Friday, August 12, 2011

Charcutepalooza Project #8

Going to get this one in a little early. We leave for a week in New Hampshire tomorrow. Been a little crazy around here but I managed some time to get this made. The project is country style pate (I don't know how to get the proper accents in type). I had always wanted to make my own for Thanksgiving and this was a good opportunity to give it a whirl before showday.

Made a stop at Dean's Whole Foods on Central to get the spices. Their bulk spices rule. Fresh Market only had veal liver but I was able to find some pork liver at the Asian Market on Central. Grabbed some pork at Roma's and picked up a itty bitty bottle of cognac at Newton Wines. The rest of the ingredients were pretty basic. And away we went...

Made a batch of the Charcuterie Pate Spice. It smelled pretty good which surprised me a little since it has cloves in it and I don't really like cloves.

I started weighing out the ingredients. Isn't that the cutest bottle of cognac?

Got the panade ingredients together...

Little bowl of spices. I bought these little bowls the one time I was in an Ikea. The kids still use them, but once they are in bed, the bowls work great for mis-en-place.

You run the pork through the coarse grinder with the coarse disk. Then combine onions, parsley, the spices and the liver with about a third of the ground pork and push that through the finer grinder disk. I was well on my way to making to truly spectacular mess in the kitchen.

Everything goes into the bowl and gets whipped up with the paddle attachment.

Then, I put the mixture into two small loaf pans. Pressed it all in. Put it in a water bath and off to a 300 degree oven. After about 40 minutes, I got a temperature reading on 150. I put the loaf pans on a rack and weighted the pate down with small pieces of scrap steel. Once the pate was at room temperature, I moved the pate to a fridge and added two cans of soda for additional weight.

The next day, I had a baguette and small yet over priced cornichons  ready to go. I cut into the pate and....

failure. This is the second loaf, the first one actually looked better but I didn't take a picture. It was a little pinker than I thought it would be in the middle. Kind of medium rare. And the cooked outer portion was pretty unattractive. But I knew I had seen a internal temperature of 150 degrees, with carryover heat it should have gone a little higher and that is a safe temperature to eat pork. So I had a taste. I did say failure, didn't I? Not good. Having already disliked the appearance, I was able to add disliking the texture and taste to the list. It was inedible, it just wasn't good. Never even opened that overprice bottle of cornichons.

If this wasn't part of a yearlong project, I doubt this post would exist. Plenty could have gone wrong - I made half a recipe. I used small loaf pans. Keeping everything so cold and going directly into the oven could be the cause of the nasty gray exterior. I was a little rushed, could have screwed something up too. The real problem is that I didn't like the flavor combinations.Someday, I'll try again...If you ever find yourself in Zabar's, their pate is significantly better than this. At least it was about 10 years.

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