Pâté de Campagne Rustic Appetizer

Pâté de Campagne Rustic Appetizer: A pâté de campagne, or country terrine, is a rustic preparation, slightly more refined than a pâté grandmère mainly in that it uses no liver or only a small amount of liver—liver is a seasoning device here rather than the dominant flavor. Also unlike the pâté grandmère, some internal garnish, such as fresh herbs and chunks of smoked ham or duck confit, go a long way.

Pâté de Campagne Rustic Appetizer

Pâté de Campagne from our friend Joe Gatins, Translated from French.

Pâté de Campagne Rustic Appetizer, or country terrine, is a rustic preparation, slightly more refined than a pâté grandmère mainly in that it uses no liver or only a small amount of liver—liver is a seasoning device here rather than the dominant flavor. Also unlike the pâté grandmère, some internal garnish, such as fresh herbs and chunks of smoked ham or duck confit, go a long way. The panade (notice that it’s made with flour, not bread) helps to retain moisture and to enrich and bind the pâté.

Most of the meat is either diced or ground through a large die, and none of it is pureed, to achieve the characteristic coarse texture of a country terrine. If you use liver add only a small amount. Try to use pork liver if possible rather than chicken liver, because it will allow you to cook the terrine to a lower final temperature and therefore produce a moister pâté.

A pâté de campagne is the easiest terrine to make, and in the spirit of its origins—a humble but delicious dish made from trimmings or inexpensive cuts of meat—should be made with whatever garnish is on hand and eaten simply, with a good baguette, cornichons and French Dijon. Add a salad of fresh greens, and you’ve got a simple midweek meal. It’s also a fabulous make-ahead dish for a weekend dinner party.

Ingredients

3/4 cup Cognac

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 cup minced onion

2 1/2 pounds ground pork

12 ounces bacon (8 to 10 slices), finely chopped, plus 14 bacon slices (for lining pan)

3 garlic cloves, pressed

2 1/2 teaspoons salt

2 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme

1 1/2 teaspoons allspice

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1/3 cup whipping cream

2 tablespoons/20 grams all-purpose flour

1 6-ounce piece ham steak, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick strips

Coarse sea salt

Cornichons*

Dijon mustard

Preparation

Set rack at lowest position in oven and preheat to 350°F. Boil Cognac until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 1 1/2 minutes. Cool. Melt butter in heavy medium skillet over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until soft and translucent but not brown, about 8 minutes. Combine ground pork and chopped bacon in large bowl. Using fork or fingertips, mix together until well blended.

Add sautéed onion, garlic, 2 1/2 teaspoons salt, thyme, allspice, and pepper to bowl with pork mixture and stir until incorporated. Add eggs, cream, flour, and reduced Cognac. Stir until well blended.

Line 9x5x3-inch metal loaf pan with bacon slices, arranging 8 slices across width of pan and 3 slices on each short side of pan and overlapping pan on all sides. Using hands, lightly and evenly press half of meat mixture (about 3 1/4 cups) onto bottom of pan atop bacon slices. Arrange ham strips over in single layer. Top with remaining meat mixture.

Fold bacon slices over, covering pâté. Cover pan tightly with foil. Place pan in 13x9x2-inch metal baking pan and transfer to oven. Pour boiling water into baking pan to come halfway up sides of loaf pan. Bake pâté until a thermometer inserted through foil into center registers 155°F, about 2 hours 15 minutes.

Remove loaf pan from baking pan and transfer to rimmed baking sheet. Place heavy skillet or 2 to 3 heavy cans atop pâté to weigh down. Chill overnight. Do Ahead Can be made 4 days ahead.

Place loaf pan with pâté in larger pan of hot water for about 3 minutes. Invert pâté onto platter; discard fat from platter and wipe clean. Cut pâté crosswise into 1/2-inch slices.

Recipe Adapted from Joe Gatins family recipe by Executive Chef David Darugh, “Best Chefs America