Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Pâté de Campagne

This is the recipe I used to make Pâté de Campagne this Thanksgiving.  Not an original recipe of mine, but an adaptation of this recipe -- Bon Appetit - January 2009  --  written by Molly Wizenberg, then a Cooking Life columnist for Bon Appetit, and also author of the blog,  Orangette.  For the pâté I made, I replaced chicken livers for about half of the ground pork, substituted pork loin for ham steak, and made just a few other minor changes. The end result tastes just like the pâté I remember making with my mother years ago -- our recipe then was from a Gourmet magazine (before the time of PC's and archived recipes), and was since lost.  Serve with toast points or baguettes. (Note: This recipe makes 2 terrines -- 1 regular size loaf  and one mini size loaf (perfect for giving as a gift).


1 lb. chicken livers, rinsed, trimmed and cut in 2-3 pieces each

1 lb. ground pork

2 boneless pork loin chops (about 3/4 lb.), cut into 1 inch cubes

10 pieces bacon, chopped (I used Oscar Meyer center cut)

Additional  bacon to line the pan (about 16 for regular loaf pan, plus about another 6-8 for mini-loaf pan)

2 large shallots, minced

4 med. garlic cloves, minced

2 1/2 tsp. kosher salt

2 1/2 tsp. dried thyme

1 1/2 tsp. allspice

1 tsp. ground pepper

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 cup brandy or cognac

1/2 cup whipping cream

1/2 cup shelled pistachio nuts

This is what they look like before baking


 Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

(1) Process shallots and garlic in food processor until well minced. Place into a large bowl for mixing.

(2) In food processor, in small batches -- about 6 portions:    Process portion of chopped bacon until minced.  Then to it add portions of pork, ground pork and chicken livers (small portions each time).  Pulse to get texture that is not totally smooth, but make sure the pork loin chops are chopped up enough -- Country pâté is not meant to be a smooth pate, it is meant to have texture.   After each batch of meat is finished in the food processor, transfer it to the large bowl with the shallots and garlic.

(3) When all meat has been processed and added to the bowl, add the: salt, dried thyme, allspice, ground pepper, and eggs.  Mix together thoroughly. Add brandy (or cognac) and heavy cream; stir to mix thoroughly.  Mix in pistachio nuts.

(4) Line the loaf pans decoratively with bacon strips, saving some to cover the top of the loaves. This will be part of the finished product, so you want it to look good.

(5) Using a spatula, fill the bacon lined loaf pans with the pâté mixture.  Smooth down top with the spatula.  Line the tops with bacon strips to cover.

(6) Cover the pans tightly with aluminum foil.

(7) Place both pate loaf pans in a larger 13 x 9 x 2" baking pan. Place the large pan in the center of the preheated oven (350 degrees). Pour boiling water about an inch deep into the 13 x 9 x 2" pan -- so the loaf pans are baking in the water-filled pan.  Bake the smaller mini loaf pan for 2 hours, and the regular size loaf pan for 2 1/2 hours. Before removing pans from the oven, insert a ready-read thermometer into the center of each to check that the temperature in the middle is at least 170 degrees.

(8) Remove loaf pans from the oven and set on a rimmed baking sheet.  Cut some corrugated cardboard to fit the size of the top of each loaf pan.  Set fitted cardboard piece on top of the loaf pan. Place baking sheet with pans into the refrigerator.  On top of the cardboard covered tops, place cans of soup, etc to weigh down the pâté ( this will help create the proper texture and make it easier to cut.)  Refrigerate at least overnight.  

(9) When ready to serve, loosen the edges with a knife, then turn out onto a serving plate.  Cut into 1/2 inch slices to serve.  Serve with toast points or baguette slices.

(10) Re-wrap any leftovers very well with two layers of plastic wrap, and then place in a sealed zip-lock bag.  Keep refrigerated.  Can be made ahead.  Can be kept several days in the refrigerator. 

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