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Easy to make liver pate, made with chicken livers and pork sausage, wrapped in bacon.
Photography Credit:Elise Bauer
Easy to make liver pate recipe, made with chicken livers and pork sausage, wrapped in bacon, well seasoned with herbs and spices. Also known as “pâté (pate) campagne”.
Pâté (Pate) Maison Recipe
- 1 lb chicken livers
- 1 lb lean pork
- 1 lb mild Italian sausage meat
- 1 Tbsp chopped chives or scallions
- 1 Tbsp chopped parsley
- 1 Tbsp fresh coarsely ground pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 Tbsp brandy
- 2 Tbsp dry sherry
- 10 slices bacon (uncooked)
1 Grind the meat: Grind the chicken livers, pork, and Italian sausage through a meat grinder twice. Add remaining ingredients (except the bacon) and mix well.
2 Line a loaf pan with bacon, fill with meat mixture: Line an 9x5x3 inch loaf pan with bacon strips and pack in the mixture. Cover with bacon strips.
3 Bake: Place pan in a water bath, a larger pan that is filled halfway up the sides of the inner pan with water. Bake at 350°F for 2 1/2 hours.
4 Cool with weight on top: Remove from the oven. Cover with aluminum foil. Place a weight such as a heavy brick on top while cooling. Best to cool overnight in the refrigerator.
5 Serve: Slice and serve with bread or toast, lettuce and or tomatoes.
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How to Make Pâté at Home and Be a Person Who Eats Liver
Pâté sounds intimidating. There’s something about the circumflex over the a, the accent over the e, that adds a sense of mystique. There must be something elaborate and French to do, some mysterious alchemy of careful stirring that creates the rich, smooth mousse that tantalizes in tiny portions on crostini and pricy charcuterie boards.
The truth is that pâté is quite simple to make at home, and requires no specialized equipment beyond a blender or food processor. At a good neighborhood grocery, chicken livers should set you back no more than two dollars a pound a few cloves of garlic, an onion, butter, a splash of red wine and some vinegar are all it takes to round out a dish that will boldly say, “I definitely know what I am doing, because I am a competent human adult.” What’s more, pâté is the ideal way to eat liver. It may be an acquired taste, but it’s something that you should go out of your way to acquire—like a learned language, or a rare book. The iron-y, gamey taste of liver, the most accessible of all the organ meats, sharpens all that it accompanies. It makes red wine richer and cheeses acid-bright it can make your conversation wittier with each bite. It can make a lazy, homebound Sunday feel accomplished. “I made pâté yesterday,” you’ll say offhandedly to your coworkers, a knowing look in your eye, as you stride in on Monday confident in the pleasures of your table.
Yes, they're gross. But stay with me, and remove that stringy white stuff.
The only real barrier to creating a great pâté at home is the slightly gory process of cleaning a liver. It involves getting close to your food in a way that other parts of the chicken don’t require. In order to make a tasty and smooth-textured pate, you must remove the connective tissue between the lobes of the liver. You can use a sharp knife, kitchen scissors, or your hands, depending on how messy you’re willing to get in the kitchen. Just be sure to wash your hands thoroughly before and after the cleaning process. (If you have white cabinets like me, be aware that streaking them with liver blood will result in awkward questions unless you clean it up immediately.) While the lobes—which you’ll cook—are smooth and usually a darker color, the connective tissue is stringy and lumpy, and may be streaked with white fat. There may be one or more pieces of connective tissue on each liver, but don’t get impatient. It’s bloody but it’s worth it, and you will emerge triumphant from a process that, let’s face it, isn’t exactly brain surgery. Trim the membranous tissue from the lobes, placing it in a separate bowl so that you don’t confuse it with the meat you plan to cook, and discard afterward.
Once you’ve mastered cleaning liver, you can use these oblong flavor bombs with just about any combination of starches and fats: in an elaborate bolognese liver, onions, mushrooms and rice in a glorious umami jumble golden-baked dough pockets with a dab of chopped liver in the center et cetera. But pâté, the elusive showstopper, will convey a sense of decadence and skill belied by the ease with which you’ll prepare it.
