Christmas is just a month away and the Danes are making preparations for Christmas Eve and Christmas day. Here in Denmark we celebrate Christmas Eve, the 24th, as the most important day. That day we eat goose, duck or pork with all the trimmings.. We dance around the Christmas tree and open our gifts. The next day, a huge Christmas lunch is served and we again invite family and friends. In order to make all these dishes, we must start around the 1st of December. We bake lots and lots of cookies and we make two or three dishes that we can set on the table along with all the other good Danish traditions. Danish lever paté is a must. It was developed in Denmark around the end of 1800. Danish lever paté is a baked dish of liver and lard with flour, milk, spices, onions, anchovies. As far as getting ahold of lard, just ask your butcher at your local supermarket. If they have pork, they will have lard. He will sell it to you for next to nothing, or he may give it to you for free. You can make it now and freeze it until you need it. Here is the way the Danes like to eat their liver paté at Christmas.
Warm Liver Paté with Mushrooms and Bacon. Makes 8-10 portions
l1 lb. pork or calf liver, 7 oz. lard, 2 tbsp.flour, 1 cup milk or light cream, 1 egg, 1 coarsely chopped onion, 1 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. pepper, a pinch of cloves, 1 oz. anchovy.
Preheat the oven to 425°.
To make liver paté, mix all ingredients in a blender or food processor until the liver is reduced to a coarse purée. Pour this mixture into a greased oven-proof terrine. Cover with lightly oiled foil and bake for 60 minutes, removing foil the last 20 minutes. Let cool, wrap in foil and freeze.
On the day you want to eat the liver paté, take it out of the freezer a few hours before you want to serve it. Heat the liver paté in the Micro oven a few minutes or in the oven 10-15 minutes.
Mushrooms and Bacon
12 pieces of bacon, 10 oz. thinly sliced mushrooms, 8-10 slices of dark rye bread or if you prefer, white bread
To make the bacon and mushrooms, fry bacon on a warm pan. Transfer bacon to paper towels to drain. Lightly fry mushrooms in the bacon fat.
To assemble, spread liver paté on bread (no butter necessary) and place mushrooms and bacon on top of liver paté. Serve this dish warm. Or let each guest serve themselves and build their own open-face sandwich.