My first pate de campagne is in the oven, cooking slowly in a bain marie, assembled per the recipe in my new favorite cookbook, Charcuterie by Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn. This is basically a French meatloaf, but a really, really, really good meatloaf. Pate has the reputation of being cruel liverwurst because of the iconic cliche of pate de fois gras, but the campagne version is the country version of essentially a big pork sausage without the casing, sliced, and served cold.
I’ve been itching to make one since an unforgotten meal some ten years ago in Paris, with my wife’s godfather, at a little hole in the wall in a neighborhood somewhere on the southwestern side of the city. We sat down and the waiter brought over a terrine — a rectangular earthenware container — with a baguette and knife. I dug in and have been on a crusade to find that experience ever since.
I had to buy a meat grinder attachment for my KitchenAid mixer, and I just nuked the kitchen putting the recipe together, but little does my poor wife know what lies in store for I also purchased the sausage stuffing attachment so I can get real serious and start pumping out some andouille and other smoked tubes of goodness. I won’t be doing the salami, dry-cured stuff. Flirting with botulism is not my idea of culinary fun. Now I have to hit up my nephew for use of his mega-smoker that he got for Christmas a few years ago. This book has it all — how to use every part of the pig except for the veritable squeal.