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This pate, adapted from Alma Lach, is as close as I've been able to come to the lovely thick slice of pate one gets in a French bistro--on a thick oval plate, served with a little pot of mustard and a little pile of tiny cornichons and some great bread. You can add pistachios or whatever other little touches you like, but know that it's worth the time and effort -- though most of the time is marinating and cooling. The serving amount is a guestimate.
- 1⁄2 lb ham (a slice of boiled ham about 1/4-inch thick)
- 1⁄2 lb salt pork
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon thyme, fresh (or 1/4 teaspoon dried)
- 2 tablespoons madeira wine
- 2 tablespoons cognac
- 2 lbs ground pork, lean
- 1⁄2 lb ground veal
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄8 teaspoon pepper
- 8 slices bacon (or enough to line and cover pate mold(s)
- Cut ham slice into 1/4" strips. Cut the salt pork into1/8" slices and the slices into 1/8" strips.
- Put the shallot, bay leaf, thyme, Madeira and Cognac into a flat dish. (I use a pyrex square glass dish). Add the meat strips, cover and marinate 6 hours or overnight.
- Mix veal and pork and salt and pepper and refrigerate until ready to use.
- When ready to make pate, line a 4-cup mold (or 2 small molds) with bacon slices. Drain the liquid from the meat strips into the ground meat and mix (this is the sausage). Place a layer of sausage into the bacon-lined mold, then a layer of eat strips. Continue until all is used, ending with the sausage.
- Cover the top of the mold with strips of bacon cut to fit. Press down firmly into the mold. Cover tightly with foil, and set mold(s) into a water bath. Bake at 325 degrees F. for two hours.
- When done, remove from oven and place mold(s) in pan large enough to hold it and any overflow of fat. Weight down the top of the mold, using a foil wrapped brick or the like. Make sure the pate is pressed while still warm. When cool. refrigerate with the weight.
- When the pate is cold, turn it out of the mold(s), scrape away the congealed fat. A good French cook will save that fat to cook with--fries for example--it tastes great.
- Serve with cornichons and mustard and crusty bread.