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)

Dijon mustard

  1. 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.
  1. Melt butter in heavy medium skillet over medium heat. Add onion and saute until soft and translucent, but not brown, about 8 minutes.
  1. Combine ground pork and chopped bacon in a large bowl. Using fork or fingertips, mix together until well blended.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.)
  1. 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

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