Cooking Classes


Pâté de Campagne

This month the Daring Cooks are making pâté.  I have wanted to do this for a long, long time so it is good impetus to have this challenge.  Michael Ruhlman is becoming my 'go to' for charcuterie so I searched out a recipe from him.  This seems like a good beginner recipe.  I am also making the suggested recipe and will compare.

To go with the pâté I am making lavash.  I have made this before but will try a new recipe this time.  This is Peter Reinhart's recipe. 

I don't have many pictures.  This was all too new to me to get the camera set up.  And good thing!  You should have seen the mess in the kitchen!  This is definitely something that I will make in bulk and freeze because it is a production.  Pâté would make a wonderful gift.  You might want to make a day of it close to Christmas and then freeze individual slices to give away.

Our hostesses this month, Evelyne of Cheap Ethnic Eatz, and Valerie of a The Chocolate Bunny, chose delicious pâté with freshly baked bread as their June Daring Cook's challenge! They've provided us with 4 different pâté recipes to choose from and are allowing us to go wild with our homemade bread choice.

Three Spice Liver Pâté
Yields one 25 by 12,5 cm (10 by 5 inch) terrine or loaf pan
1 lb / 454 grams pork liver (or beef or combination)
1/2 lb / 227 grams ground pork
1/2 lb / 227 grams pork fat (or pork belly)
2 cloves garlic
2 shallots
1 whole egg and 1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp / 2 ml cinnamon
1/2 tsp / 2 ml coriander (ground or crushed)
1/2 tsp / 2 ml cumin
3/4 tsp / 3 ml salt
1 tbps / 15 ml coarse freshly cracked peppercorns
2 tbps / 30 ml cognac
2 bay leaves
1 package of bacon

Preheat oven to to 350F (180C).
Cut liver and pork fat into small pieces and add to food processor. Add ground pork, garlic, shallots, cinnamon, cumin, coriander, salt and pepper. Grind until smooth.
In mixing bowl, incorporate the meat and liver mixture with the cognac and eggs.
Line bottom of baking or ceramic pan with overlapping pieces of bacon. Place a bay leaf on the bottom and then fill with meat/liver mixture. Cover top with another bay leaf and then overlapping pieces of bacon.
Place in oven in the larger baking pan and add enough water to cover 2/3rds of the pan containing the meat/liver mixture. Bake for about 1-1.5 hrs.
The pâté will contract and the juices will be on the bottom. Allow to cool and soak up the juices. Remove any excess bacon and discard the bay leaves.

I made this exactly as per the recipe.  I had my doubts about using the food processor for the procedure.  This is not for weak constitutions.  Pork liver was a new experience for me.  But it is so cheap.  I had to order it in advance from my butcher and then I had to buy the whole thing, which was about 4 pounds.  I have frozen the excess to use at a future time.  I had already made the pâté spice for the following recipe so I used it rather than the seasonings in this recipe.  They are almost identical.

Two questions about this recipe - what is 'excess bacon' and how to I determine if the pâté is cooked?


Pâté de Campagne

From Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing by Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn (W. W. Norton, 2005).  2005 Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn.

Makes 10 to 12 appetizer servings

A pâté de campagne, or country terrine, is a rustic preparation, slightly more refined than a pâté grandmère mainly in that it uses only a small amount of liver,liver is a seasoning device here rather than the dominant flavor. Also unlike the pâté grandmère, some internal garnish, such as fresh herbs and chunks of smoked ham or duck confit, go a long way. The panade (notice that it's made with flour, not bread) helps to retain moisture and to enrich and bind the pâté.

Most of the meat is ground through a large die, and none of it is pureed, to achieve the characteristic coarse texture of a country terrine. Although only a small amount of liver is used, try to use pork liver if possible rather than chicken liver, because it will allow you to cook the terrine to a lower final temperature and therefore produce a moister pâté.

