Country style pâté with pork and duck confit

We first developed this  rustic, country-style pate because we needed to use up some extra confit of duck at Cafe Presse.  It was so popular with our guests that we hope to serve it more often.  We offered it as a daily special, served with  cornichons, grain mustard and an apple-black currant-thyme compote.

Although this recipe is fairly complicated and requires some special equipment (meat grinder, hotel pan, large mixer with paddle), I don’t think it is out of the question to make this at home, especially if you scale it to a smaller batch.  Check out this earlier post for photos that help clarify the recipe.

This recipe makes enough to fill 3 standard loaf pans.

Ingredients

5 1/2# boneless pork butt
3# chicken livers
3# pork fat
2# boneless duck confit meat
2# pork caul fat
1/2 oz sugar
1/2 oz white pepper, freshly ground
1/2 oz quatre épices
1.2 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
2 oz kosher salt
1/4 oz pink salt
1 cup white wine
1 cup sweet vermouth
1 cup milk
2 sprigs thyme
2 sprigs parsley
4 eggs
1 large onion
10 cloves garlic

Preparation

  1. Mix together the spices, the white wine and the vermouth. Cut the pork butt and fat in 1 inch dice. Remove the connective tissue from the livers. Put the meat, fat and livers in a hotel pan, keeping them separate. Pour the spice and wine mixture over the top. Cover tightly and leave to marinate overnight.
  2. Rinse the caul fat well. Soak overnight in a lot of cold water with a handful of salt. Pick through the duck confit to remove all bones, skin, etc. Dice roughly.
  3. The next day, peel the onion and garlic and remove the germ from the garlic. Finely chop them together in the food processor. Sauté this mixture in a hot pan with a bit of olive oil until soft. Cool. Put the milk and herbs into a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Allow to steep unit the milk is room temperature.
  4. Grind the chicken livers using largest die. Grind the fat and lean pork together using the smallest die. Make sure that all the spices and marinate is added to the mix as well. After the pork, put the cooled onion/garlic mix through the fine grind as well.
  5. Put the ground meat mixture into the mixer bowl. Add the diced duck confit. Strain the milk into the meat mixture, discarding the herbs. Crack the eggs to the mixture. Mix thoroughly at low speed using the paddle. Do not overwork. Fry off a small patty of this mixture to taste for seasoning. Add more salt and pepper as necessary.
  6. Line the loaf pans with caul fat leaving about 1 inch of excess all the way around the top. Fill the pans with the meat mixture, heaping it up generously. Fold the caul fat over the mixture, then line the tops of the pates with another sheet of caul fat, tucking it in along the edges of the pan.
  7. Bake the pâtés in a bain marie with the water level half the height of the pâté pans. The pâtés are done when they reach an internal temperature of 140 degrees f. Remove the pâtés from the bain marie and weight them overnight in the refrigerator. The next day, unmold and wrap tightly. These pâtés are best if left several days before serving.
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