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Classic Pork Pâté

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  • Author: Jill Baker
  • Yield: 15 appetizer portions 1x


Brian created this pâté to show off not only the simplicity of the ratio but also the beauty of the straight forcemeat, and to reiterate the fundamental technique, which uses a double grind to ensure a great texture and stable emulsion. This recipe follows the first of the straight forcemeat ratios: equal parts meat and fat, half as much pork shoulder.



12 ounces (340 grams) Lean Pork, cut into 1-inch (2.5-centimeter) dice

12 ounces (340 grams) Pork Back Fat or Skinless Pork Belly, cut into 1-inch (2.5-centimeter) dice

6 ounces (170 grams) Pork Shoulder, cut into 1-inch (2.5-centimeter) dice

1 tablespoon (15 grams) Kosher Salt

1 tablespoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper

2 teaspoons All-Purpose Spice Mix for Meat Pâtés (click here for recipe)

1 tablespoon Vegetable Oil

2 tablespoons Minced Shallot

2 tablespoons Minced Garlic

1 cup (240 milliliters) Madeira Wine

2 Large Egg Whites

1/2 cup (120 milliliters) Heavy Cream, chilled

2 cups (480 milliliters) Appropriate Garnish (go here to learn more)


  1. Prepare a water bath in a 300°F/150°C oven (go here to learn more).
  2. Combine the lean park, back fat, and pork shoulder in a mixing bowl and add the salt, pepper, and spice mix. Combine well, cover, and refrigerate.
  3. In a sauté pan with sloped sides, heat the oil over medium heat and sauté the shallot and garlic for a few minutes until soft, being careful not to brown them. Add the Madeira, turn the heat to high, and bring to a boil, reducing the wine to a syrupy consistency-you should have about 2 tablespoons. Watch this step carefully as you may have to adjust the heat up or down depending on the surface area of your pan, since Madeira has residual sugars that can burn. Using a rubber spatula, scrape the reduction onto a salad plate, set aside. and allow to reach room temperature.
  4. Grind the chilled lean pork, back fat, and pork shoulder trough a 1/4-inch (6-millimeter) die into a metal bowl set in an ice bath. Regrind the meat through a 1/8-inch (3-millimeter) die into the bowl, still in its ice bath.
  5. Transfer the ground meats to a food processor, add the egg whites and wine reduction, and blend until smooth. This is a critical point: Take the temperature of the ground meat mixture using an instant-read thermometer. If it’s too warm at this point, above 45° F (7° C), spread out the meat onto a baking sheet and put it into the freezer for 15 minutes, or until the temperature is below 45° F (7° C).
  6. Transfer the pureed meat to a metal bowl set in an ice bath and fold in the cold cream with a rubber spatula.
  7. Do a quenelle test (go here to learn more) and adjust the seasoning if necessary, remembering that cooked food served cold requires more seasoning.
  8. Fold in the desired garnish (go here to learn more).
  9. Line a 1 1/2-quart (1.5-liter) terrine mold with plastic wrap and fill it with the pâté. Fold the plastic wrap over the top.
  10. Cover with a lid or aluminum foil and cook in the water bath to an internal temperature of 145° F (63° C), 45-60 minutes. Remove the terrine from the water bath. When it’s cool enough to handle, weight the terrine and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.
  11. Unmold, slice, and serve.


This excerpt is taken from Pâté, Confit, Rillette by Brian Polcyn with Michael Ruhlman
Get the book, here.