Duck Liver Pate with Cointreau

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Duck Liver Pate with Cointreau

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Adjust Servings:
280 grams Butter diced
500 grams chicken liver
1 large brown onion diced
4 cloves Garlic whole
60 grams rindless bacon chopped
1/2 orange finely grated zest only
Sea Salt to taste
cracked black pepper to taste
1 loaf turkish bread cut into 3mm slices
30 millilitres Olive Oil for brushing turkish bread
8 small cauliflower florets
1 small carrot peeled and cut into 4cm batons
1/4 red capsicum
500 millilitres white vinegar
8 quail eggs
8 cornichons halved
8 green olives
1 handful watercress leaves
Cointreau to taste
  • Serves 8
  • Medium



  1. Preheat the oven to 200C (180C fan forced) Place 30g of the butter in a baking dish with the livers, onion, garlic and bacon. Bake for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Meanwhile, place the orange zest, Cointreau and remaining butter into the bowl of a food processor. Remove the livers from the oven when they are cooked but still pink, drain and discard the juices. Add to the food processor and puree until smooth, season with salt and pepper to taste. Push through a fine sieve to remove any lumps.
  3. Transfer to a large bowl, cover with cling film, touching the cling film to the top of the pate to prevent oxidizing. Refrigerate overnight to set.
  4. To make the pickled vegetables, bring the vinegar to the boil over high heat. Place the cauliflower florets, carrots and capsicum in a bowl, pour over the hot vinegar and allow to cool before refrigerating overnight.
  5. To make the melba toast, preheat the oven to 180C (160C fan forced). Brush the sliced Turkish bread with olive oil, place on a baking tray and season with sea salt. Bake for 10 minutes until crisp. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  6. Bring a small saucepan of water to the boil. Cook the quails eggs for 5 minutes. Remove from the water and cool before peeling.
  7. To serve, use a small ice cream scoop to create a ball of pate and place into the centre of each serving plate. Garnish with the drained pickled vegetables, cornichons, olives and watercress leaves.


Robert Molines

Robert comes from the South of France on the French Riviera, a village called Beausoleil (meaning ‘beautiful sun’), adjacent to Monaco, Monte Carlo. Robert was educated at The Catering Institute of Nice and Menton. His stepfather of Italian origin, was chef for The Palace of Monaco. His mother was appointed at The French Consulate in Melbourne, and the family came to Australia in 1968. After her term expired, the family decided to remain and live in Australia. Robert worked in Melbourne, then in Newcastle in 1969, for the opening of Capanna Restaurant in Hamilton. He then left for Adelaide and worked at Decca’s Place in North Adelaide, before moving to Sydney to join his family. He opened the very popular Eliza’s in Double Bay, then worked at both La Rive Gauche and Beppi’s. The family had quite a few restaurants in the Sydney area. Robert opened his first restaurant in 1972 in Potts Point called Le Sagittaire which is where he met Sally who he later married. Robert and Sally moved to The Hunter Valley in late 1973, after selling the restaurant in Potts Point to take up management of The Happy Valley Restaurant on Oakey Creek Road, Pokolbin (part of then Saxonvale Wines). They married in May 1975 and made a home at Apple Porch in Broke. In 1978 they opened The Pokolbin Cellar Restaurant (part of then Hungerford Hill Wine Village), and while operating the restaurant they took control of all catering at The Rothbury Estate for Mr Len Evans OBE OA, and also opened The Verandah Restaurant at Calais Estate. The Hunter Valley offered Robert and Sally a challenge to establish dining in a country destination close to the vineyards and create a marriage of food and wine. In 1979 Robert and Sally’s first son Louis was born, followed by a second son Joseph in 1984, making them a complete family. In 1989 Robert and Sally became involved in The PepperTree Project with Mike and Suzie O’Connor (Peppers Hotel Group) and Murray and Linley Robson (Robson Wine Group). The three couples and partners established the unique destination of PepperTree with The Convent, PepperTree Wines and Robert’s Restaurant which opened officially in October 1991. Robert and Sally then sold all their other enterprises to concentrate on Robert’s Restaurant, which soon became a success within itself. In 1998 they joined The Tower Estate Group with Mr Len Evans as Chairman, as the restaurant went from strength to strength. With the passing of Mr Evans, Robert and Sally made an offer to repurchase Robert’s which was ultimately refused, and Robert and Sally decided it was time to undertake new endeavours in the growing area of the Hunter. In August 2007 Robert and Sally began operating a traditional French Bistro (Bistro Molines) at Margan Cellar Door on Hermitage Road which allowed Robert to be taken back to his roots as chef and produce outstanding French cuisine. In October, 2008 Bistro Molines moved to a beautiful destination at Mount View on top of the hill at Tallavera Grove. The spectacular aspect similar to French Provincial country, offers a serene and amazing unspoilt part of the Hunter Valley. Bistro Molines, with Robert and Sally at the helm is possibly the best discovery to experience. *Portrait by: Chris Elfes Photography

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