Prep 15 mins
Cook 2 hrs 30 mins
Bon Apetit Magazine Cooking Life columnist Molly Wizenberg shares her unforgettable recipe for pate de campagne—French country pate. Serve at room temperature with a sprinkling of salt, cornichons, Dijon, and a baguette.
- 3⁄4 cup cognac
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup onion, minced
- 2 1⁄2 lbs ground pork
- 12 ounces bacon, finely chopped, plus 14 bacon slices (8 to 10 slices)
- 3 garlic cloves, pressed
- 2 1⁄2 teaspoons salt
- 2 1⁄2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons allspice
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1⁄3 cup whipping cream
- 6 ounces ham steaks, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick strips
- coarse sea salt
- cornichon (tiny little French dill pickles)
- Dijon mustard
- Set rack at lowest position in oven and preheat to 350°F Boil Cognac until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 1 1/2 minutes. Cool.
- Melt butter in heavy medium skillet over medium heat. Add onion and saute until soft and translucent but not brown, about 8 minutes.
- Combine ground pork and chopped bacon in large bowl. Using fork or fingertips, mix together until well blended. Add sauteed onion, garlic, 2 1/2 teaspoons salt, thyme, allspice, and pepper to bowl with pork mixture and stir until incorporated. Add eggs, cream, and reduced Cognac. Stir until well blended.
- Line 9x5x3-inch metal loaf pan with bacon slices, arranging 8 slices across width of pan and 3 slices on each short side of pan and overlapping pan on all sides. Using hands, lightly and evenly press half of meat mixture (about 3 1/4 cups) onto bottom of pan atop bacon slices. Arrange ham strips over in single layer. Top with remaining meat mixture.
- Fold bacon slices over, covering pate. Cover pan tightly with foil. Place pan in 13x9x2-inch metal baking pan and transfer to oven. Pour boiling water into baking pan to come halfway up sides of loaf pan. Bake pate until a thermometer inserted through foil into center registers 155°F, about 2 hours 15 minutes.
- Remove loaf pan from baking pan and transfer to rimmed baking sheet. Place heavy skillet or 2 to 3 heavy cans atop pate to weigh down. Chill overnight. DO AHEAD Can be made 4 days ahead.
- Place loaf pan with pate in larger pan of hot water for about 3 minutes. Invert pâté onto platter; discard fat from platter and wipe clean. Cut pate crosswise into 1/2-inch slices.