Game Pâté

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Preparation info

  • 6 to 8

    • Difficulty


Appears in

New York Times Menu Cookbook

New York Times Menu Cookbook

By Craig Claiborne

Published 1966

  • About


  • 1 pound boned pheasant, wild duck or other feathered game, including the liver
  • 4 thin slices of pork fat back (approximately) or 4 slices of bacon (approximately)
  • 2 truffles, coarsely chopped (optional)
  • ¼ cup cognac
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup finely chopped shallots or onions
  • ¾ pound lean veal, finely ground
  • ¾ pound lean pork, finely ground
  • ½ pound pork fat back, finely ground
  • ½ cup shelled fresh pistachio nuts (optional)
  • ½ cup Madeira or cognac
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced
  • 1 bay leaf


  1. Cut the game and game liver into slices or cubes. Simmer the fat back or bacon for five minutes, drain it, and dry between paper towels.

  2. Combine the game, truffles and one-quarter cup cognac in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Let stand in the refrigerator for at least one hour.

  3. Preheat oven to moderate (325°F.).

  4. Melt the butter. Cook the shallots in it for about five minutes. Combine the shallots, ground meats, ground fat, pistachio nuts, Madeira or cognac, eggs, thyme, allspice and garlic in a bowl. Drain the liquid from the game and add the liquid to the ground meats. Beat well with a wooden spoon.

  5. Line the bottom and sides of a two-quart baking dish or pâté mold with a thin layer of the pork fat or bacon slices. Reserve the remaining slices.

  6. Divide the ground meat mixture into thirds. Spoon one third into the baking dish. Cover with half of the marinated game. Add another third of the ground meat mixture, top with the remaining game, and add the remaining ground meat. Place the bay leaf on top and cover with the remaining pork or bacon slices. Cover with aluminum foil.

  7. Set the baking dish in a larger pan with boiling water halfway up the sides of the baking dish. Bake for one and one-half hours, or until the pâté has shrunk slightly from the edge of the baking dish.

  8. Remove the pâté from the oven, leaving the baking dish in the larger pan. Place a pan that is slightly smaller than the pâté dish on top of the baked pâté. Fill the pan with heavy objects to act as weights and do not remove these until the pâté is completely cooled. Refrigerate the pâté until served.

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