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Calves Liver Pâté

Traverse City’s Tanya Witkowski shares a traditional Ukrainian holiday appetizer.

Read Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine’s full article on Tanya and find more Ukrainian holiday recipes.


  • 1 pound sliced calves liver
  • Milk
  •  3 ounces sliced fresh pork belly
  •  3 medium onions, cut into 1/8’s
  •  1  large carrot, halved lengthwise and cut into 1-inch pieces
  •  3  bay leaves
  •  1  stick and 2 tablespoons
  •  butter
  • 1  teaspoon salt, plus
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper, plus


In a bowl, cover calves liver in milk and soak for 2 hours. Cut pork belly into ½-inch pieces and sauté on low heat for 5 minutes; add salt and pepper to taste. Add onions and carrot to the pan, cover, reduce heat and simmer in pork fat for 30 minutes.

Rinse and dry the liver and add it to the pan in whole pieces. Add the bay leaves, cover with lid and simmer for 25 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons butter, 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon black pepper. Allow the pan mixture to cool. Remove the bay leaves and add the stick of butter. In a food processor or meat grinder, grind to a pâté. Serve with crackers or baguette slices.