This is a wonderful and impressive rustic appetizer. Although you can serve this warm, I prefer to serve mine cold with French mustard, cornichons, large capers and sliced French baguette. This pâté is traditionally made with cognac or sherry wine and uses pork as it’s base. I’m leaving out the pork liver, since a less complicated recipe is a great place to start for most cooks.
Do not let the title of this dish scare you away. It is not difficult to do but is one of those dishes that should bolster your confidence with preparing so-called sophisticated food. This recipe makes a sizeable amount of delicious pâté, and is perfect for serving as an appetizer for a dinner party or as a selection of tapas at a large gathering. Because there is no liver in this recipe, it is the perfect entry level pâté for anyone who enjoys pork.
Rustic Country Pork Terrine/Pâté de Campagne
- 3/4 cup cognac
- 3 tbsp butter or olive oil
- 1 whole onion, minced
- 3 large cloves garlic, minced
- 2 1/2 tsp thyme
- 1 1/2 tsp allspice
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 2 1/2 lbs ground pork
- 12 oz bacon, cut into lardons
- 6 oz smoked ham steak, cut into strips
- 1/3 cup cream
- 2 whole beaten eggs
- 14 slices bacon for lining pate or more
- In a heavy pot over medium-high heat reduce the 3/4 cup of cognac by a quarter to 1/2 a cup. Remove from heat and reserve.
- In a large frying pan or sauté pan, heat the butter until melted. Add the onion, garlic, thyme and allspice and sauté until the onion is soft. Add the cream and cook for a minute or two to allow the ingredients to marry. Remove from heat and cool.
- In a large mixing bowl, add the ground pork and bacon lardons. Mix thoroughly to combine.
- Add the reduced cognac and beaten eggs to the pork mixture, and mix thoroughly by hand or in an electric mixer fitted with a paddle. Add the cooled cream and herb and spice mixture, and continue to mix thoroughly.
- Line the interior of a bread pan with sliced bacon. Next, add about half of the pork pate mixture (or to half way up the bread pan). Then add a layer of the smoked ham steak strips. Add the other half of the pork pâté mixture (or as much as you think you can). The amount should be mounded over the top of the pan, similar to what a fully cooked loaf of bread would look like.
- Wrap the excess bacon over the top of the pan. Depending on the length of the bacon used, you may have to cut some additional slices to cover the top completely. Tuck the excess bacon into the sides.
- Wrap the top of the pork pâté with parchment paper. This can be loosely fitted since the larger, second layer of aluminum foil will hold it in place. The foil should be ample enough to completely cover the whole pork pâté and bread pan tightly all the way around.
- Put the sealed pâté into a larger pan with high walls and place into a preheated 350 degree oven. Fill the pan with cold tap water to halfway up the bread pan containing the pork pâté.
- Cook the pâté for approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes or until an internal temperature of 155 is reached. Remove from the oven and let cool.
- Place the loaf pan with the pâté on a clean sheet pan and place a heavy iron skillet or regular skillet with heavy cans of soup, on top of the pâté. Refrigerate overnight.
- After overnight refrigeration, un-mold the pâté by removing the parchment and foil wrapping. Place the pâté pan in a warm water bath for a few minutes. Carefully move a thin knife along the outside of the pâté to make sure it is loose on the sides. Place a large plate over the top of the pâté and carefully but quickly turn the pâté over on the plate. Remove the bread or terrine pan. It should release very easily.
- Place the pâté on a cutting board and slice thinly for serving as much as you need. Wrap the excess back up and return to the refrigerator.