Formaggio Kitchen’s award-winning charcutière taught me how to make gourmet PÂTÈ GRAND-MÈRE at home. It’s fun to do and very rewarding to make such a delicacy in one’s own kitchen. Here’s the recipe and step by step instructions.
This is my first foray into making pâté. I’ve always thought of pâté as an elaborate French delicacy, beyond the scope of the home chef.
On my recent visit to Formaggio Kitchen I was treated to a sample of their house-made pâtés. The flavors and textures were so unbelievably rich and complex. I started thinking (hoping!) that I might possibly be able to meet the chef and get a recipe. My wish came true!
Julie Biggs is the charcutière at Formaggio. Her work involves everything from sourcing the meats to breaking down whole pigs and rabbits to developing award-winning recipes for charcuterie.
I was very excited when Julie assured me that her Pâté recipes can be adapted for the home kitchen. She picked one of her favorites – pâté grand-mère – to share with me and my blog followers.
What is Pâté?
Julie explains pâté in simple terms:
- Every pâté recipe has three components: meat, a liver binder, and a defining garnish.
- The liver binder is the flavoring component of the pâté….each pâté binder is a little different, and the ingredients in each vary to enhance the type of meat in the pâté.
- The flavor components vary but all of the binders contain garlic, shallots, local eggs, cream, fresh herbs, our signature pâté spice blend, pork, chicken, or rabbit livers and some form of alcohol.
- The binder flavors the pâté but also provides the richness and density that are its defining qualities.
While I was in Formaggio’s kitchen, learning how to make Pâté Grand-mère, I watched as assorted pâtés popped in and out of ovens, filling the air with unbelievably amazing aromas.
The pâté pictured below, cooling in its water bath, was a winner in the 2015 Good Food Awards. It’s Julie’s Tongue and Cheek Terrine – made from beef and pork cheeks and corned beef tongue.
How To Make Excellent Pâté at Home
Julie’s pâté grand-mère recipe is easy to follow. Once you procure the necessary ingredients (there are lots!), the rest is a breeze!
- Make the Binder: Sauté diced bacon until just crisp, then drain and cool. In a blender, combine garlic, shallot, herbs, spices and alcohol: brandy, vermouth, sherry and port. Pulse until herbs are roughly chopped. Add liver, eggs and cream. Blend until smooth.
- Mix The Ground Meats: In a large bowl combine pork butt, pork fatback, pancetta, and salt until well-combined. Add the binder to meat mixture and combine well. Add the bacon and mix well.
- Bake: Spray a glass terrine with cooking spray, pack the pâté mix into the terrine, pressing down with a spatula to eliminate air bubbles. Top each terrine with a lattice of bacon strips. Spray a piece of tin foil with cooking spray and cover the pâté (sprayed side on the inside). Make sure foil is tented and does not touch the top of the pâté. Bake at 325°F in water bath that comes roughly half-way up the glass terrine, until internal temperature reads 135°F, approximately 1 hour and fifteen minutes. Remove foil and continue to bake until internal temperature reaches 155°F, about 15 more minutes. Remove the pate from the oven and let it cool in the water bath, basting it from time to time with the water from the water bath, until it reaches room temperature. Refrigerate it overnight, pop it out of the pan and clean off any extra fat, and serve.
My pâté came out looking beautiful and tasting delectable! I was a little concerned at one point, because it took quite a bit longer than an hour and 15 minutes for the Pâté to come to the correct temperature.
But Julie emphasized that you should focus on the final temperatures and not on the length of cooking time, as that will vary depending on the type and size of terrine you’re using.
Pâté grand-mère has many distinct and wonderful components: Cubes of crisp sautéed bacon are mixed in with the ground meats, creating incredible flavor and texture. An alluring bacon lattice drapes over the pâté, imparting delicious flavors and making it look totally irresistible!
I look forward to serving this at my festive winter gatherings. I’ll set it out with good bread, cornichons, and spicy mustard!
Wishing you a wonderful holiday season filled with special treats like pâté grand-mère!
Here’s the recipe for pâté grand-mère. If you try this recipe I hope you’ll come back to leave a star rating and a comment. I’d love to know what you think!Print
An elegant and delicious pâté!
- Prep Time: 30 mins
- Cook Time: 1 hour 30 mins
- Total Time: 2 hours
- Yield: 10-15 1x
- Category: Appetizer
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: French
- A glass terrine or loaf pan, 1 1/2 Quart or approx. 5″ x 9 x 3″
- Cooking spray
- Foil for tenting the Pâté
- Meat thermometer
- 2 pounds ground pork butt*
- 1/2 pound ground pork fatback
- 1/8 pound pancetta, ground or finely chopped
- 1 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup pork or chicken livers, cleaned and diced
- 2 medium shallots, peeled and quartered
- 2 medium cloves garlic, halved
- 1 tablespoon roughly chopped Italian flat leaf parsley
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme thyme leaves
- 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons pâté spice blend – you can find this at some specialty stores or make your own – see below.
- 1 teaspoon quatre épices – you can find this at some specialty stores or make your own – see below.
- 1/4 cup brandy
- 1/4 cup dry white wine (Vermouth is a good choice)
- 1 tablespoon sherry
- 1 tablespoons tawny port
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup light cream
- ¼ pound slab bacon, diced into 1/2 inch cubes and sautéed for lardons
- 8 thin strips of bacon for wrapping the top of the pâté
- *Note: If you prefer to grind your own meats, cube them, spread them out on a sheet pan, sprinkle them with salt, and freeze until hard but not completely frozen. Then grind.
Pâté spice blend
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- Quatre Epice Spice Blend
- 1 1/2 teaspoons white pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon ground clove
- Preheat oven to 325ºF. In a small skillet, sauté diced bacon until just crisp, then drain and cool.
- Make Binder: In a blender, combine garlic, shallot, herbs, spices and alcohol. Pulse until roughly chopped. Add liver, eggs and cream. Blend well to emulsify. Mixture should be smooth. Set aside.
- Mix Meats In a large bowl mix pork butt, pork fatback, pancetta, and salt until well-combined (using your hands works well) Add binder to meat mixture and combine well, scraping down bottom and sides of bowl. Add lardons (bacon) and mix just until evenly incorporated.
- Spray a glass terrine with cooking spray and pack pâté mix into the terrine, pressing down with a rubber spatula as you go to eliminate any air bubbles. Top each terrine with finishing garnish of bacon strips. Trim bacon and tuck any loose ends into the sides. Spray a piece of tin foil with cooking spray and cover the pâté (sprayed side on the inside). Make sure foil is tented and does not touch the top of the pâté.
- Bake at 325°F in water bath that comes roughly half-way up the glass terrine. Bake until internal temperature reads 135°F, approximately* 1 hour and fifteen minutes. Remove foil and continue to bake until internal temperature reaches 155°F, approximately* 15 more minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool in water bath, basting occasionally with the water from the water bath, until room temp. Then refrigerate overnight. Pop out and clean off any extra fat before serving.
- *Please note that baking times will vary depending on the shape of your glass container and on fluctuations in oven temperature. The key thing is to hit the specified temperatures indicated.
Keywords: French pâté, homemade pâté
If you’d like to sample some of Julie’s charcuterie, stop in and visit Formaggio Kitchen in Cambridge or Boston.