To get started creating your showstopper, take a hefty knob of butter (2-4 tablespoons) and let it melt in a large skillet. As the butter melts, begin to season it: let a few sprinkles of rosemary dapple the foaming butter, a few pinches of salt, and a grind or two of pepper. Then add in two or three cloves of minced garlic, along with a thinly sliced, medium-sized red or yellow onion. Let the onion and garlic mellow in the butter over medium heat, growing aromatic, until the onion has softened and grown translucent. Next, add the liver and a hearty splash each of balsamic vinegar and red wine, along with a few more scatterings of salt and pepper.
Let the livers brown in the liquid, turning them over with a spatula so that both sides are an even color, and the insides remain slightly pink, about two to three minutes on each side. The aroma in your kitchen should be sharp, meaty, with an alliaceous kick the red wine, balsamic vinegar, and butter combine to form a rich, acidic steam. Turn off the burner and let the livers stand in the liquid for a few minutes, until the liquid has stopped bubbling and cooled slightly. (This might be a good time to watch the Julia Child-Gordon Ramsay smackdown on Epic Rap Battles of History. My experiments have indicated that this is the perfect amount of time before the next step.)
Next, ready the blades. Any blender or food processor will do. Tip the sautéed mixture gently into the basin, using your spatula to scrape up any juices remaining in the pan. (These are crucial, and delicious don’t neglect them.) Pulse until the pâté looks even, without any lumps. You may need to reach a spoon down into the basin to make sure all the solids are broken down evenly, especially if your milquetoast little blender was advertised with a woman delicately sipping a pink smoothie, unaware of the pungent, winy offal that would soon churn within.
The final step: chill the pâté for at least an hour. (The longer, the better.) If you’re in a hurry to serve to guests, put it in the freezer and give it 30-45 minutes, but it’s best to prepare this dish with time to spare. If you want to really impress your company or the date you’ve finally invited to a home-cooked dinner, cut a baguette or any thin loaf of bread into rounds, brush with olive oil, and broil for a few minutes until they’re toasty and crisp to the touch. Serve the pâté with these crostini, any crackers you have lying around, and a smug, impregnable sense of new accomplishment.
Our Daily Brine’s pate de campagne. Photograph: Felicity Cloake/Guardian
As Julia Child explains in Mastering the Art of French Cooking, pâté de campagnes “vary in content and flavour throughout France, but always contain pork liver, pork, and sometimes other meats, as well as pork fat, a binder and the usual seasoning”.
Pork shoulder, a flavourful cut well marbled with fat, is the most popular base in the pâté recipes I try, used by Raymond Blanc’s Foolproof French Cookery and Anthony Bourdain’s Les Halles Cookbook. Michel Roux’s The Essence of French Cooking suggests pork neck and Julia Child “fat-and-lean fresh pork” such as sausagemeat. Blanc also uses pork belly and Child adds lean veal or chicken. I suspect Blanc’s pork belly is a goodwill gesture towards his readers, because almost all the other recipes use pork fat, which is somewhat more difficult to get hold of on its own, though your butcher should be able to find you some if you give him or her notice. (He and Our Daily Brine, the other recipe to omit it, also add bacon to the mixture, which helps to up the fat content.)
I think that, sadly, some pure fat is essential – it gives the pâté a surprising lightness of texture particularly evident in Roux and Bourdain’s versions, without adding too much salt, as the bacon tends to. Pork shoulder, which is far easier to get hold of than pork neck, will form the bulk of the pâté. Roux and Bourdain both marinate their meat overnight before use, which definitely seems to help in the flavour department if you’ve got the time this is not instant gratification. Blanc whizzes his meats up in the food processor, which I’d love to say works just fine, but in fact makes it rather mushy you need to mince it, preferably fairly coarsely, to give that authentic chunky texture. As you’re going to have to go to the butcher anyway, ask him to do the hard work for you.
