The tradition to make pâtés came to Poland from France a few hundred years ago. Nowadays they are still an important part of culinary heritage; pâtés are baked at home, in particular for Christmas and Easter. Local products like dried mushrooms and spices (typical of Polish cooking): marjoram, allspice, juniper and bay leaves are frequently added. Polish pâtés are served cold, cut in slices, accompanied with horseradish, fruit preserves or tartar sauce. As far as I noticed, in comparison to French pâtés, Polish recipes usually call for the smallest amount of alcohol. You may serve the pâté below cut in slices, accompanied by: lingonberry or cranberry preserves, sour cucumbers (gherkins) or French cornichons, pickled ceps, tartar sauce, horseradish, home-made mayonnaise (for example cranberry mayonnaise)
Home Made Pâté
Makes 2 molds 12 x 25 cm
700 g boneless veal (cheapest piece for baking), cut into 3-4 cm cubes
600 g boneless quite fat pork, cut into 3-4 cm cubes
300 raw bacon, non smoked, cut into 3-4 cm cubes
500 g chicken livers
300-350 g back pork’s fat (salo), cut into very thin slices
200 ml milk
1 carrot, peeled and washed
1 root parsley, peeled and washed
½ small celeriac, peeled and washed
1 onion, peeled, washed and cut into halves
1 garlic clove, peeled
30 g dried ceps
30 g almonds, blanched, peeled and cut in slices along
30 g walnuts blanched, peeled and cut in slices along
1 bread roll
2-3 bay leaves
5-6 grains black pepper
2-3 grains allspice
3 pinch nutmeg
100 ml cognac or brandy
For the horseradish:
150 g grated horseradish
1 hard boiled egg
2 tablespoons, heavy cream
Prepare the mushrooms, meat and livers: soak mushrooms for at least two hours in 300 ml of water (preferably overnight). In a large pot, bring to a boil 1.2 l of water. Add pepper grains, allspice, bay leaves, cloves and garlic and cook for around 2 minutes. Put pork, veal and bacon into boiling water with spices and cook under the cover over a small flame for around 1.5 hours until all the meat is cooked. After 50 minutes, add vegetables and mushroom, as well as ½ of the mushroom liquid.
In a bowl, place livers and soak them for around 15 minutes in milk. Then strain them and blanch them in boiling water for 2 minutes, and strain. Strain also the meat. Discard vegetables, bay leaves and cloves. Keep the mushrooms, other spices and the broth. In 200 ml of warm bouillon soak the bread roll for a few minutes and then squeeze in hands. Check if meat does not contain any little bones or tendons.
Grind ingredients: In a meat grinder, grind the meat, bread roll and the liver three times. Place the mixture in a large bowl. Salt and pepper very generously, add nutmeg and cognac. Mix everything with a wooden spatula. If the meat is too dry, you can add a bit of stock.
Prepare the eggs: Break eggs and separate yolks from whites. Add yolks to the mixture and mix. Whip the eggs until stiff and then put them into the mixture and mix delicately.
Bake two pâtés: Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius. Take two molds. Lay slices of salo on the bottom and the sides of the molds. Divide the pâté into two equal parts and place the first half delicately in the mold until 2/3 of its height. Make the surface equal. Add almonds and walnuts to the second half, mix and then place in the second mold. Repeat the actions. Place the two molds in a bain-marie and cover them with aluminum foil. Bake in the oven for 1.5 hour. 15 minutes before the end of baking remove the sheet of aluminum and let the surface grill a bit. Remove from the oven, let it cool down completely and place in the fridge overnight.
Prepare horseradish: Before serving, prepare the horseradish accompaniment: separate (hard boiled) yolk from the white. Mash the egg yolk and mix it with horseradish. Chop the egg white finely and add to the yolk with horseradish. Add cream, season with salt and pepper.