Recipe courtesy of Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger

King of Country Pate

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 day 2 hr 30 min
  • Prep: 1 day
  • Cook: 2 hr 30 min
  • Yield: 1 loaf or 18 appetizers
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1 pound plus 1-ounce lean veal or chicken

8 ounces lean pork

14 ounces fatback

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon white pepper

1/2 cup applejack, calvados, or brandy

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

4 ounces chicken livers, trimmed

1 tablespoon pureed garlic

1/4 cup brandy

2 1/2 bay leaves

1 slice day-old white bread, crusts removed

2 teaspoons ground allspice

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

3 small eggs

1/2 pound bacon, sliced

1/4 pound baked ham

1/4 pound pickled tongue

4 bay leaves for garnish

5 garlic cloves, peeled


  1. Trim veal or chicken and pork of excess fat and tendons. Skin fatback. Cut into 1 inch cubes and pass through largest hole of a meat grinder. Transfer to a large bowl. Stir in salt, pepper, and applejack. Cover with plastic wrap touching the mixture and refrigerate at least 1 day or as long as 3.
  2. After marinating, heat oil in a medium skillet over high heat. Saute livers until well browned, about 1 minute per side. Remove from pan and set aside to cool. Add garlic and cook about 1/2 minute, being careful not to let it color. Reserve garlic with liver.
  3. Add brandy and bay leaves to same skillet. Scrape bottom of pan to loosen brown bits and cook over low heat until warm, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool and remove and discard bay leaves.
  4. Dip white bread in warm water to soften. Squeeze out excess moisture. Add to the liver and garlic along with 2 cups marinated ground meat, allspice, nutmeg, and brandy. Stir to combine.
  5. Transfer to a food processor, add eggs, and puree until a smooth paste is formed. This paste will bind the pate. Place puree in a large bowl, add remaining ground meat, and combine well. (We recommend using your hands, not a spoon, to combine this dense mixture.)
  6. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  7. Line a 9 by 5 by 3 inch glass or ceramic loaf pan with bacon slices so they overhang lengthwise, about 3 inches on each end. Slice ham and tongue into 4 by 1/2 by 1/2 inch julienne strips.
  8. Spread about a cup of pate evenly over the bacon to cover the bottom. Arrange alternating strips of ham and tongue lengthwise, over the pate. Repeat this procedure, alternating pate with strips
  9. of ham and tongue, until pan is filled and top layer is pate. (When the loaf is sliced you will see a regular pattern of solids and pate.) Fold overhanging bacon over the top. (The pate may rise slightly over the top of the pan. That's OK.)
  10. Tap pan against a counter to firmly pack. Garnish top with bay leaves and garlic cloves. Cover with 2 layers aluminum foil, tucking edges under to completely seal. Place inside a larger pan and pour in boiling water until it rises halfway up the sides of the pate. Bake 2 hours 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  11. Place cooled pate on a baking sheet and cover with another baking sheet. Top with some 3 pounds of weights (canned goods or milk cartons are good) and refrigerate overnight or as long as 2 weeks. This compacts the pate and makes it easier to slice.
  12. To serve, remove and discard the bay leaf and garlic garnish. To loosen, dip pan's bottom in warm water and run a knife along inside edges. Invert onto a serving platter. Cut into 1/2 inch slices and serve on lettuce leaves.
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