Sunday, December 4, 2011

Country Pate

Country Pate

Charcuterie is far more than just making sausage. My first attempt at anything like charcuterie was chopped chicken liver made with a friend back in the early 60s when I was still in high school. It worked.

Some years later, in the early 80s I made another attempt at this craft. This time a Country Pate. My wife and I were so lacking in knowledge of this that we tried to eat it the day I made it and were terribly disappointed. At the suggestion of a more sophisticated couple she knew we attempted the pate again after it had sat for two days. Thank you Larry and Leo, without your advice that day I'm certain I would not have attempted it again.

I make this pate yearly, if not more often, as we like it. I made two on the Sunday past which I will document here. I will also be making one to take with me to the Cleveland meeting of the America's Test Kitchen Irregulars, where I will demonstrate making a fourth.

I've blogged here on this before, here, but this time I will be including the recipe.

This is the finished product, but before going in the oven.

First we need to gather our ingrediants.

This does use a fair bit. Even allowing for the fact I'm doing two pates, each contains 7 pounds of meat, most of it pork. Cheap pork, that butt was on sale for $0.79/lb and I had 3 pounds plus the bone left over for something else.

Now I should mention that this pate is an unofficial entry in to an offal contest. (Hunter Angler Gardner Cook) Now it isn't that I don't approve of an offal contest, and with two different ones in the pate it should qualify, but I'm not really entering. I was hoping to do this with smoked sweetbreads rather than smoked chicken liver, but I couldn't find them.

The prize is a copy of the old Time Life The Good Cook Variety Meats cook book, and I still have my copy, along with every volume in that series and the TL Foods of the World series. Books well worth having if you can find them. Why Time Life doesn't at least put out a CD reprint is beyond me. I'll buy it.

The ingrediants:

2 lb boneless fatty pork, (I take it off a fresh butt or shoulder or foreleg. I suppose you could use fresh ham.)

1 lb boneless veal,  (I trim leanish meat off a veal breast)

1 lb pork liver
1 lb chicken livers

31/2 cups  breadcrumbs

1 large onion, finely chopped and sautéed in  until soft in2 tbsp butter
3 garlic cloves, crushed to a paste with

½ tsp salt
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

2 tsp mixed spices (paprika, cayenne, mustard, fresh ground pepper, whatever)

1 tbsp mixed dry herbs (fresh is better if you can get them. Tarragon, rosemary, chive, thyme, whatever)

1 tbsp salt

6 eggs

½ cup cognac3 lbs thin/medium cut bacon, should be mild if smoked, Costco is fine.
5 small but whole bayleaves

If you don't have a meat grinder then the fatty pork, veal and pork liver will need to be ground, I wouldn't use a food processor for this.

That is all of the meat but the bacon. Note that because I've a smoker going for another project, which will be posted soon, the chicken livers are smoked for this pate only.

Cube the meats, except the chicken livers, and set aside.

OK that is ready for the grinder, go stick it in a freezer or at least the fridge. We don't need to keep this as cold as for sausage, but it does have to stay cold.

Above is the very large chopped onion and the other fresh herbs. And what is left of the butter after 2 tablespoons went in a skillet.

And the bread crumbs, plain old bread crumbs out of a can from the store. I could make my own, but I usually don't have that much home baked bread to waste.

Get you terrine and your bacon, that 2 lbs will turn out to be a few strips short.

Then start a basket weave with the bacon

You get the idea.

Grind away. That is the KA grinder and I used the large die. Note that the entire grinder was held in an ice bath prior to use, and the blade was steeled prior to assembly of the grinder.

And the meat is ground.

The eggs and cognac, everthing except the ground meat and smoked liver.

Now this is the other pate, but you can see the chicken livers, fresh in this case, on top of the half filled terrine, 3 qt terrine works fine.

And here is it finished. Bay leaves in place, basket weave closed ready for a 350 F oven for 90 minutes.
Then I will check the center for 130F and when it gets there let it finish cooking out of the oven.

A finished product. This will sit in the fridge until Saturday when it will be part of my wife's and my contribution to the food for the reception for Ron Knoll's memorial on May 3.

Camera unknown, probably Nikon Coolpix

CountryPate Downloadable PDF  Link doesn’t work on the PDF itself

As always feel free to use and distribute, if you use our pictures and/or text then give us credit – thanks.

© 2011 Virginia L. Dyson & Warner W. Johnston

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