Paté de campagne

There hasn’t been a new #FridayRecipe for a while so I hope that this makes up for it! I’ve had delicious country-style patés in France many times but it’s hard to find a really good one to buy in the shops here. It would be pretty expensive to buy enough from a supermarket deli to serve as a starter for a lot of people, however, this is very easy and relatively inexpensive to make at home. It’s great party or friends and family gathering food although you do need to make it the day before you want to eat it so that the flavour and texture will develop perfectly. Served in slices with hot toast, crusty bread, olives, cornichons, sweet baby tomatoes or silver skinned onions, it’s a really delicious and special hors d’oeuvres.

pate de campagne

  • 350 g veal
  • 450 g rindless belly pork (ask your butcher for leftover strips of pork fat if he has them)
  • 225 g pig’s liver
  • 125 g streaky bacon
  • 2 cloves of garlic, grated
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground mace
  • 15 black peppercorns, coarsely crushed
  • 10 juniper berries, lightly crushed
  • 125 ml dry white wine
  • 25 ml brandy
  • 4 fresh bay leaves to garnish

To make…

  • First, prepare the meat. To get the best-finished texture, I hand cut the belly pork and the bacon into small lardon-type pieces – roughly half a centimetre in size.  For the veal and then the pigs liver, I use a food processor to create a coarse texture – just a few short pulses will do or it will turn to mush.
  • Add all the meat to a large mixing bowl and then add all the rest of the flavouring ingredients i.e. everything except the bay leaves. Mix it thoroughly, cover and leave in a cool place for a couple of hours-
  • Preheat the oven to 160°C.
  • Pack the meat mixture into a proper terrine or a 900g loaf tin, smooth the top level and lay the pork fat strips over the top if you have them. Place into a bain-marie (a meat-roasting tin half-filled with water) and carefully transfer to the middle shelf of the oven. Bake for about an hour and a half.
  • Remove it from the oven and remove the pork strips but don’t drain any of the juices or fat – you need them to keep it moist – it will have shrunk quite a bit. Allow it to cool thoroughly and then press the bay leaves in to decorate. Cover with foil and then add weights or a couple of tins of tomatoes to the top to press it down which will make it easier to slice.
  • Leave it the fridge overnight. Bring it out about an hour before you want to serve it and carefully lift off any areas of white fat on the top with the blade of a knife but leave it sitting in the jelly. If you used a terrine that goes oven to table, leave it in the terrine to serve it. If it’s in a loaf tin carefully lift it out onto a serving plate.
  • Bring it to the table with pride.

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About Janet Davies @pigeoncottage

Food lover, author, cook!
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