I would love for terrines to make a comeback because there’s something so high spirited but simple about serving meat that’s been pressed into a mold.
This country pâté is moist and flavorful — exactly what I hoped to achieve. It’s nicely seasoned and tastes mostly of pork with some liver flavor coming through, too. There’s even some roasted pistachios for an unexpected visual when you slice into it.
It’s the sort of dish that I would serve at a casual picnic or fancy dinner party alike and needs little more than crusty bread, dijon, cornichons, and flake salt to make it special.
What is a terrine?
A terrine is a pressed mold that often contains minced meat, liver, fat, herbs, dried fruit, and nuts. Terrines are served chilled or at room temperature, sliced to easily present cross-sections of each layer.
While this terrine doesn’t have any layers, per se, it does contain whole roasted and salted pistachios. Some people like to place a cut piece of ham in the center.
How to Make Country Pâté with Pistachios (Pâté de Campagne)
This recipe makes a lot so I suggest that you start by gathering 5 small loaf pans or 1-2 larger loaf pans. Of course, small loaves cook faster than large, so it’s really best to rely on an internal thermometer placed in the center of your loaf to determine the perfect cook.
Step 1: Sweat the Onion (6 minutes)
Roughly chop, then finely mince the onion. You want to sweat the onion in butter until it’s really soft and translucent. You don’t want to see any browning or caramelization, so if you do, add a splash of water or lower the heat.
Deglaze. Once the onion is soft, add the brandy to deglaze the pan and cook off the alcohol. Reduce just by 1/4 cup or so then remove from the heat and set aside.
Step 2: Mix the Meat (5 minutes)
This is either the fun part or the messy part. In a large bowl, mix together the garlic paste, ground pork, chopped liver, and chopped bacon. Once combined, add the onion and brandy mixture and seasoning.
Step 3: Press into Molds (5 minutes)
Line whatever loaf pan(s) you are using with bacon slices. It’s ok if you are slightly short. You just want the bacon there to keep the outside nice and moist. Not a bad way to prevent sticking, either.
Push the meat mixture all the way to the top of the mold and use the overhanging sections of bacon to wrap. Cover tightly in foil.
Step 4: Bake in Water Bath (1 – 2 hours)
Set the baking containers inside of a larger baking tray and fill halfway with really hot or boiling water. The safest way to do this is with the tray set on the open oven door.
Bake on the lowest rack until the internal temperature reaches 155°F on a meat thermometer. This will take approximately 1 hour if you have the small loaf pans and approximately 2 hours for a large 10x5x3-inch loaf pan.
Step 5: Press and Chill (1 day)
For the best texture, you should set something heavy on top of the pate so that it doesn’t expand. Chill overnight. The next day, you will need to set the mold inside of warm water for a few minutes before inverting. You will see the fat melt and this will tell you that it will come out easily.
Cut into slices with a bread knife and serve at room temperature or slightly cold.
Since this recipe is a bit involved and creates a lot of food, you may want to plan ahead to make the most of this recipe. You can make the entire recipe start to finish up to 4 days ahead. It will keep in the fridge for about 5 days.
To freeze this recipe, I recommend placing the mold, wrapped in foil inside of a sealed bag raw. Frozen pate will last for up to 2 months. Cook from frozen (inside a water bath) at 350°F until the internal temperature reaches 155°F.
Like most meat terrines, this pate is rich and a little goes a long way. Light- to medium-bodied red wines with firm structure are a safe bet.
Gamay, Frappato, Zweigelt and Cabernet Franc all have a bright acidity and fresh berry flavors that work together to cut through the fatty richness and compliment your charcuterie board.
Did I miss your favorite wine pairing? Leave your suggestions in the comments below!
More Provencal Style Dishes You Might Like
- Salted Caramel Apple Pie
- Cauliflower Leek Potage
- Duck Confit with Plum Sauce
- Oven Roasted Rack of Lamb with Pan Potatoes
Country Pâté with Pistachios
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 medium white onion minced
- ¾ cup brandy
- 3 garlic cloves
- 6 ounces chicken or beef liver roughly chopped
- 2 ½ pounds ground pork
- 12 ounces bacon 8 slices, finely chopped, plus 14 bacon slices (for lining pan)
- 2 ½ teaspoons sea salt
- 2 ½ teaspoons dried thyme
- 1 ½ teaspoons allspice
- 1/2 cup roasted pistachio nuts
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 large eggs lightly beaten
- ⅓ cup heavy whipping cream
- Position oven rack to lowest position and preheat to 350°F. Melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft and translucent, stirring occasionally to prevent browning, about 6 minutes. Add the brandy and bring to a boil until reduced slightly, about 1 minute. Remove from heat.
- Mince the garlic cloves; then use the side of the blade as a press to form a paste. Combine the garlic paste, liver, ground pork, and chopped bacon in a large bowl. Mix until well blended with your hands or a spoon. Add the onion (with reduced brandy), salt, thyme, allspice, pistachios, and pepper and mix again until incorporated. Add the eggs and cream and mix until blended well.
- Line 5 miniature or a large (10x5x3-inch) metal loaf pan(s) with bacon slices, slightly overlapping on all sides and overhanging by about 1-inch. Fill the prepared loaf pan(s) with the meat mixture to the top and wrap the overhanging bacon to cover pâté. Cover tightly with foil and set inside of a larger baking pan and transfer to the oven door. Pour very hot water into the baking pan to come halfway up the sides of the loaf pan(s). Bake on the lowest rack until a thermometer inserted through the thickest part reads 155°F, about 1 hour for small loaves or up to 2 hours for a large loaf.
- Carefully remove the loaf pan(s). Press pate as it cools and chills overnight for best results by weighing down with a heavy object. Refrigerate overnight.
- To remove, place loaf pan(s) in a larger pan with hot water for a few minutes. Remove foil and invert onto a carving board. Cut crosswise into ½-inch slices. Remove the outside layer of bacon fat, if desired. Serve cold or room temperature.
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This is something to make when you want to entertain. Perfect for the holidays because its special. It has a strong flavor combination, of course there is liver in it. I love all kinds of pate’ and find this one to be a real treat.