~ Boar Pâté with Cranberries and Pistachios ~
Any excuse I have to make pâté is a gift, so this month’s Charcutepalooza challenge (packing) was a bit like an early Christmas. In charcuterie terms, packing involves jamming a terrine with ground spiced meat, spirits, eggs and cream and baking it in a water bath. The resulting baked brick of spiced and fortified meat is weighted down and banished to the refrigerator to sit for a day or two to become comfortable with it’s brash flavorings while anticipation builds – just as it would the day before Christmas as you eye unopened presents placed beneath the tree. When the time is right (2 days at least) the terrine is retrieved from the refrigerator and its wrapping discarded, uncovering a rich, meaty country pâté, chunky with nuts and fruit.
I have fiddled with this recipe over the years, and lately become enamored of wild boar. Boar reminds me of Europe, where it is a frequent ingredient in charcuterie. It may be purchased in specialty stores, through a butcher or mail order. Boar is a flavorful meat, kind of a cross between pork and lamb, that lends depth to the pâté. Since it’s so lean, it’s important to combine it with a fattier cut of meat such as pork shoulder.
Country Pâté with Boar, Cranberries and Pistachios
This pâté is a perfect appetizer or easy dinner with cheese and salad. Begin at least two days before serving to allow the flavors to develop. (Veal may be substituted for the boar.)
1 pound ground boar shoulder (or veal)
1 pound ground pork shoulder
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 pound bacon, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter plus extra for greasing terrine
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup Calvados
1/4 cup shelled pistachios
1/4 cup dried cranberries
Coarsely ground peppercorns for garnish
If you are grinding your own meat, then cut the boar and pork in 3/4 inch cubes. Place in a large bowl. Add garlic, salt, pepper, thyme, allspice, coriander and cloves. Mix to thoroughly coat the meat. Cover and refrigerate 6 hours or overnight. Grind with a meat grinder before proceeding.
If you are using ground meat, combine boar and pork in a large bowl. Add garlic, salt, pepper, thyme, allspice, coriander and cloves. Mix thoroughly; refrigerate up to 24 hours.
Preheat oven to 350 F. (180 C.) Remove meat from refrigerator. Add bacon and return to refrigerator while you prepare the onions. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until translucent but not brown, 6 minutes. Cool to room temperature. Stir into the meat.
Combine eggs, cream and calvados in a small bowl. Add to meat and mix well.
Butter a loaf pan or terrine. Press one third of the meat into the terrine. Sprinkle evenly with half of the pistachios and cranberries. Press another third of the meat into the terrine. Top with remaining pistachios and cranberries. Cover with remaining meat. Cover terrine tightly with foil. Prick 2-3 holes in the foil. Place terrine in a baking pan. Pour boiling water into the baking pan until halfway up the sides of the terrine. Bake in oven until meat thermometer inserted in the center reads 155 F. about 1 1/2 hours. Remove from oven and remove terrine from the water bath. Place a terrine press over the pate (or a cutting board with cans on top) and cool completely. Transfer to refrigerator and let sit 1-2 days before serving. To serve, un-mold pate. Scrape off any congealed fat. Cut in slices, ½ inch thick. Sprinkle with additional peppercorns if desired. Serve with cornichons, Dijon-style mustard and fresh French baguette or peasant bread.
What is Charcutepalooza?
An inspirational idea hatched by Cathy Barrow and Kim Foster and partnering with Food52 and Punk Domestics. It celebrates a Year in Meat, where participating foodies and bloggers will cure, smoke and salt their way through Michael Ruhlman’s bestselling cookbook Charcuterie.