Country Terrine or Pâté de Campagne

Homemade Country Terrine or Pâté de Campagne Recipe

I adore charcuterie. From fresh sausage to cured hams, I haven't met a piece of meat that isn't made more delicious by preparing, smoking, mixing, or preserving it. Preparing these dishes at home has been a fantasy of mine for a while, and although intimidating, last summer I tried making pâté and turned out horrifying results. So, licking my wounds, I decided to do a little research before attempting again.

Now that I'm more seasoned at pâté, I plan on playing with this recipe even more. Adding olives or pistachios to the mix sounds delicious to me, so that's probably what I'll do next time, although I had a country pate at a restaurant that included dried fruits that was splendid, so currants or dried cherries might be future additions as well.

Boozy Epicure's Country Terrine (Pâté de Campagne)

1 tblsp butter
half an onion, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/8 cup cognac
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 tsp fresh thyme, finely chopped
1 tsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
1/2 to 1 tsp *quatre-epices (to taste)
1 large egg
1/2 lb (8 oz) ground pork
1/4 lb (4 oz) ground veal
1/4 lb (4 oz) beef (pork or chicken works well too) liver, chopped
salt, to taste

*Quatre-epices means 4 spice and is French pate spice, usually made of pepper, cloves, nutmeg and ginger. Some recipes use cinnamon or allspice. You can buy quatre-epices at specialty spice shops, or make your own.

Preheat your oven to 300 F.

Start by sauteing the onion in the butter until it has softened, then add the garlic and after a minute, pull of the heat and add the cognac.  Once it has cooled, put it in a bowl with all the ingredients except the pork, veal and liver. Mix those ingredients well then incorporate the meats and liver to get a uniform mixture. You can test the seasoning by frying a piece in a small pan, but you will get a better idea of the final product by poaching a small amount, wrapped in plastic wrap (called a quenelle test).
It doesn't look great yet, but it will taste fabulous.
 Line a terrine mold with saran wrap (heavy duty plastic wrap) then add the pate mixture, pushing down to make sure there aren't air bubbles or holes. Cover the top with the excess plastic wrap, put the lid (or foil) over the top of the mold. This step scared me originally. I did not like the idea of baking the pate in the oven, wrapped in plastic. Warning bells rang in my head that the plastic would melt or that I'd poison myself. I completely understand if you have those same fears. I got over it when I read the literally thousands of recipes that use the plastic, including my favorite book on the subject Charcuterie, by Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn. My only caveat is this: use heary duty plastic or saran wrap. I would not trust the cheap stuff here.

In the mold
Covered and ready to bake.

Put the filled terrine mold in a baking dish large enough to hold it and water, then pour enough hot water into the baking dish to come halfway up the terrine mold. Place in the 300 F oven and bake until the internal temperature reaches 160 F.

In the oven

And done, I use a probe thermometer.

When it is done, put a weight on the top, cool to room temperature, and let it chill overnight in your fridge. The next day, serve it up. Traditional accompaniments include cornichon or other pickles and mustards, but the sky is the limit - just make sure to serve it alongside lovely bread.

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