Everyone Can Cook EverythingMy version of this classic French pâté uses bacon to line the mold instead of sliced pork fat—it’s leaner and easier to find, and I enjoy the smoky flavor it gives the pâté.

  • Yield: 10 Servings about 20 slices
  • Preparation Time: 15 Minutes
  • Cooking Time: 90 Minutes


  • 12 bacon slices
  • 1¼ lb (625 g) ground pork
  • ½ lb (250 g) ground veal
  • ¼ cup (60 mL) brandy
  • ¼ cup (60 mL) white wine
  • ½ medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) dried thyme
  • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) green peppercorns
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) salt
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) freshly ground black
  • 0.12 tsp (0.5 mL) ground cloves
  • 0.12 tsp (0.5 mL) ground allspice
  • 1 cup (250 mL) pitted prunes
  • 1 ½-inch (1 cm) thick, 3–4-inch (8–10 cm) round, slice of ham, cut into ¼-inch (6 mm) strips
  • ¼ cup (60 mL) unsalted, shelled pistachios
  • 4 bay leaves
How to Make It
  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C). Line an 11¾- × 2¾- × 3 inch (30 × 7 × 8 cm) pâté mold (sold at specialty kitchenware stores), or an 8½- × 4½- × 2½-inch (21 × 11 × 6 cm) loaf pan, with the bacon, slightly overlapping the slices. Place the pork, veal, brandy, white wine, onion, garlic, egg, thyme, green peppercorns, salt, black pepper, cloves and allspice in a large bowl and mix to combine. Pack 1/3 of the meat mixture into the pâté mold or loaf pan. Arrange ½ the prunes, ham slices and pistachios over top. Add another 1/3 of the meat mixture, packing it in tightly. Layer the remaining prunes, ham and pistachios over top. Pack in the remaining meat mixture. Pull the overhanging bacon slices over the layered mixture, ensuring the bacon ends overlap and completely cover the pâté. Top the bacon with the bay leaves. Cover the pâté with aluminum foil and set in a roasting pan. Pour in cold water to halfway up the sides of the pâté mold or loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour; remove the foil and bake for 30 minutes more or until the pâté reaches 160°F (71°C) when an instant-read meat thermometer is inserted in the center.
  2. Place the pâté mold or loaf pan on a cooling rack and cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate the pâté for 1 to 2 days before unmolding to let the pâté’s flavor develop. When ready to serve, set the pâté mold or loaf pan into a pan containing 2 to 3 inches (5 to 8 cm) of hot water for a few minutes; this will loosen the pâté from the bottom and sides and make it easier to unmold. To unmold, carefully turn the pâté onto a cutting board. Gently lift the mold or pan to reveal the pâté. Scrape away any excess fat from the outside of the pâté. Chill the pâté for 10 minutes before thinly slicing and arranging on a platter. Serve with slices of baguette, cornichon, olives and Dijon mustard.

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