A pâté de campagne is the easiest terrine to make, and in the spirit of its origins,a humble but delicious dish made from trimmings or inexpensive cuts of meat,should be made with whatever garnish is on hand and eaten simply, with a good baguette and French Dijon. Add a salad of fresh greens, and you've got a simple midweek meal. It's also a fabulous make-ahead dish for a weekend dinner party.
  • 2 pounds/1 kilogram boneless pork shoulder butt, cut into 1-inch/2.5-centimeter dice
  • 4 ounces/100 grams pork or chicken liver
  • 1/4 cup/50 grams chopped white or yellow onion
  • 8 tablespoons/48 grams coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons/24 grams minced garlic
  • 1 ounce/25 grams kosher salt (2 tablespoons)
  • 1 teaspoon/3 grams freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon/2 grams Pâté Spice (recipe follows)
  • 2 tablespoons/20 grams all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons/30 milliliters brandy
  • 1/2 cup/125 milliliters heavy cream
  • Optional Garnish (mix and match to taste):
    Diced ham, cooked mushrooms, rinsed brine-cured green peppercorns, duck confit (a total of 1 cup/250 milliliters).
1. Freeze all your blades and bowls before gathering and measuring your ingredients.
2. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F., 150 degrees C.
3. Grind the pork through the large die into the bowl of a standing mixer set in ice. Transfer about one-third of the pork to a small bowl, and add the liver, onion, parsley, garlic, salt, pepper, and pâté spice. Fit the grinder with the small die (clean the blade of any sinew that might be caught there) and grind the pork-seasonings mixture into the bowl of coarsely ground pork. Refrigerate.
4. In a small bowl, combine the flour, eggs, brandy, and cream and stir to blend,this is the panade. Add it to the ground meat and, using the paddle attachment, mix until the panade is incorporated and the forcemeat becomes sticky, about a minute. (You can also do this using a wooden spoon or your hands.) Fold in the optional garnish, if using.
5. Do a quenelle test to check the seasoning, and adjust if necessary.
6. Line a 1 1/2 quart/1.5-liter terrine mold with plastic wrap, leaving enough overhand on the two long sides to fold over the top of the terrine when it's filled (moistening the mold first will help the plastic adhere). Fill the mold with the pâté mixture, packing it down to remove air pockets. Fold the plastic wrap over the top, and cover with the lid or with foil.
7. Place the terrine in a high-sided roasting pan and add enough hot water (very hot tap water) to come halfway up the sides of the mold. Put the pan in the oven and bake until the interior of the pâté reaches 150 degrees F., 65 degrees C. if using pork liver, 160 degrees F., 70 degrees C. if using chicken liver, about 1 hour.
8. Remove from the oven, remove the mold from the water bath, and set a weight of about 2 pounds/1 kilogram on top of the terrine. Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until completely chilled, overnight, or for up to 1 week, before serving.

Pâté Spice
This is Brian's alternative to the traditional quatre èpices mixture often used to season pâtés. Increase or reduce the amounts of the ingredients to suit your own taste and make your pâtés distinctly your own.
Yield: 3 tablespoons/30 grams
  • 1 teaspoon/4 grams ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon/4 grams ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon/3 grams ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon/3 grams ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons/6 grams ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon/10 grams white pepper
1. Combine all the ingredients and mix well. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

I had not used the meat grinder attachment for my KitchenAid stand mixer until this challenge.  Needless to say I was a little nervous.  But that quickly vanished and I became quite comfortable with it.  One very important little tip when grinding your own meat.  When all of your meat is ground, pass a piece of bread or a bun through the machine.  This will clean out any meat left in it and cleaning is a snap.  Of course, don't add this last portion of ground bread to your meat, unless of course, you are making something like meat loaf or meatballs and it wouldn't interfere with the recipe.

I prefer this recipe for one big reason - it tells me when the pâté is done.  The first recipe assumes that I will recognize when it is fully cooked.

