Venison Tongue Pate

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“Use the entire animal.” Those are the words that I kept replaying in my head this last hunting season. Those are the words that I heard echo from my grandfather year after year, successful hunt after successful hunt. His sentiment was derived from the tail end of the great depression when no protein was wasted. And of course, 40 years ago it referred to the hearts, gizzards, and liver of every duck that we shot. To this day, I still retain the wobbly bits of all game birds from dove to turkey. Fast forward to the 2019 – 2020 hunting season. I was determined to put into practice my grandfather’s very words as it pertained to whitetail deer. I have always been one to keep the hearts of each deer, but I didn’t practice keeping the liver much less the tongue until this past hunting season. Liver is used to create the classical pâté, but I’m a Cajun and we do things a bit differently. For this recipe, I used deer tongues to create the classic French dish. This recipe will have me keeping tongues for years to come, and I may even snatch the tongues from my hunting companions that aren’t as sophisticated as I.

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Serves: 6 as an appetizer

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 4 hours

Special Equipment: food processor

Ingredients:

3 deer tongues

1 onion chopped

1 tbs olive oil

1 stick of butter

1 cup of heavy cream

1 tsp coriander

1 tsp ground cloves

1 tsp granulated garlic

1 tsp black pepper

1 tsp salt

Smoked paprika

Serve with:

Cracker of your choice or

Bruschetta

Tongue Preparation:

1. Simmer in salted water for 4 hours

2. Remove tongues and immediately submerge in ice bath

3. Peel and discard the skin from the tongue

4. Chop into dice sized chunks

Pâté Preparation:

1. Sauté onions in olive oil until tender

2. Place onions, tongue, and remaining ingredients into a food processor

3.Pulse until you get a smooth and creamy consistency (you may need to add more cream to achieve this or less cream if you prefer it a bit chunky)

4. Remove from the processor and let set in the refrigerator for 8 hours to set

5. Serve in a ramekin and garnish with smoked paprika

Chef’s note: As “Redneck” as it may sound, I prefer this served on a Ritz cracker…

Jason Thornton

I am a husband and a father to a beautiful family that deeply enjoys hunting, fishing, and gardening. I grew up hunting and fishing in South Louisiana and currently live in Lafayette, LA (the Sportsman’s Paradise).

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