Pâté as a Way of Life
In France, spiced 'meat loaves' are a savory reminder of how wonderful food can be.
Foremost in my first attempt, some decades ago, at making a professional terrine were the hearts and livers of the quail. Given the size of that bird and the fact that I had to fill four rather large oval terra-cotta vessels, the number of organs was, as you might imagine, impressive. Thankfully, there were other ingredients to help bulk that slippery, bloody mass of tiny pumps and filters: minced pork belly, small cubes of Bayonne ham, and a generous dice of black truffle. While the seasonings were measured in grams and the alcohol in milliliters, the chopped fresh herbs were to be incorporated in experienced handfuls, amounts that chef Jean-Pierre conveyed to me as ”Beaucoup, mon petit, beaucoup! Allez! À la main, mon brave!”—eventually followed by a few gentle words of English to give reassurance to this 16-year-old novice: ”Be generurze, Simon. We ‘ave to make it vurry tasty, non?” And so it was, in the kitchens of La Normandie, the Champeau family’s very French restaurant in the north of England, that I learned to make terrine de caille.
I’ve probably concocted and eaten thousands of pates and terrines since then, and can conclusively state that no one makes them better than the French. In fact, a slice of pate maison (literally, ”pate of the house”) or pate de campagne (”country-style pate”) should be part of everyone’s daily diet when in France. This became my cardinal rule when I was a lad, on one of my first continental holidays with my parents in the Loire Valley. It was while shopping for a picnic on a warm and sunny morning in the town of Loches that I first became aware of the skill and talent of charcutiers (literally, ”meat cookers”). A duck pate did it. Apart from the look of the thing—a gorgeous, wide, pale-pink slab surrounded by a thin sheet of white fat—it was the intoxicating odor of garlic and liver in the confines of our hot and stuffy Renault that made me realize this was unlike anything I had ever eaten at home. And the manner in which the pate was so confidently sliced, then swiftly and deftly wrapped in pink waxed paper and presented with a beaming smile, helped impress upon me forever how wonderful food can be.
Eating good pate is simply a way of life in France. Many households have their own treasured recipe, and even some supermarket renditions are acceptable. A handful of small restaurants in Paris take particular pride in their versions. At Chez Cartet, for example, on a quiet street just off the Place de la Republique, Madame Nouaille will plonk three or four terrines maisons on the table with a pot of cornichons, leaving you to slice and devour at your own pace until satiated. My favorite, terrine aux herbes de Provence Madame Cartet, is generously laced with shallots, garlic, thyme, marjoram, oregano, summer savory, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, and nutmeg—it is quite exceptional. Similarly, Chez la Vieille ”Adrienne”, tucked behind the Samaritaine department store in Les Halles, challenges even the most greedy trenchermen with battered dishes heavy with fromage de tete—a chunky, robust headcheese terrine—and deeply savory terrine de lapin.
The distinction between pate and terrine has long been muddled. Traditionally, the word pate—derived from the Old French paste, meaning ”pastry” or ”dough”—denoted a baked dish of seasoned ground meat encased in a pastry shell. By contrast, pate en terrine, or ”terrine” for short, was baked in an earthenware dish called, yes, a terrine (from the French word terre, meaning ”earth”). Today, however, these preparations are also made with fish, vegetables, even fruit, and the words _pate _and _terrine _are used interchangeably, even in France. (And the term _pate en croute _is often used to specify a pastry-wrapped concoction.)
It is speculated that pates, which can be traced back to the Greeks and Romans, were developed as a means for preserving the yield from the annual pig slaughter. As pate making became more popular and spread across Europe, cooks vied to create new types. By the 1500s, a wide variety of pates, terrines, and their many cousins (galantines—stuffed loaves of meat or fish that are poached and usually served cold ballottines—similar to galantines, except they are roasted or braised and usually served hot mousses—rich, airy, sweet or savory concoctions served hot or cold and timbales—molded meat, vegetable, or cheese preparations, often custard or rice based) existed.
