Coarse country pâté

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By: Delia Smith From: Delia's How to Cook

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This recipe is classed as intermediate

Rating 2.92 / 5 (39 votes)

Prep time:
40 min, plus 3-4 hrs chilling
Cook time:
1 hr 45 min

Serve Delia Smith's typically French pâté for lunch with a side salad, crisp cornichons and char-grilled or toasted country bread


1. You'll find it's best to process the different meats one at a time (finishing with the pigs' liver, as this is the messiest). Begin by cutting the meat into rough pieces, then place them in the food processor bowl and process until quite finely chopped. Next, tip each meat in turn into a large mixing bowl and mix them together very thoroughly.

2. Now coarsely crush first the juniper berries and then the black peppercorns in a pestle and mortar and add these to the meat, along with 1 heaped teaspoon of salt, the mace, garlic and thyme. Now you need to mix again even more thoroughly to distribute all the flavours evenly.

3. After this, add the wine and brandy and give it a final mix, then cover the bowl with a cloth and leave it in a cool place for a couple of hours to allow the flavours to be absorbed.

4. Before cooking the pâté, pre-heat the oven to 150C/gas 2. Then pack the mixture into the 1.75 litre terrine or 900 g loaf tin and decorate the top with a few bay leaves and extra juniper berries. Place the terrine or tin in a roasting tin half-filled with hot water on the centre shelf of the oven and leave it there for about 1 hour 45 minutes.

5. By the time it has cooked, the pâté will have shrunk quite a bit. Remove it from the oven and allow it to cool without draining off any of the surrounding juices; once the pâté has cooled, the surrounding fat and jelly will keep it beautifully moist.

6. When the pâté is cold, place a double strip of foil across the top and put a few weights on to press it down for at least a few hours - this pressing isn't essential but it helps to make the pâté less crumbly if you want to serve it in slices. If you don't have any scale weights, use any heavy object: bricks, tins of food or any innovation you can think of instead. If you don't weight it you can serve it in chunks rather than slices. Then, place the pâté, weights and all, into the fridge overnight.

7. To serve the pâté you need to take it out of the fridge at least 30 minutes ahead, to return it to room temperature, then turn it out of the terrine or loaf tin and remove the surrounding jelly and any fat. Slice and serve with cornichons, watercress and hot toasted or chargrilled bread, or some very crusty, fresh bread.

8. For chargrilled bread: pre-heat a chargrill pan for about 10 minutes so that it is really hot. Cut your chosen bread into fairly thick slices, then lay them on the chargrill pan. Turn over when they have got nice dark stripes (about 40 seconds if the pan is really hot) and repeat on the other side.

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To garnish

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Latest Comment


Unless your digestion is better/younger than ours,good quality garlic puree is more acceptable but forget or lessen the juniper berries(unless you really appreciate gin!) Otherwise a Delia winner,tried and tested.Remember,it freezes very good in baking parchment separated slices;mentioned by Delia in one of her previous written works.Recommended!

 Posted 27 Mar 2012 2:08 AM