A pâté de campagne, or country terrine, is a rustic preparation, slightly more refined than a pâté grandmère mainly in that it uses 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 ground through a large die, and none of it is pureed, to achieve the characteristic coarse texture of a country terrine. Although only a small amount of liver is used, 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 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.
2 pounds/1 kilogram boneless pork shoulder butt, cut into 1-inch/2.5-centimeter dice
4 ounces/100 grams pork or chicken liver
1/4 cup/50 grams chopped white or yellow onion
8 tablespoons/48 grams coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 1/2 tablespoons/24 grams minced garlic
1 ounce/25 grams kosher salt (2 tablespoons)
1 teaspoon/3 grams freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon/2 grams PÃ¢tÃ© Spice (recipe follows)
2 tablespoons/20 grams all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons/30 milliliters brandy
1/2 cup/125 milliliters heavy cream
Optional Garnish (mix and match to taste): Diced ham, cooked mushrooms, rinsed brine-cured green peppercorns, duck confit (a total of 1 cup/250 milliliters).
1 teaspoon/4 grams ground cloves
1 teaspoon/4 grams ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon/3 grams ground ginger
1 teaspoon/3 grams ground coriander
2 teaspoons/6 grams ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon/10 grams white pepper
1. Freeze all your blades and bowls before gathering and measuring your ingredients.
2. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F., 150 degrees C.
3. Grind the pork through the large die into the bowl of a standing mixer set in ice. Transfer about one-third of the pork to a small bowl, and add the liver, onion, parsley, garlic, salt, pepper, and pâté spice. Fit the grinder with the small die (clean the blade of any sinew that might be caught there) and grind the pork-seasonings mixture into the bowl of coarsely ground pork. Refrigerate.
4. In a small bowl, combine the flour, eggs, brandy, and cream and stir to blend—this is the panade. Add it to the ground meat and, using the paddle attachment, mix until the panade is incorporated and the forcemeat becomes sticky, about a minute. (You can also do this using a wooden spoon or your hands.) Fold in the optional garnish, if using.
5. Do a quenelle test to check the seasoning, and adjust if necessary.
6. Line a 1 1/2 quart/1.5-liter terrine mold with plastic wrap, leaving enough overhand on the two long sides to fold over the top of the terrine when it's filled (moistening the mold first will help the plastic adhere). Fill the mold with the pâté mixture, packing it down to remove air pockets. Fold the plastic wrap over the top, and cover with the lid or with foil.
7. Place the terrine in a high-sided roasting pan and add enough hot water (very hot tap water) to come halfway up the sides of the mold. Put the pan in the oven and bake until the interior of the pâté reaches 150 degrees F., 65 degrees C. if using pork liver, 160 degrees F., 70 degrees C. if using chicken liver, about 1 hour.
8. Remove from the oven, remove the mold from the water bath, and set a weight of about 2 pounds/1 kilogram on top of the terrine. Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until completely chilled, overnight, or for up to 1 week, before serving.
Yield: 3 tablespoons/30 grams
This is Brian's alternative to the traditional quatre épices mixture often used to season pâtés. Increase or reduce the amounts of the ingredients to suit your own taste and make your pâtés distinctly your own.
Combine all the ingredients and mix well. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.
From Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing by Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn (W. W. Norton, 2005). © 2005 Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn. Used with permission.
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