Pâté de Campagne

I hesitated to post a recipe for Pâté de Campagne on Tim’s Food Obsession. The Internet is already crowded with tons of recipes for this delicious meaty terrine. The reason why I decided to write this post is to share how you can vary the process to put your own stamp on the dish.

Since we started dry-aging meaty specialties in “The Saluminator,” I have enthusiastically gobbled up many platters at the start of many restaurant meals. Many times, these platters include some variation on a pâté. It started me thinking about some approaches to the dish, and here we are!

I got some good quality pork from a local market that cuts their own meats, a nice piece cut from a pork shoulder and a piece of pork belly. I also bought some chicken livers. (They were out of pork liver.)

Back at home, I got everything together to assemble the pâté. The first two things were to place all of the equipment needed for processing and handling the meat into the deep freezer (0F).  This included the meat grinder head, auger, blade, 7mm plate, 3mm plate, a small stainless steel bowl, the mixer bowl and the mixing paddle from my Kitchen Aid stand mixer. Then, I set up a 20 quart Cambro container with my sous vide unit and set it to pre-heat to 160F.

I cut the pork shoulder and belly into 1” cubes. Two pounds of pork shoulder, 6 ounces of belly, and 6 ounces of cleaned chicken livers. Put them in the freezer while I assembled the rest of the ingredients.

* 2T finely minced garlic
* ½ of a small yellow onion minced
* ½ cup chopped parsley
* 1t ground black pepper
* 1-1/2t pâté spice (a combination of spices, see below)
* 2T Himalayan salt

The pâté spice I made is as follows for about ½ cup (you may vary to your taste):
* 8 grams chopped bay leaves (I have a bay tree, and I keep leaves frozen)
* 3 grams dried thyme
* 3 grams toasted coriander seeds
* 3 grams ground Saigon cinnamon
* 4 grams whole nutmeg, grated on a ginger grater
* 3 grams whole cloves
* 3 grams ground ginger
* 2 grams whole mace
* 15 grams white peppercorns
* 5 grams black peppercorns
* 1 gram red chili powder

Grind all the ingredients together to a fine powder. I use a coffee mill dedicated for grinding spices.

The ingredients for the panade:
* 2 fresh duck eggs
* ½ cup heavy cream
* 2-1/2T Armagnac (plus, a little more for the chef)
* 2T all purpose flour ( I used my normal Tipo 00 flour that I keep on hand for pizza and bread)

You may vary the panade to your liking. Some folks leave out the cream, some add bread crumbs instead of flour. Experiment!

And, the garnishes:
* 3 preserved black summer truffles thinly sliced
* ½ cup of home cured and smoked honey bacon, diced about ½”

You can experiment with the garnishes, too. I like to add cornichons and pearl onions, sometimes pistachios or dried fruit (brandy soaked dried cherries), and I have seen smoked meats or cubes of cheese used. Various herbs or a layer of spices work, too. Change it up!

Remove the meats, the meat grinder parts, the mixer bowl, and the other small bowl from the freezer. Fit the grinder with the 7mm plate. Grind the pork and pork belly into the mixer bowl. Remove about 1/3 of the ground meat and combine it with the chicken livers, garlic, onion, parsley, black pepper and pâté spice. Fit the grinder with the 3mm plate and grind this mixture into the mixer bowl with the rest of the coarsely ground pork.

Attach the mixer bowl to the mixer and fit the mixer with the blade attachment. In the small bowl (I used the one I mixed up the livers, pork and spices) whisk together the duck eggs, cream, Armagnac, and flour. Pour this into the mixer bowl with the ground meat.  Run the mixer on low to incorporate the ingredients, and then step up to speed 4 or 5 to beat the mixture until it is well blended and smooth looking.

Get the terrine molds ready. This recipe will make nearly 1.5 quarts, so I used two molds. I have a Le Creuset ¾ quart terrine mold. For the second one, I used a small 1-quart square Corning Ware casserole dish. Wet the molds with water and line with plastic wrap. I use one piece of plastic going each way with enough overlap to fold over the top. Evenly press the plastic down into the corners of the molds.

Spread some of the pâté into each mold, about 1” deep.  For the truffled pâté, I layered this with truffles to create a uniform layer that would make a black line in the sliced finished pâté. For the bacon pâté, I put half of the bacon cubes on the first layer, and then poked them into the pâté. Then I topped with the rest of the forcemeat and topped with the rest of the bacon cubes and poked them in. The goal here was to have the bacon throughout the pâté.

Fold the plastic wrap over the pâté, but do not fully seal if you plan to cook by sous vide. If you fully seal, then the whole thing will bulge and some pâté will leak out when you vacuum seal it. Put the mold into a large vacuum bag and seal. Drop the sealed molds into the preheated sous vide water bath at 160F. Cook for four hours. I find cooking this way renders out much less fat and the pate is very silky textured. The meat is extremely tender.

When done, remove from the water bath, but keep in the vacuum bags. The Le Creuset mold comes with a ceramic plate that site on top of the pâté. I sit two cans of beans on top of this to press it down. For the Corning Ware dish, I use a two-quart Mason jar filled with water. Leave these weights on while the pâté cools. When cool enough, move the terrines and the cans/jars to the fridge and let them go overnight.

The next day, unpack and enjoy a slice of each! Surround it with other delicious things you grew or made yourself!

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