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Country Pate

  • Yield: 2 patés, 12 to 14 first-course servings


  • 1 pound veal round, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/2 pound boiled ham, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 pounds pork butt, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/2 pound chicken livers, well trimmed
  • 11 bay leaves
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 1/2 cup brandy
  • 1 cup port wine
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 24 slices bacon


  • Combine the veal, ham, pork, and chicken livers in a large mixing bowl. Add 3 of the bay leaves, the salt, thyme, oregano, cayenne, black pepper, celery, onions, garlic, brandy, and port. Toss to mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.
  • Remove from the refrigerator and drain the mixture for 2 to 3 minutes in a colander in the sink, discarding the juices. Remove the bay leaves. Grind the meat once in a meat grinder fitted with a 1/2-inch die. Transfer to a large bowl. Add the egg whites and parsley and mix well.
  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
  • Line the bottom and sides of two 6-cup rectangular pans (8 1/2 X 4 1/2 X 2 1/2-inch metal or glass bread pans or an earthenware terrine with a cover), using 12 strips of bacon for each pan. Leave enough of the bacon overlapping all sides of the pan so that the bacon will completely cover the top of the paté mixture when folded over. Divide the paté mixture equally between the 2 pans, pressing down with your fingers. Fold the overlapping bacon slices over the mixture to encase it. Top each paté with 4 bay leaves.
  • Set the pans in a roasting pan large enough to accommodate both and place in the oven. Pour boiling water into the roasting pan to come three quarters of the way up the sides of the loaf pans. Bake for 1 1/2 hours, or until the internal temperature reaches 170ºF. with an instant-read thermometer.
  • Remove from oven and carefully drain off any excess fat, by pouring or by using a bulb baster. Cover the pans with aluminum foil, then place a 2- to 3-pound weight or brick wrapped in aluminum foil on top of each paté. Do not use a can. Return to the oven and bake for 1 hour.
  • Remove from the oven and with the weight or brick still on each paté, refrigerate for at least 8 hours before serving. Remove the bay leaves.
  • Cut into 1/2-inch slices to serve. The paté will keep for 7 to 10 days in the refrigerator.