Lavash Crackers     Peter Reinhart's recipe
1 1/2 cups unbleached bread flour

1/2 teaspoon salt 

1/2 teaspoon instant yeast 

1 tablespoon sugar 

1 tablespoon vegetable oil 

1/3 to 1/2 cup + 2 Tb (3 to 4 oz) water, at room temperature

Poppy seeds, sesame seeds, paprika, cumin seeds, caraway seeds, or kosher salt for toppings
1. In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, salt, yeast, sugar , oil, and just enough water to bring everything together into a ball. You may not need the full 1/2 cup + 2 Tb of water, but be prepared to use it all if needed.
2. Sprinkle some flour on the counter and transfer the dough to the counter. Knead for about 10 minutes, or until the ingredients are evenly distributed. The dough should register 77 degrees to 81 degrees Fahrenheit. The dough should be firmer than French bread dough, but not quite as firm as bagel dough, satiny to the touch, not tacky, and supple enough to stretch when pulled. Lightly oil a bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling it around to coat it with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
3. Ferment at room temperature for 90 minutes, or until the dough doubles in size. (You can also retard the dough overnight in the refrigerator immediately after kneading or mixing).
4. Mist the counter lightly with spray oil and transfer the dough to the counter. Press the dough into a square with your hand and dust the top of the dough lightly with flour. Roll it out with a rolling pin into a paper thin sheet about 15 inches by 12 inches. You may have to stop from time to time so that the gluten can relax. At these times, lift the dough from the counter and wave it a little, and then lay it back down. Cover it with a towel or plastic wrap while it relaxes. When it is the desired thinness, let the dough relax for 5 minutes. Line a sheet pan with baking parchment. Carefully lift the sheet of dough and lay it on the parchment. If it overlaps the edge of the pan, snip off the excess with scissors.
5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit with the oven rack on the middle shelf. Mist the top of the dough with water and sprinkle a covering of seeds or spices on the dough (such as alternating rows of poppy seeds, sesame seeds, paprika, cumin seeds, caraway seeds, kosher or pretzel salt, etc.) Be careful with spices and salt , a little goes a long way. If you want to precut the cracker, use a pizza cutter (rolling blade) and cut diamonds or rectangles in the dough. You do not need to separate the pieces, as they will snap apart after baking. If you want to make shards, bake the sheet of dough without cutting it first.
6. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the crackers begin to brown evenly across the top (the time will depend on how thinly and evenly you rolled the dough).
7. When the crackers are baked, remove the pan from the oven and let them cool in the pan for about 10 minutes. You can then snap them apart or snap off shards and serve.


  1. Hy Sarah,

    Looks superb n perfect. Interesting preparation with beautiful clicks dear.

  2. There was a rime when I would make pate for special occasions. Thanks for the reminder because they truly are delicious.

  3. Wow - I think you did a heck of a good job on both of them. I for one prefer the texture of the country terrine better and yours looks fabulous with the green peppercorns. GOOD JOB! Wish we lived next door cause you'd have to bar the door to keep me out!

  4. J'aime beaucoup le pâté mais j'avoue que je n'en ai encore jamais fait.
    Bravo à toi : réussite totale.
    A bientôt.

  5. That pate' de Campagne looks lovely. I read many recipes for it and love that it is such a traditional recipe. Excellent work on this month's challenge.

  6. Pate is not for my faint constitution. Your crackers, however, are outstanding! Excellent work on both, and we'll pretend your kitchen stayed TV-show clean!

  7. I don't believe I've ever had pate. It does sound interesting!

  8. Regarding your meat grinder tip. If your recipe calls for Onion, you can use Onion instead of the Bread and then you get to keep it all.
    Well done!

  9. You did a fantastic job on this challenge, Sarah!!

  10. Great tip on the bread through the grinder thing. We use ours all the time but I never really trust that I've washed it properly. That would help a lot.

    Anyway, much more importantly, gorgeous job on the pates. The Pate de Campagne is especially lovely.

  11. You really went all out, didn't you? Those pates look perfect... was the lettuce from your garden? What colors! I don't know if I could manage pork liver but the pate de campagne looks like something I could tackle... now all I need is a meat grinder!

  12. Jay> thanks!

    Valli> glad I was pushed to do this.

    buffalo> me, too!

    June> yes, my poor (or not so poor) neighbours. They get to try all of my experiments.

    Nadji> merci!

    climbhigak> thanks for stopping by.

    Marjie> you can't believe the mess in my little kitchen. Total chaos.

    Mags> I think you would love pate.

    David and Stacy> good tip. It really just needs something to push out that last little bit of meat.

    Memoria> thanks!

    Monkeyshines> the bread works like a charm. Thanks!

    Deana> well, once you start cutting into a pork liver you may as well make it worth your while! Yes that is my garden lettuce. I am having a fresh salad almost every day. I planted more so I'll have it for quite some time. I planted the mesculun mix and love it!

  13. Beautiful job on the pâté! great recipe too! Delicious on pain de campagne!

  14. il doit être très savoureux ce patté, j'aime beaucoup
    bonne journée

  15. Well, I say you were daring and brave! I've never tried making paté, but yours look so delicious I might give it a try. Thanks for sharing the tip about grinding the bread to clean the grinder, very helpful!

  16. Great comparison of the pate recipes! I really like the look of the pate de campagne, as I love peppercorns. I used a hand grinder, and I must say that grinding the liver wasn't all that pleasant, but the results were definitely worth it!

  17. Sarah

    One thing you can say: you are fearless! I would not dare fuss with pork liver; I must say the result you obtained is excellent and I would love to help you finish this pâté! the lavash bread is another accomplishment to be proud of! All in all, a fantastic creation today~

  18. citron> thanks!

    Fimère> merci!

  19. We do love pâté but I have never had the courage to make some; upi inspire me with those photos; fabulous! I learn so much here; happy I came back!

  20. I also did not totally enjoy this challenge. Your pictures turned out lovely though!


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