This is my second attempt at making "Country pate". One weekend, I got ground pork and chicken liver to make the pate but the chicken liver looked really good so I made "Yakitori" and liver simmered in red wine instead. Since I had the ground pork, I decided to make country pate using bacon instead of the chicken liver. I read a few recipes and came up with my own rendition. It came out quite nice. The texture was better than my first attempt. I served this with Dijon mustard, thinly sliced cornichon and skinned Campari tomato.
Besides pork and bacon, I added shelled pistachio nuts, shiitake mushroom and onion. Seasoning included thyme, black pepper and reduced brandy.
Ingredients (made 3 small loaves):
1.25 lb ground pork
2 strips of thickly cut bacon, uncooked, finely chopped
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
4 fresh shiitake mushrooms, stem removed, bottom cut off, torn length wise into thin strips, caps and stems, finely chopped
2 tbs light olive oil for sauteing
1 large egg
2 tbs cream
1 cup brandy (I used Christian brother VS which I use for cooking) reduced to 1/3 cup (#2)
1/4 tsp thyme (I used dry)
1/4 tsp Freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp Kosher salt
1 cup shelled pistachio nuts
3 bay leaves
1. Cook the onion and garlic in olive oil. When cooked, add the shiitake mushrooms and continue cooking for several more minutes. Then season with salt and pepper and place the mixture in a metal bowl and let it cool to room temperature (#1)
2. Meanwhile reduce 1 cup of brandy to 1/3 cup (#2), be careful not to ignite the alcohol while reducing.
3. Mix together the bacon, ground pork and #1 and #2, pistachio nuts, egg, cream, thyme, black pepper, salt, and mix well (#3).
4. Grease the bottom of a small loaf pan and place a piece of parchment paper on the bottom and one bay leaf (#4).
5. Place the meat mixture in the pan, tapping a few times to remove any trapped air (#5) and tightly cover the opening with aluminum foil.
6. In a 350 F oven, cook the pate in a bain marie (fill a large baking dish with boiling water which comes to half way up the depth of the loaf pan) for 1 and half hours (or until the center of the pate registers 166 F).
7. Let it cool down to room temperature and refrigerate overnight.
8. To remove the pate from the pan soak the bottom of the loaf pan in warm water; the pate comes out easily (#6).
9. Wipe off the excess fat and gelatin from the surface and wrap the pate in plastic wrap and refrigerate for one more day before serving.
We like this version much better than the first version I made. It has a better texture. Although we did not taste the shiitake mushroom, it must have contributed to the texture. We are not sure that the reduced brandy did anything either. In any case. this pate is perfect accompaniment for red wine.