This is one of the best pate’ we have ever tasted. While the instructions are complex, it is well-worth the time and trouble.
Classical pate’ is served at room temperature along with pickled vegetables and crusty bread.
2 tablespoons, unsalted butter
4 large, shallots – minced
2 pounds, ground pork
1 1/2 pounds, bacon – 12 slices left whole, the rest chopped fine
8 ounces, chicken livers – rinsed, patted dry, trimmed, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 large, eggs
1/2 cup, cognac
1/3 cup, heavy cream
1 1/2 tablespoons, minced fresh thyme
3 cloves, garlic – minced fine
2 1/2 tablespoons, table salt
1 teaspoon, pepper
1/8 teaspoon, ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon, ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon, ginger
3/4 cup, shelled pistachios – toasted and chopped coarse
1 tablespoon, jarred green peppercorns – rinsed
3 fresh, bay leaves
- Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Bring kettle of water to boil.
- Melt butter in 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
- Mix pork, chopped bacon and chicken livers together in large bowl until thoroughly combined. In separate bowl, beat eggs, cognac, and cream together with fork until combined, then stir in thyme, garlic, salt, pepper, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger. Add egg mixture, softened shallots, pistachios, and peppercorns to meat mixture and mix with your hands until thoroughly combined.
- Arrange bay leaves, bright green side down, in 8 1/2 by 4 1/2-inch loaf pan. Line pan with bacon slices, arranging 6 slices across width of pan and draping 3 slices over each short side of pan. Transfer pate’ mixture to bacon-lined pan, using hands to press mixture firmly into pan (pan will be very full). Fold bacon slices over mixture and cover tightly with aluminum foil.
- Place pan in 13 X 9-inch baking dish and transfer to oven. Pour boiling water into baking dish until it comes halfway up sides of pan. Bake pate’ until it registers 165 degrees, about 2 1/2 hours.
- Remove pan from baking dish and transfer to rimmed baking sheet. Place heavy skillet or small baking dish filled with heavy cans on top of pate’ to weight down. Let cool at room temperature for 1 hour. Remove skillet and refrigerate pate’ until completely chilled and set, about 8 hours.
- Fill baking dish with hot water. Place pate’ (still in loaf pan) in baking dish for 1 minute. Remove foil. Using paring knife, loosen edges of pate’ from pan, then invert pan onto cutting board. Pate’ can be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 1 month; it should be left whole and not sliced until ready to serve. Bring to room temperature before serving.
We are not big fans of nutmeg and/or cloves so we left them out. Also fresh bay leaves are hard to find, but it is traditional to have three bay leaves on the top of the pate’. We used dried and it worked fine.