If brussels paté, so smooth and silky, is entry-level charcuterie, paté de campagne, with its satisfyingly rustic (for which read: interesting) texture is surely the connoisseur’s choice. Surprisingly simple to make, it has an ideal effort-to-reward ratio, because the person who turns up at a picnic with a terrine of homemade paté and a baguette is the undisputed queen of the rug. Chuck in some cornichons, too, and you’re a goddess.
Prep 25 min, plus marinating
Cook 70 min, plus chilling
500g pork shoulder, coarsely minced (see step 1)
250g pork back fat, minced (see step 2)
250g pig’s liver (or chicken liver), minced (see step 3)
2 garlic cloves
2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves picked
¼ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
¼ tsp ground cloves
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
5 tbsp brandy
1 knob butter
2 tbsp double cream
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp green peppercorns in brine (optional)
Caul fat, extra back fat cut into thin strips, lard or streaky bacon, to line the dish (see step 7)
1 A note on the meat
A word about the meat. Flavourful, well-marbled pork shoulder is ideal for this – you could use mince (about 20% fat is ideal), but you’re likely to have to go to the butchers for the back fat anyway, so you may as well ask them to mince you some shoulder, too, or do it yourself with a sharp knife (a food processor tends to yield mushy results).
2 And a note on the fat
The fat, meanwhile, is sadly non-negotiable (why do you think paté is so delicious?) – without it, you’ll end up with a heavy, dry terrine. Some recipes suggest using pork belly or streaky bacon in lieu of pure fat, but I’d recommend giving the butcher a call and getting the real thing. If you’re going to make paté at home, you may as well do it properly.
3 And on the liver
The same goes for the liver – its rich sweetness is an essential part of paté’s flavour, so don’t be tempted to leave it out. If you’re going to the butchers anyway, ask them for a pork liver, because you can’t have too much pig in a paté, but if they can’t oblige, milder, more widely available chicken livers will do.
4 Mix the meats and marinate
Marinating the meat overnight is optional, but preferable. Put the minced shoulder, fat and liver in a large bowl and mix well. Crush the garlic, roughly chop the thyme leaves and stir both in, along with the spices. (These are to taste, so you could experiment by swapping in others; start small, though – you can always add more in step 6.)
5 Add booze, too
Sprinkle with the brandy (again, you could use something else – decide if the flavour would work well in a sauce with pork, and be guided by that (white wine, yes; creme de cacao, probably no), stir in, cover and refrigerate for however long you have (and up to about 12 hours). Take out of the fridge an hour before cooking.
6 Add fried shallots and cream, then season
Peel and finely chop the shallots. Melt the butter in a small frying pan over a medium-low heat, fry the shallots until soft, then tip into a small bowl and leave to cool. Don’t wash up the frying pan yet – you’ll use it again in a moment.
Beat the egg and stir this into the meat mixture along with the cooled shallots, cream, salt and peppercorns, if using. Fry a small blob of the mixture, taste for seasoning and adjust, if necessary.
7 Line the terrine with your chosen fat
Heat the oven to 170C (150C fan)/325F/gas 3 and boil the kettle. Line a 20cm x 10cm x 6cm terrine dish or loaf tin with fat: your butcher should be able to get you something suitable, but you could also use simple lard or rashers of streaky bacon, if you prefer (though note that the latter will dry out during cooking, so won’t be particularly good to eat).
8 Make a water bath
Spoon the mixture into the tin and level the top. Cover tightly with foil or greaseproof paper, then put in a small roasting tin and put on the middle shelf of the oven. Pour boiling water into the roasting tin until it reaches two-thirds of the way up the sides of the terrine mould – this will temper the heat and keep the paté moist.
9 Bake, cool, slice and serve
Bake for about 70 minutes, until the internal temperature of the paté reaches 65-70C, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out warm. Put a plate on top of the terrine, weigh it down with a couple of tins or similar, and leave to cool. Refrigerate, with the weights still on top, at least overnight, before turning out and serving.
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