PATE DE CAMPAGNE (20 servings)
¾ 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 slices for lining the 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
one 6 ounce piece ham steak, cut crosswise into ¼ inch thick strips
coarse sea salt
cornichons (tiny French dill pickles)
- Set rack at lowest position in oven and preheat oven to 350*. Boil Cognac until reduced to ½ cup, about 1-1/2 minutes. Cool.
- Melt butter in heavy medium skillet over medium heat. Add onion and saute until soft and translucent, but not brown, about 8 minutes.
- Combine ground pork and chopped bacon in a 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 a 9 x 5 x 3 inch metal loaf pan with bacon slices, arranging 8 slices across the 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 a single layer. Top with remaining meat mixture.
- Fold bacon slices over, covering pate. Cover pan tightly with foil. Place pan in 13 x 9 x 2 inch metal baking pan and transfer to oven. Pour boiling water into baking pan to come halfway up the sides of loaf pan. Bake pate until a thermometer inserted through foil into center registers 155*, about 2 hours 15 minutes.
- Remove loaf pan from baking pan and transfer to a rimmed baking sheet. Place heavy skillet or 2 to 3 heavy cans atop pate to weigh down. Chill overnight. (Pate can be made to this point 4 days ahead.)
- Place loaf pan with pate in larger pan of hot water for about 3 minutes. Invert pate onto a platter, discard fat from platter and wipe clean. Cut pate crosswise into ½ inch thick slices. Serve with pickles and mustard.
from Maria Helm Sinskey, Bon Appetit Magazine, January, 2009