Pates and terrines can be simple or complex, economical or costly, smooth or coarse. The main ingredient gives the dish its name—pate or terrine de lapin (rabbit), de gibier (game), de ris de veau (sweetbreads)—but there is usually some sort of liver, the essential ”softener”, involved. All pates and terrines need fat to provide moisture and to help bind ingredients, but the exact type varies. The success of a silky chicken-liver pate may require only the addition of melted butter to set perfectly, but a coarser mixture needs something more substantial, such as pig fat. Forget those modish, perhaps more delicate, and certainly more expensive additions of chopped foie gras as fat in some complicated layered terrines: It ain’t the common lubricant of the land. (Although these days, unfortunately, foie gras is easier to find than fatback in many of the swankier food shops.)
As far as I am concerned, the late Richard Olney, an American long domiciled in France, penned the most accurate, informed, and passionate words on the subject of pates—and on gastronomy in general, for that matter. (He wrote some thirty-five books on food and wine, including the seminal French Menu Cookbook _and _Simple French Food.) It was through reading Olney’s recipe for a poultry-liver terrine that the art of pate-making first made profound sense to me. In his version, no ingredient is forced through the angry blades of a food processor, and anything that does need to be thoroughly diminished is properly chopped with a sharp knife. He also recommends using just the ”heads” of cloves, freshly crushed, instead of store-bought clove powder—and advises that all mixing be done by hand.
The idea that any old chef can knock out a decent pate or terrine maison, however, could not be further from the truth. To fashion the real thing requires traditional culinary thinking, a true understanding of the properties of seasoning, lots of laborious chopping, and a keen desire to (eventually) taste the first slice—hopefully with some good bread, a cool curl of Normandy butter, a crisp cornichon, and a glass of fruity beaujolais.
Whenever I prepare a pate or a terrine, I inevitably think of Chez Cartet’s exemplary versions and Olney’s uncompromising standards. Of course, what also comes to mind are Jean-Pierre’s words of advice: ”We ‘ave to make it vurry tasty, non, Simon?” Mais oui, chef, mais oui.
Treat Dad to these Pâté Sandwich Recipes
Treat Dad to the best pâté sandwich recipes and get ideas for the perfect Father’s Day Sunday. Trust us when we say that these easy recipes—from an irresistibly gooey grilled cheese to a Thai-inspired dish—will please the whole fam.
Is there anything better than biting into a hearty baguette? Only biting into a hearty baguette that’s topped with our Herb de Provence Pâté ! For a sandwich that’s sure to please, we suggest layering our pâté with pickled vegetables (think: green beans, radishes, and carrots), crisp frisée, and creamy dijon aioli.
Feel free to experiment with fresh vegetables — like sliced tomato or onion— as well. Remember: You can’t go wrong with additional greens!
A deliciously fun play on the classic Banh Mi, our rendition of this sandwich couples our Chicken Liver Pâté with traditional Vietnamese pork for additional depth in flavor. Stuffed full of fresh veggies and herbs for a burst of freshness, this sandwich will leave you and Pops craving for more.
For an extra layer of flavor, try incorporating any one of our vegan varieties into the mix. The interplay of flavors will do wonders for your taste buds (and Dad’s!).
First, julienne and sauté your choice of veggies (we suggest opting for mushrooms, onions, and peppers). Slice a fresh baguette in half and evenly toast both sides. Spread a smooth layer of Dijon on the inside of the warm, crispy bread. For your sandwich filling, include a few thin slices of our Herb de Provence Pâté, and stuff to the brim with the warm vegetables you prepared. Yum .
We know what you might be asking yourself: A grilled cheese on Father’s Day? The answer: Yes. But we’re not just talking any grilled cheese here — we’re talking a decadent pâté-inspired one.
For an “adult” twist on a grilled cheese you can turn to again and again, gather shredded white cheddar, sliced Swiss, a thick sliced bread, grilled onions, and our Wild Forest Mushroom Pâté .
