3 cl marsala, 1 dl cream, salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste.
What I did wrong was read the 3 cl each of cognac and marsala as 3 dl. But I skipped the cognac because I don't like flambeing. So a lot more liquid but not as bad as it could have been. This meant it didn't set in time for the dinner I'd planned, but luckily I had an alternative. I put it in the fridge, planning to add some gelatin to the mixture later. The next day, however, it was really good in both taste and consistency. I'm going to try it again.

The method is: fry the shallot and garlic in a spoonful of the butter till soft, not at all brown. Add the (chopped) liver, and brown it, but do not cook it through. Add the 3 dl Marsala (and cognac if you want, but not 3 dl, just a splash, and then flambé). Put the contents of your pan in a blender. Add creme to the pan and cook it for a minute, and then add it to the blender with the rest of the butter. Blend till completely smooth. Season, remembering that the seasoning tastes milder when the mousse is cold. Pour into a pretty container of sorts, and cool in the fridge over night. When the mousse is ready, you can top it with a thin layer of port jelly, for extra nice presentation.
posted by mumimor at 12:55 AM on December 26, 2019 [1 favorite]

I don't know from pork liver but there is a chicken liver (or duck liver, if you have some) mousse that's so simple and delicious as to be a cliche. It's done very much like what mumimor describes above. Here's a Jacque Pepin recipe from the web (and if you can't trust him for a recipe, who can you trust?) And a New York Times recipe. As you'll see, they're very similar.
posted by tmdonahue at 5:30 AM on December 26, 2019 [1 favorite]

I was just going to post the Pepin chicken, and report that it comes out light and fluffy for me. You could try substituting in an equal weight of pork liver and see if that works?
posted by LizardBreath at 6:01 AM on December 26, 2019

My concern with substituting pork liver for the chicken liver in the Pepin recipe is that, if memory serves (and it doesn't more and more these days), pork liver is more highly flavored than chicken liver. Maybe I'm wrong because it's been years since I've tasted pork liver. Pardon the ring.
posted by tmdonahue at 6:42 AM on December 26, 2019

I've had great success making a chicken liver mousse that friends request over and over. It's dead simple.

Saute very fresh livers (remove the stringy membranes between the lobes before cooking) and onions until mostly cooked, pink in the middle for the livers and translucent and very soft for the onions. A sprinkling of fresh thyme leaves, modest salt and pepper would be good seasoning, but this is entirely up to you. Remove livers and cover loosely so they don't become dried out. Now add chunks or slices of peeled apples to the pan, about half by volume of livers is a pretty good estimate, but this is also adjustable to your taste. Add brandy, a good glug (or not, as you prefer) and flame (or not). Cover and cook gently until the apples fall apart. Cool all ingredients until room temp. The apple flavor is nearly undetectable, but the mousse texture is lightened and softened without using pints of cream.

In a food processor whiz the livers first, then add onions, apples and any juices. Sometimes an extra Tb of brandy is welcome if you're a brandy-loving person. Process coarsely or smoothly and add heavy cream at the end, as much as you wish. I have also added very soft butter, say half a stick for a pound or so of livers, ahead of the cream, but that may be too decadent for you. Or perhaps not. Transfer to a bowl to adjust salt and pepper to taste, remembering that when chilled the seasoning will be slightly less intense. Pour into a mold or ramekins and cover. This liver mousse is best if refrigerated but removed from the fridge for a while to allow the flavors to peak. If you've added softened butter remember that the butter will need to soften again if you prefer a very soft texture. I've served this with excellent crusty bread, bruschetta, or endive leaves and apple slices for the gluten averse. This mousse never fails. Happy New Year!
posted by citygirl at 7:51 AM on December 26, 2019 [2 favorites]

« Older Is an hour long enough to tour Manhatten?   |   Get the glass out of my foot! Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments