Monday, December 20, 2010


I have been making our house-made charcuterie at Ernesto's.  I love doing it!  On our menu is country pâté, duck rillette, and trout rillette.  Customers can choose one or get some of all three.  I serve them with whole-grain mustard, cornichons, dried fruits, and toasted baguette slices.  We are out of trout rillette so I don't have a picture.  I plan to make some when I get to work tomorrow.  The pâté is pretty darn yummy.  One of the bosses can hardly leave it alone.  He wants one for home.

Country Pâté

Duck Rillette

I combined a couple of recipes for the pâté and sort of did my own thing and I plan to keep refining my recipe a little each time until I love it, but this is what we are serving right now at Ernesto's.

1 medium yellow onion, chop
splash of oil (or glob of butter)
big splash of brandy
2/3 pound each of ground pork, ground veal, and ground dark-meat turkey
1/2 pound chicken liver, chop fine
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 cloves garlic, mince
1 egg, beat
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme (or, better, use fresh thyme and mince it)
pinch nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
3 whole bay leaves or 1 teaspoon ground
dried fruit (optional)

Sweat onions in the oil or butter--cook until they are soft and translucent but not browned.  Add the brandy, thyme, and ground bay leaves if you chose them and cook au sec--dry (don't let it burn).  Cool.  Line a loaf pan with bacon so that you can fold it over the pâté and enclose it completely.  Mix everything up very thoroughly (just like meatloaf).  I put the cream, egg, garlic, & spices in the food processor first.  Pack the mixture in the bacon-lined loaf pan.  Make sure that it is packed in and there aren't any airholes.  Tap it down on the counter to be sure.  If you opt for whole bay leaves arrange them on top.  Fold the bacon over.  Cover with three layers of foil.  Put pan in a water bath.  A cake pan works well.  Pour water in halfway up the loaf pan.  Bake at 350 degrees until the temperature in the very middle is 130 degrees--45 minutesish.  Don't unwrap it when you take it out of the oven!  Stick it in the fridge to chill with two bricks on the foil packing it down more for two days.  Unwrap it then, serve at room temperature with whole-grain mustard, cornichons (teeny pickles), and toasted bread.  YUM!!!

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