Butter one side of two slices of bread. Add a thin slice of our Forest Mushroom Pâté, top with a slice of Swiss cheese, a sprinkle of white cheddar cheese, the grilled onions, another slice of Swiss, and finally the other slice of bread. Cook butter-side-down in a nonstick pan until golden brown on each side.
Turns out, Dads love brunch just as Moms do!
Start with a fresh, crusty baguette from your local bakery. Cut in half and lightly toast it. Spread a generous helping of our Truffle Mousse Pâté . Sauté a few mushrooms, fry an egg, and gently place them on top. On the opposite side of the baguette, spread whole grain mustard. Last step: Enjoy!
Pâté de Campagne (Country Pâté)
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, 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.
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 ¼ pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 6 ounces duck leg meat
- 4 ounces fatty bacon, chopped
- 4 ounces chicken livers, roughly chopped
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 1 shallot, thinly sliced
- ⅓ cup chopped Italian parsley
- ¼ cup cognac
- 5 teaspoons kosher salt
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon pink curing salt (such as Instacure™ #1) (Optional)
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- ⅓ cup dry bread crumbs
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup dried cherries (Optional)
- ½ cup shelled whole pistachios (Optional)
- 8 strips bacon, or as needed
Combine cloves, nutmeg, ginger, and cayenne pepper in a small bowl to make spice mixture.
Place pork shoulder, duck meat, chopped bacon, chicken livers, onion, shallot, parsley, cognac, salt, garlic, pepper, 3/4 teaspoon spice mixture, and pink curing salt in a large bowl. Mix thoroughly until evenly distributed. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate about 2 hours.
Whisk cream, bread crumbs, and eggs together in a bowl.
Transfer pork mixture to a rimmed baking sheet lined with a silicone mat or parchment. Freeze for 15 to 20 minutes to facilitate grinding the meat.
Grind pork mixture into a bowl using the meat-grinder attachment of a stand mixer. Add dried cherries and pistachios. Add the cream mixture fold gently until just combined.
Arrange bacon strips crosswise in a 9x5-inch loaf pan, letting ends hang over the edges of the pan. Trim some strips to fit the ends of the pan.
Fill pan to the top with the ground pork mixture smooth the top. Cover surface with strips of bacon. Fold side bacon piece edges over the top. Cover with a piece of parchment cut to fit the top of the pan wrap tightly with heavy duty aluminum foil.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Transfer pan to a deep pot or Dutch oven. Pour in hot tap water to reach 1/2 to 2/3 of the way up the side of the pan. Cover.
Bake in the preheated oven until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center reads 155 degrees F (68 degrees C), 1 3/4 to 2 hours.
Transfer pan to a paper-towel lined surface to absorb any moisture. If mixture has risen above the top edge of the pan, press it down with a heavy pan. Remove the aluminum foil, leaving the parchment paper on top. Transfer pan to a paper-towel-lined baking dish. Cut a piece of cardboard to be slightly smaller than the top of the pan. Wrap with aluminum foil and place on the parchment paper. Press down with weights like canned food.
Refrigerate at least 8 hours to chill and compress the pate.
To unmold the pate, pour very hot water into a large bowl. Dip mold into hot water for 1 to 2 seconds. Turn out onto a paper-towel-lined dish chill again before slicing.
We learn from the beginning of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1963) that before reaching Royale-les-Eaux on his way back from a fruitless hunt for Blofeld, James Bond had stopped overnight at an auberge on the south bank of the Loire. There he received a kicking from the ‘French belly-religion’, having been offered a sleazy provender of, among other dishes, an out-of-season poularde à la crème and the fly-walk of the pâté maison, which Bond was obliged to send back.
Traditionally, many restaurants, bistros and charcuteries in France offer pâtés made to the establishments’ own recipes. The pâtés vary in flavour and ingredients, but generally contain some combination of lean meats, such as chicken, veal or game, and fatty pieces, such as belly pork or bacon. Liver is usually included. Here’s my recipe for a coarse pâté. I’ve used ingredients that were available to me at the time of cooking, but any of the meats specified can be substituted for others.
