Full disclosure: I was an off-again, on-again vegetarian during my college years, mostly subsisting on dishes like bean-and-cashew chili and spicy tofu. But, alas, times have changed and so have I. A post-graduation trip to Paris awakened my palate to meaty foods that are simply too good to ignore, and I have never looked back. At the top of my list is pâté. I’m talking about a break-out-all-the-stops masterpiece chock full of meat. And fat. And delight.
Ground pork and fat (lard or bacon) typically serve as the base for pâté, and “country-style” signifies a rustic texture. Although some cooks pass pork butt through a meat grinder, I have gotten terrific results using pre-ground meat. I like to combine 2 pounds of ground pork and with finely chopped bacon (chosen for its smokiness), and plenty of it: My recipe calls for 1½ pounds. That’s not a typo—good pâté requires lots of fat for richness and the proper dense texture.
If that doesn’t get your heart racing, consider this: If you can mix up a simple meatloaf, then you have the culinary chops to make a pâté to rival that of the finest charcuterie. Here’s how to do it.