11 April 2010

pâté de campagne / country terrine

Finally using my great-grandmother meat grinder for its intended purpose.

Here's a little over a pound of pork belly — it's on the lead side (that is to say, it's not all fat) so I used just the belly (no other cut of pork) with the liver. I used beef liver, since it's easy to find, cheap and local. I soaked it in milk to take out any overwhelming flavors.

Started with the belly, but alternated, per Jennifer McLagan's suggestion in Fat, meat and liver (belly being tough, and liver soft, it makes it easier). I then sautéed onions and garlic in lard and suet with some sugar, until caramelized.

Heavy cream, parsley, thyme, brandy, salt, eggs, pepper and a mixture of hungarian paprika and merquen ahumado, a great, smoky chili pepper that a friend passed onto me.

The meat gets mixed on slow as the spices, eggs and cream are added. Then the onions and garlic are added.

A bastardized version of several recipes, this was finished with strips of belly fat as I couldn't find caul fat for wrapping but also didn't want to go the bacon wrapping route (I wanted to taste liver and belly, not bacon).

Baked in a water bath until it reaches 165ºF — and the aged at least two days.

Voilà — simple, very rich (and best after a week), coarse like the pâté de campagne I tasted at wine tastings in the Loire as a student, and proving that beef liver can be great. Now if only I could find caul fat for the next try!


  1. That pâté looks delicious. I always use pork liver but I'm going to try my next one with beef liver.

  2. Thanks so much! In the fall I'll be living in Chicago, where hopefully caul fat is to be found!

  3. Oh Joseph--

    Only you can take several ingredients that I find utterly repulsive-- pork fat, lard, liver-- and write about it in a way that I find utterly intriguing.