OOH LA LA...PATE DE CAMPAGNE...
Country Pate...otherwise known as "Fancy Meatloaf".
if you break it down like that it doesn't seem so difficult to handle...i mean just about anyone can throw together a meatloaf...right?
so, i decided to tackle the beast...take on the challenge of a PATE. i've made Terrines and Rillettes in the past, but nothing as fancy as a pate with a French name and LIVER in the recipe...yikes!
liver scares me and kinda gives me the creeps. when i was little my mother always wanted us to try something once. she tried to tell my brother and i that it was "baby cow"...i said, "no thank you". she said, "just try it once if you don't like it you don't have to eat it". i said, "no thank you, i'll throw up"...so she insisted that i take one bite...
i threw up on my plate!...
thank goodness i have evolved, broadened my horizons and my palette has improved with age.
this pate is relatively simple, but kind of time consuming. i've made it twice now and i must say the second time was a bit easier. the first on i got a little caught up in perfection and still had that little flare of apprehension i get when tackling something new and seemingly involved. the second one i just told myself it was a fancy meatloaf...it took the pressure off...besides...the first one was such a success that i knew i could play around a little with the ingredients and not be so precise.
PATE de CAMPAGNE with PINK PEPPERCORNS
adapted from Sippitysup. thanks to jgreghenry
the following ingredients are what i used and found delicious, but the original recipe can be found HERE.
3/4 lb chicken livers-trimmed
1/3 lb ground pork
3/4 lb pork loin chop, cut into 1 inch cubes
4 slices bacon, roughly chopped
1 1/2-2 tsp salt
1/2 Tbsp pink peppercorns, lightly crushed
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped fine
1 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped fine
1/4 cup pistachios
3 Tbsp Brandy or Cognac...i used Henessy
1 medium shallot, minced
2 eggs lightly beaten
6-8 whole bay leaves-mostly for decor
12 slices of bacon
-put the pork loin cubes, chicken livers and roughly chopped bacon into a food processor with blade attachment
-pulse the mixture 12-15 times, scraping sides a few times during process. you're looking for a varied texture. don't over process into mush, but don't leave too chunky.
-once you are happy with the texture move the meat mixture to a large bowl. add the salt, pink peppercorns, black pepper, thyme, rosemary and brandy. mix this together.
-now, add lightly beaten eggs and shallots. mix this together well.
-add in the pistachios if you're using them.
-choose a three cup terrine mold or some other oven proof dish of appropriate size and shape...
NOTE...i used a medium loaf pan and had a little left over for a mini loaf pan (also lined with bacon...cute!)
-layer the bay leaves on the bottom of the pan/terrine. this is pretty much for decoration, but adds flavor as well.
-line the long sides of the pan/terrine with sliced bacon. leave enough bacon hanging over both sides to cover the top once it is filled.
NOTE...i used very long strips of bacon. use your judgment...you want the whole thing lined with bacon...the end result is what you're after...after all this trouble it has to look pretty right?
-spoon the meat mixture into the bacon covered mold. leave a 1/4 inch space on top. you need room for the top layer of bacon and it will puff a little during cooking.
-fold the hanging bacon over the top and add a piece or two if necessary.
cut a piece of parchment to cover just the meaty top and wrap the terrine/loaf pan in aluminum foil.
-let the flavors come together in the fridge or overnight. i didn't wait.
-when you are ready to cook...preheat the oven to 325 F. place the covered terrine in a larger baking dish and pour boiling water into the baking dish to come halfway up the sides of the terrine...in other words...this needs to cooked in a Baine Marie.
-bake this for 1 1/2 hours or until the internal temp is 160 F.
-lift the terrine out of the water and set aside to cool completely while covered.
-once it is cooled, drain any extra liquid from the terrine.
-this is optional, but i find it BEST...you need to press the pate when it goes into the fridge.. i use a foil covered brick that fits just-right into my medium loaf pan. you can also use soup cans or even a heavy skillet...cut yourself a piece of cardboard that will fit inside the rim of the loaf pan or terrine. cover it with tin foil or plastic wrap. put that on top of the meat and weigh it down with something heavy...this makes for a nice tight pate that holds together well when sliced...besides...it's just part of that making your own PATE EXPERIENCE...
please DO give this one a try...
i know it sounds so involved, but just have fun with it and i'm sure you will end up with a fabulous, beautiful loaf of "HOMEMADE CHARCUTERIE"