Country Liver Pate
This is a lightly spiced pate, easily made with a food processor and Le Creuset’s stoneware Heritage pate terrine. The pate terrine’s press compacts the meat as it cooks to produce the desired texture. This pate is a delicious starter for celebratory meals. Serve it with gherkins and thin slices of toasted bread or baguettes.
- Softened butter for greasing, plus 1/4 cup melted and slightly cooled
- 2 large eggs
- 1 medium onion, peeled and cut in chunks
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves or 1/2 teaspoon dried, crumbled thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 pound beef liver, rinsed, dried with paper towels, and cubed
- 1/4 cup cognac or brandy
- 1 pound bulk sausage
- 2 bay leaves for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease the terrine with softened butter.
Process the eggs, onion, salt, thyme and allspice in a food processor or blender. Add 1/3 of the liver cubes at a time, processing after each batch until smooth. Add cognac or brandy and quickly process until blended.
Place sausage in a medium bowl, and break it up with a sturdy fork. Stir in liver mixture and melted butter. Mix well in a kneading motion (your clean hands work best). Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan, and place the bay leaves on top.
Bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour, or until internal temperature registers 160°F. Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack over a shallow platter. Top with the weighted press, and top that with a heavy object – a heavy can of soup or a small skillet work well.
When the pate has cooled to room temperature, cover both the terrine and the press with foil and place in the refrigerator until well chilled. If possible, make this a day ahead so the flavours can blend.
When ready to serve, remove the foil and the press. Remove any hardened fat. Slide a long, thin knife around the edge of the pate to loosen it. Place very hot water in a shallow dish or pie plate. Then place the terrine into the hot water for 5 minutes or so. This will loosen the bottom of the pate. Remove the dish from the water bath, wipe it dry and invert it over a cutting board. The pate should slide right out.
Cut into as many slices as you need for serving. For a delicious hors d’oeuvre, cut the slices into quarters and use as toppings for baguette slices. For a first course, serve the whole slices on plates, garnish with gherkins if desired, and serve the baguette slices alongside.
Store the pate by replacing it in the rinsed and cleaned dish. Cover with the lid. The pate will last for several days, refrigerated.