Duck Country Pâté with Dates and Sage

Now, I know this will be a stretch for people to make this, or even be interested to make it. I assure you though, this is one of the best pâté that I have ever had, and I did not care for them until I made it myself. It is a very good way to use up the livers when we buy whole birds. The difference between a country pâté  (Pâté De Campagne) and a traditional (Pâté Grandmere) is the amount of liver, which was a huge deciding factor for me. Pâté is definitely an acquired taste and you either hate it or you love it. Since I was never a fan of pâté I figured I would make one myself to see if I could change my own mind. Since the country pâté has about 13% liver (Pâté Grandmere is about 60% liver) it was clearly the better choice for me. It is a lengthy process, and the easiest of all pâté, but once all of your products are laid out assembled, it will take about 30 minutes.

Duck Country Pâté

Yield: 3 Terrine molds or 4 Roulades

4# Duck Breast/thigh meat

8oz Duck Liver

~~

1/2C Diced White Onion

1/4C Fines Herbes

3T Chopped Garlic

1.5oz Salt

2t Black Pepper

3/4t Pâté Spice

~~

4T AP Flour

4ea Eggs

1/2C Sherry reduced to 1/4C

1C Cream

~~

AN Sage

8oz Dates

2ea Cleaned confit duck leg, cleaned

Mise en Place

  • Have two bowls ready, one with ice and the other placed on top of the ice, this is going to be used to catch the meat as it comes out of the grinder. The last three items in the recipe will be used to fill the terrine later in the recipe.
  • Ensure the duck breast has been cleaned of the skin and grind the duck meat with the medium die, catching it in the bowl sitting on ice.

Grinding the duck.

  • Take 1/3 of the ground duck meat and mix with liver, spices, herbs, and onion. Send that mix through the same die and mix with remaining the duck meat.
  • In a separate bowl, combine eggs and flour, mix until combined.  Add cream and brandy, this is a panade.
  • Place ground duck meat into a mixing bowl with panade and mix until meat begins to get tacky, about 1.5 minutes. Refrigerate until you are ready to assemble.

Fancy meatloaf, this is what the forcemeat should look like after it has been mixed

Now that you have your forcemeat, it is time to decide how you want to assemble and cook it. There are a few ways to do this: one, is to use a terrine mold and bake it in a water bath, two, is to roll it in plastic wrap and poach it, which is what I will show you. Either way is preferable for a home kitchen but since I only have two terrine molds, I need to form roulades and poach them.

  • Place a pot on the stove with water large enough to hold the pate roulades so they can be submerged. Heat the water to 160-170°F, if it is any hotter there is a risk of the fat separating out, a slow poach is required.
  • Portion the forcemeat into four equal portions, about 1.25# each.
  • Lay a sheet of plastic wrap on the table measuring 18″x22″, the length can be longer and not necessarily 22″
  • Place one portion of the force-meat into the bottom third of the plastic (closest to you) and press it with your hands into a rectangle about a 1/2″ thick.
  • Lay the confit duck, dates, and sage in the middle as shown below.

Filling the Roulade

  • Grab the end of the plastic nearest you and roll the forcemeat over ensuring that the filling stays in the middle.  If needed press, the filling down a little to get it to stick.
  • Roll the forcemeat to the far end of the plastic, grab the two open sides and squeeze the forcemeat towards the middle and roll it on the table like wrapping a tootsie roll.

Rolling the Roulade

Ready to poach, needs to be tied.

  • Use butcher twine to tie a knot in both ends to ensure that it stays closed, and making a handle for poaching.
  • Place roulades into the water bath and poached for 45-90 minutes, checking the temperature frequently after 45 minutes. This forcemeat is finished when it reaches an internal temperature of 155-160°F.

Poaching the forcemeat.

  • If the roulades float use a needle to puncture the air pockets
  • Once the pâté has reached the appropriate temperature, shock the roulades in an ice bath then refrigerate overnight.

20111119-090626.jpg

After trying the pate I was very pleased with it and the only thing I would do differently would be to add 6-8oz of pork fat or bacon to help moisten it a touch.

Variations:

Truffle Pheasant

Seasonal Huckleberry

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