Paté en croute is a sausage composed of a pastry pie, baked in puff pastry or in a pastry which has jelly at the top. In terms of legislation, for sale in the shop, a block must contain at least half of the meat that gives the name to the block.
In the Middle Ages, pies and terrines were one of the main bases of the medieval kitchen with respect to meat dishes. These two modes of preparation allowed to keep the meat longer. The crust of the pie was also initially not designed to be eaten but only to help with the cooking and preservation. Over time, bakers opted for edible crust. Today, more than 6531 tons of pies are consumed in France each year!
When I was in France (this summer) I realised that there existed many variations, including regional, which differed primarily in the type of block inside, usually was made of veal and pork, but with many variants, including poultry. There is also a possibility of farce with game alone or with a fragrant mixture into the stuffing with mushrooms and pistachio for example. One of the most common variations is the pie crust Richelieu. It includes a foam chicken livers in the center. The pie is usually served as a starter. But in a smaller form, it can be served as an appetizer: it is then the pie cocktail!
1 boneless pork loin centre chopped (about 6 oz/175 g)
3 tbsp (45 ml brandy)
1 tbsp (15 ml) chopped fresh thyme
3/4 tsp pepper
1 pinch ground allspice
2 tbsp (30 ml) unsalted butter
1 onion, finely diced
4 oz (113 g) duck or pork or chicken livers, finely chopped
2 bay leaves
3/4 tsp (4 ml) salt
1/4 tsp (1 ml nutmeg
1/4 cup (60 ml) dry white wine
1-1/2 lb (680 g) pork belly
1/4 cup (60 ml) whipping cream
1 egg yolk
2 tsp (10 ml water)
2-2/3 cups (650ml all-purpose flour)
1/2 tbsp salt
2/3 cup (150 ml) cold unsalted butter, cubed
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup (60 ml sour cream)
1/4 cup (60 ml) cold water
The pastry: In large bowl, whisk flour with salt. Using pastry blender cut in butter until in fine crumbs. Whisk together egg yolks, sour cream and cold water; drizzle over flour mixture, tossing with fork and pressing with hands to form ragged dough. Divide in half; press into squares. Wrap each and refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes. (Make-ahead: Refrigerate for up to 24 hours.) Thinly slice 1 of the duck breasts across the grain; place in bowl. Slice pork thinly across the grain; add to duck. Stir in brandy, 2 tsp (10 ml) of the thyme, 1/4 tsp (1 ml) of the pepper and allspice; cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes or for up to 1 hour. Meanwhile, in skillet, melt butter over medium heat; cook onion until softened, about 6 minutes. Add liver, bay leaves, salt, nutmeg, and remaining thyme and pepper; cook for 5 minutes. Stir in wine; cook until no liquid remains, about 2 minutes. Transfer to large bowl; let cool completely. Discard bay leaves. Cut pork belly and remaining duck breast into chunks; transfer to food processor and purée until smooth. Add to onion mixture. Stir in eggs and whipping cream until combined, using hands if necessary. On lightly floured surface, roll out 1 of the pastry squares to scant 1/4-inch (5 mm) thickness; cut into 14- x 5-inch (35 x 12 cm) rectangle. Place on parchment paper–lined baking sheet. Spread with half of the pâté mixture, leaving 1-inch (2.5 cm) border. Lay strips of marinated duck and pork lengthwise over pâté; spread with remaining pâté. Turn pastry border up sides. Whisk egg yolk with water; brush some of the egg wash over pastry. Roll out remaining pastry to 14- x 8-inch (35 x 20 cm) rectangle. Place over pâté, pressing to seal. Trim any excess. From pastry trimmings, cut out decorations for top. Using egg wash, stick onto pastry top. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Cut 2 circles in top. Insert rolled-up parchment paper “chimneys” into holes for steam vents. Brush with egg wash. Bake in 400°F (200°C) oven for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 350°F (180°C); bake, covering with foil if necessary to prevent browning and removing any fat that seeps onto pan with a shallow spoon, until digital instant-read thermometer inserted into centre reads 170°F (77°C), about 50 minutes. Using 2 spatulas transfer to clean parchment paper–lined baking sheet; let cool.
(Make-ahead: Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Bring to room temperature to serve.)