Pâté de Campagne is a rustic meat served as a luncheon or appetizer course, or may be served as a main course when accompanied by a good country bread, soup and salad. Makes a great sandwich on a sliced baguette.
You’ve made meat loaf, right? You’ve eaten cold meat loaf, yes? Then you’re half way to being a charcutier. Even a country bumpkin can make this, in fact, that’s who does make them in France. Campagne means “country”. The name may sound fancy, but it’s really rustic country cooking at its best. Don’t think fancy, but filling.
- 1/2 pound (225 g) pork liver, cut into chunks just small enough to fit into the meat grinder
- 1/2 pound (225 g) pork fat, cut into chunks just small enough to fit into the meat grinder
- 1 pound (450 g) pork shoulder, cut into chunks just small enough to fit into the meat grinder
- 1/2 Tablespoon black pepper
- scant pinch of allspice (careful!)
- 5 garlic cloves
- 2 shallots, thinly sliced
- 3 ounces (75 ml) cognac
- 3 ounces (75 ml) white wine
- 4 sprigs flat parsley
- 1 Tablespoon salt
- 1 egg
- caul fat to wrap (purchase from your butcher)
- 1 Cup (225 g) duck fat
- In a large bowl, combine the liver, pork fat, pork shoulder, pepper, allspice, garlic, shallots, cognac, white wine, and parsley and cover. Refrigerate overnight. That was easy.
- The next day, remove the mixture from the refrigerator, add the salt, and pass everything through the strong meat grinder, which you have fitted with a medium blade. The grind size should not be too small (paste) nor too large (chunks). Basically, you’re looking for a grind size about that of meat loaf. If you don’t have a durable meat grinder, suck up to your friendly neighborhood butcher and take your mix down to him. He should like you by now; he doesn’t get a lot of calls for pork liver and pork fat. (If that’s also not an option, trim off as much sinew as possible, cut the pork into small dice, and hope for the best.)
- When your meat and other ingredients are ground up, add the egg and mix through by hand. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (170 degrees C).
- Line the terrine mold with one big piece of caul fat (or overlapping pieces, if you must) so that plenty of extra flops over the edge — enough to cover the top of the pâté when you fill the mold. Fill the terrine with the ground mixture, packing it tightly. Lift the terrine and firmly drop it onto the work surface (easy, don’t go nuts) a few times, to knock out any air pockets. Fold over the remaining caul fat to neatly cover the pâté, trimming and tucking until it looks nice. Now cover the whole megillah with foil.
- Set up a bain‐marie inside the preheated oven. Put the filled terrine in the center. Obviously, you do not want the water level to be so high that the water leaks into the terrine mold. You want just enough water so that it comes up below the rim. Cook the terrine in the water bath in the oven for about 2 1/2 hours, or until the internal temperature is 160 degrees F (70 degrees C) (this is where your meat thermometer comes in).
- When done, remove from the oven and allow to cool. Place a weight on top of the terrine (still in foil) and refrigerate overnight. The next day, remove the weight, remove the foil, melt down the duck fat in a small saucepan, and pour it carefully over the pate. Then refrigerate again for a few hours. The pâté will keep in the refrigerator for at least 5 days.
- Serve with cornichons and maybe a tiny salad. If you did everything right, the pâté, when sliced, should be firm and moist, not dry or crumbly. The color should be uniform, not pink at the bottom and gray on the top. It should be cooked through, and the slices should have structural integrity, meaning they don’t break when you cut them.
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