Before sausage, but in the same sort of category (as Brett of Trout Caviar points out in comments a bit earlier) we recently experimented with country style pate. For a dinner with friends we ended up trying three different variations. As a basis, we looked to the pigeon pate recipe from The River Cottage Meat Book.
The first version consisted of duck and goose hearts and gizzards, along with the breast meat off of a teal that was a bit shot up. This pate was flavored with dewberry jelly, white and black pepper, garlic, bay, and red wine.
The next was made with half of the breast off of a Canada goose (also a bit too pellet-riddled to be suitable for roasting or other treatment). It was flavored with juniper, garlic, bay, and port.
and the last was made with the meat of a slightly freezer-burned grouse. The grouse was flavored with apple jelly, thyme, bay, a bit of cayenne, cardamom, black pepper, and Calvados.
We have a local source for good bacon, which they'll kindly slice very thin. You stretch those slices out even more thin, then line your mold with them.
Duck and goose bits:
You sauté an onion, brown the meat in the remaining bit of fat, then deglaze the pan with your choice of alcohol and pour the liquid over the meat, which you then grind (along with the onion) and mix with the jelly and spices. For fat in the pate, we ground our meat with some raw pork belly.
Once packed in the molds, you cover your pate with buttered parchment paper then bake them in a water bath in a slow oven.
Once done, the top of the bacon (which becomes the bottom of the pate) is nicely brown from the butter, while the remainder is quite white due to the water bath. You aren't done, though, as you leave the covers on, weight the pates, then let them chill for a day.
The process was a bit of work and somewhat time consuming, but not really that bad, particularly given how long a pate lasts and their suitability for freezing.
Final presentation. The grouse turned out to be a bit crumbly. The very dry meat of that bird needed more liquid than we had put in. A bit more highly spiced, it was an initial favorite with the tasters. All were good, though, and I think this may be the very best use for waterfowl gizzards and hearts.
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