recipe by Lori Ross
Making this pate is a lot like making a meat loaf wrapped in bacon, except you have to cook the ground meat in advance. It is delicious and freezes beautifully. Serves 40-50 as an hors d’oeuvre.
2 tbsp oil
1 large onion chopped
3 cloves of garlic minced
1 tbsp fennel seeds
1.5 lbs sweet Italian sausage meat (casings removed)
1 cup beer
½ lb ground veal
1/2 lb sliced bacon
4 oz. herb-season crumb stuffing (e.g. Pepperidge Farm) or Italian breadcrumbs
Salt and pepper
3 whole bay leaves
Melt butter in skillet and cook onions and, garlic until soft. Transfer onion mixture to very large mixing bowl, stir in fennel seeds. Brown sausage and veal in skillet over medium high heat and crumble into small pieces as you cook it. Once browned, add 1 cup of beer and cook until it is no longer pink. Add to mixing bowl with onion mixture. In same skillet, cook 6 slices of bacon (diced) until fat is rendered and add crumb stuffing and add to meat mixture. Add eggs and mix into meat mixture to make a moist but not wet mixture. Season with lots of pepper and salt. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Using ungreased 9x3 loaf pan, place 3 bay leaves (upside down) in a row down center of pan (to decorate top of pate). Next, line each pan with remaining uncooked bacon by arranging each strip side by side crosswise in the pan (this lines the sides and bottom of loaf pan). Let the ends of the slices hang over the edges of the pan. Pack pate mixture very tightly into the pans, pressing down firmly to get rid of all air pockets. Fold the overhanging bacon over the top of each pate. Completely wrap pan containing pate tightly with aluminum foil, sealing up on top and ends. Place the pan in a larger roasting pan filled half-way to the top with hot water.
Put in oven and bake for 90 minutes. Remove pate from oven (still wrapped in aluminum foil) and place a 5 lb weight on pate (e.g., brick, large can of tomatoes) and refrigerate for several hours. The weight compresses the meat and makes it a dense pate (it is the difference between pate and meat loaf). To unmold pate, run a knife around the sides of each pan and invert the pate onto a clean surface. The pate will keep up to 2 weeks, tightly wrapped in saran then aluminum foil or it can be frozen for 6 months or more. When you defrost, make sure you do it in refrigerator, very slowly over a couple days.
Serve with cornichon pickles, chopped onion and mustard on sliced baguette.