June 16, 2010

Daring Cooks Challenge: Three Spice Pâté and Homemade Bread

Deep into my Italian adventures, I completely missed the 14th, and the posting day for the latest Daring Cooks challenge.  But at least I did plan ahead and before leaving, made one of the delicious pâtés that Daring Cooks hostesses this month, Evelyne of Cheap Ethnic Eatz, and Valerie of The Chocolate Bunny, chose. Along with pâté, the June challenge called for freshly baked bread. They provided us with four different pâté recipes to choose from and allowed us to go wild with our homemade bread choice.

I chose to make the Three Spice Liver Pâté, adapted from Ravenous Couple, which was inspired by White on Rice Couple. For the bread, I made one of my favourites: Six Hour Artisantal Bread.  The rustic and chewy bread, with its crackling crust, was just right with the pâté.

Three Spice Liver Pâté

Yields one 10 x 5 inch terrine or loaf pan

1 lb pork liver (or beef or combination)
½ lb ground pork
½ lb pork fat (or pork belly)
2 cloves garlic
2 shallots
1 whole egg and 1 egg yolk
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp coriander (ground or crushed)
½ tsp cumin*
¾ tsp salt
1 tbsp coarse freshly cracked peppercorns
2 tbsp cognac
2 bay leaves
1 package of bacon

*I roast and grind cumin seeds as needed, rather than buying gound cumin.  The roasting (done by heating the cumin gently in a pan over medium heat until fragrant), gives a richness to the cumin that store-bought can't replicate.

1.  Preheat oven to to 350ºF (180ºC).

2.  Cut liver and pork fat into small pieces and add to food processor. Add ground pork, garlic, shallots, cinnamon, cumin, coriander, salt and pepper. Grind until smooth.

3.  In mixing bowl, incorporate the meat and liver mixture with the cognac and eggs.

I used duck eggs for extra richness

4.  Line bottom of baking or ceramic pan with overlapping pieces of bacon. Place a bay leaf on the bottom and then fill with meat/liver mixture. Cover top with another bay leaf and then overlapping pieces of bacon.

5.  Place in oven in the larger baking pan and add enough water to cover 2/3rds of the pan containing the meat/liver mixture. Bake for about 1-1.5 hrs, and remove from oven.  The pâté will contract and the juices will be on the bottom. Allow to cool and soak up the juices. Remove any excess bacon and discard the bay leaves.

Six hour bread has crusty goodness

NB.  I clearly didn't read the directions carefully and left the bacon on - oops.  Must be my love of all things pork.

The pâté was part of a Sunday brunch spread, a birthday celebration with dear friends.  Watch for upcoming posts on the rest of the menu: Fire Roasted Chicken; Three Cheese Fritatta and a super-lemony panna cotta with the season's first strawberries.

The table set for a celebratory feast

Roasted garlic for the chicken