Cold Child in the City

Photo courtesy of my talent-oozing sister Piper Jones

It’s official- old man winter is no longer knocking on our door, he’s knocked it down and let himself right in. Sadly, I fear he that he’s here to stay.

So as the reigning chef around here, I guess it’s my duty to make him something that hopes to satisfy him, and send him on his way….

And so it’s time for one of my most comforting cold-weather recipes:

My City-fied Country Pate
It’s the coziest way to warm up, fill up and indulge this evening and many evenings to follow as this will last you a week in the freezer, well depending on how much restraint the members of your household can show!
Serve this pate sliced with your favorite strong mustard, and brown bread. Pair with a glass of brandy, bourbon, or bordeaux and light that fire- I can’t think of a more wonderful way to ward off this temperature drop!
City-fied Country Pate
Inspired by a history of French chefs, cooks, and francophile Molly Wizenburg of Orangette
Serves, hmmm 12-20, depending…

14-16 bacon slices, for lining the pan and wrapping the pate
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 minced onion
1-2 minced shallots
2 pounds ground pork
.75 pounds of ground veal
3 garlic cloves, pressed
8-10 slices bacon, chopped for filling
1 cup Cointreau
2 1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 1/2 tsp allspice
3/4 tsp fresh grate nutmeg
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs, yolks broken
1/3 cup whipping cream
20 sliced crosswise, diced, cornichons/ baby gherkins for filling
To Serve:
Grey salt
Good quality Dijon mustard
sliced brown and country bread

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and place a rack at the lowest position in the oven. While the oven heats, place the Cointreau in a small sauce pan and bring to boil, reducing it by nearly a half and let cool to room temperature, or place in the fridge to cool faster till ready to incorporate.
2. Melt butter in a saute pan and saute onions and shallots until translucent and very soft and add garlic for 30 seconds. Remove aromatics from the pan and let cool in shallow bowl.
3. Mix both ground meats together in a large bowl. Add the cooled aromatics, salt, thyme, all spice, nutmeg, pepper, and mix a little. Add the eggs, heavy whipping cream, and cooled Cointreau and mix- do not over mix.

4. Line a sparyed loaf tin or ceramic pate pan with the slices of bacon letting them overlap over the sides. Fill the lined tin with the meat mixture half way up, and then add all the diced cornichons in one layer to cover completely the surface. Then add the remaining mixture and flatten down several times. Wrap up the top with the hanging bacon layers. Tightly foil the top.

5. Place the loaf tin in a larger roasting pan and place in the preheated oven. Pour boiling water into the roasting pan while on the rack in the oven until the water reaches half way up the sides of the loaf tin.
6. Cook the pate for 2 – 2 hours and 20 minutes. At 2 hours insert a meat thermometer through the foil into the center of the pate- and keep checking. Let the pate reach 155 degrees F and then remove it carefully from the oven to cool at room temperature on a wire rack.

7. (and this is the uber technical part 😉 place the cooler pate tin on baking sheet in the fridge and stack a heavy iron skillet, and two large filled cans on top of the skillet to weigh the pate down. Leave in the fridge over night or up to two days. This process can be done up to 5 days ahead.
8. To remove the pate, place the pate tin in a roasting pan of very hot water for about two minutes. Then carefully invert the tin onto the serving platter and slice the pate crosswise, spread, garnish and serve… and then save as this pate will be good for a few days…

Hopefully just long enough to sustain you through this wickedly cold week!

Darcy Jones

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