Makes several servings
- 120g belly pork
- 120g chicken breast (skin removed)
- 100g veal liver
- 50g cooked ham
- 2 tbps white wine
- 1-2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
- Bacon rashers
- Salt and black pepper
Heat the oven to 180C (160C fan-assisted, 350F). Trim any excess fat from the belly pork. Cut the pork, chicken, liver and ham into pieces. Mince the meat in a food processor (or by hand if necessary). Transfer the meat to a mixing bowl and add the wine, garlic and pinches of salt and pepper. Mix all the ingredients together. Put the mixture into a terrine or other oven dish, lay some bacon rashers over the top and cover the dish with foil or a lid. Place the dish in water-filled pan or bain-marie. The water should extend about halfway up the side of the dish. Put the pan into the oven and cook for 1¼-1½ hours. After cooking, remove the pan from the oven and let the dish cool. Refrigerate until required. Serve with a crusty baguette.
A Taste of Pâté Past
I was destined, I think, to have a soft spot for pâté. The wheels were set in motion a few years before I was born, when my mother, then newly arrived in Oklahoma City, found herself in search of a hairdresser. It was the mid-1970s, and she and my father had just moved from Baltimore, after heɽ been recruited for a job at the University of Oklahoma. At the suggestion of a friend, she wound up making an appointment at a salon in Dallas, three hours to the south, and for the next two years, she would drive down every six weeks to get her hair cut. For some, this could have been a royal pain, but as it happened, there was a French café near the salon, and it made very good baguette sandwiches. She and my father fell in love with one in particular, lined with a smear of butter and thin slices of pâté de campagne (country pâté). Each trip, after her appointment, they would stop in for lunch.
Then, of course, I came along, and my parents' idyllic pâté ritual went out the window in favor of tending to diapers and baby food. But today, more than three decades later, my mother can still remember the flavor of that pâté in Dallas. Julia Child and her colleagues weren't kidding when they wrote, in Mastering the Art of French Cooking, that "the memory of a good French pâté can haunt you for years." Apparently, the memory of a good Texas pâté can, too.
My own love for pâté would take some time to surface, though I am quite certain that it was there all along, lying dormant until the right specimen showed up. I remember, as a kid, watching my father eat pâté de campagne on melba toast at a party, and though he murmured appreciatively as he wiped his mustache with a cocktail napkin, it didn't strike me as anything special. I never disliked it it just didn't excite me. On top of that, at around age 16, I declared myself a vegetarian. For the nine years that followed, pâté would be entirely out of the question.
But eventually I did come back to meat, and shortly after, a girlfriend invited me to a wine-tasting dinner. I don't remember a thing about the wine, but I can tell you that the meal included a gorgeous chicken liver pâté, a silky mousse drizzled with olive oil and served with a spoon for scooping onto toasted bread. It was smooth and savory and unmistakably rich, and much to my surprise, I couldn't stop eating it. The preparation was decidedly Italian, but just as Julia & Co. warned, that pâté did something to me, and ever since, I have not been quite the same.
Chicken liver pâté may have been my first love, but I didn't stop there. I went to my local gourmet market, came home with a slab of pâté de campagne studded with pistachios, and ate it with a green salad for dinner. At a picnic not long after, I was the first to dig into the duck mousse spiked with Port. During the spring before I was married, I took a trip to France with my mother. One night, I had the exquisite pleasure of sitting down to a slice of country pâté that was only slightly smaller than an airport paperback.
The next step, it seemed, was to make my own. I had heard that it was relatively easy: Country pâtés are little more than fancy meatloaf, and mousse-style pâtés, which are mixed in the blender, are hardly more strenuous than smoothies. I wasn't sure where to begin, but my parents' pâté de campagne seemed like an obvious choice.
However, when I called my mother to ask for the recipe, she couldn't remember it. In the end, I wound up having to work my way through a series of country pâtés in order to find one with the kind of addictive qualities I was after. I started with a recipe from Craig Claiborne's New York Times Cookbook—my father's right-hand book—and wound up passing through a few others, including two of Julia's, before I stumbled upon one that tasted right.
Pâté de campagne is essentially a mixture of ground meats—pork and veal being classic, sometimes with a bit of ham—that has been seasoned with spices and a splash of Cognac, baked in a pan lined with pork fat or bacon, and compressed lightly to make it easier to slice. If you can make meatloaf, you can make pâté. For deep flavor and a delicious, nubbly texture, you need not only good meat, but also a decent amount of additional fat mixed in. The fat actually lightens the texture of the finished pâté without it, the mixture can be dry and dense. The fat lining the pan helps contribute moisture, too, but without some fat in the pâté itself, it's not really worth eating. (Trust me, I learned the hard way.) Very traditional recipes call for pure pork fat, but I like minced bacon, which has a similar effect but is easier to find and use.
Mine may not be the same famed pâté that my parents made in their pre-child years, but I think it's good enough to put up some stiff competition. When my family gathers in Oklahoma for the holidays this year, I plan on making a batch and serving it—with cornichons and mustard, the necessary accompaniments—as a snack while we cook. And if everything goes according to plan, there will be pâté sandwiches, too.
Molly Wizenberg is behind the award-winning blog Orangette. She is working on her forthcoming culinary memoir, A Homemade Life.
Champagne Showers & Pâté
Sparkling wines like champagne and prosecco aren’t just festive— they also go extremely well with pâté. Especially in April when it’s all about Spring, warm weather, and…. well, drinking. Below, we unveil our top 5 champagne and pâté pairings.
Light Dry Champagne + Herb de Provence Pâté
Crisp and wonderfully fizzy, light dry champagnes pair well with herbypâtés, like our Herb de Provence recipe. This snack or light brunch is perfect for enjoying outside in the garden with friends and loved ones, or for a small and casual anniversary bite with your beau.
Medium to Full-Bodied Champagne + Wild Forest Mushroom Pâté
Rich and bursting with flavors, medium to full-bodied champagnes are not for the light of heart (or faint of stomach). Think: Alfred Gratien, Gosset, Henriot, J. Sélosse, Ruinart, Veuve Clicquot, and Ponsardin. If you’re opting for any of these bubblies, we suggest pairing them with our Wild Forest Mushroom Pâté, which is also jam-packed with flavor.
Brut Champagne + Truffle Mousse Pâté
There’s something about brut champagne that makes it feel even more decadent than regular champagne. And what better pair for decadence than a succulent Truffle Mousse Pâté? Savory and satisfying at once, this pairing is ideal for a girls night or me-time.
Mimosas + Vegetable Pâté
Craving a mimosa and light snack? Turn to Wycliff California Champagne and Lunetta prosecco and any of our Vegetable Pâtés. If you want to host— or gift yourself— a full-on brunch, try goat cheese sandwiches, topped with slices of pâté and cucumber (or potato chips) for a satisfying crunch.
A Rich Selection Of Paté Recipes A Very Exquisite & Palatable Treat
You will always have wonderful food to give your family and friends with these paté recipes and they are very easy to do once you know how.
Chicken Liver Paté
This is a lovely rich chicken liver paté that is so delicious, and one you can make at home very easily.
It will keep for a few days in the refrigerator so you can plan ahead and make it before you need it.
A delicious rough textured country paté rich and full of flavor.
This is so delicious and you can make it at home easily with this recipe.
You can make it a few days ahead so it will be ready when you need it.
This is just recipe all your friends will want!
A fish paté is a lovely addition to your hors d'oeuvres and this salmon paté recipe is delicious and appetizing.
It is so easy to make at home and will be loved by everyone.
A fresh mushroom paté recipe that will add a simple yet amazingly delicious addition to your starters.
A smooth fresh smell and taste of mushrooms to spread on your freshly made toast or French crusty bread.
Your hors d'oeuvres table is complete with this rich and tasty liver paté.
Very easy to make and can be served with either green salads or freshly made toast or crusty French bread.
Make it a few days before you need it for it to mature and bring out all the flavors.