“Bloody Foreigners” Part 1 – Pâté de Campagne Sous Vide.

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We Irish look proudly at great cities like New York or Chicago and boast that our forbears built them. Our little island has sent its sons and daughters to all points on the compass to start new lives and to put down roots. Our influence spans the globe in science, engineering, literature and politics. When one looks to France, one sees so many of the great wine dynasties founded by the Irish ‘Wild Geese’. Names like Barton, Phelan and Lynch are all Irish and are now intertwined in the multi-generational success of the French wine trade. We have a lot of which we should be proud. 

We love our overseas success. Yet, when I talk to people here in Dublin, so many of us resent foreigners coming here to seek a better life as so many of us have done elsewhere. On a recent taxi ride, I endured the driver’s tirade against “bloody foreigners” coming in and ruining the taxi business. I have to admit that the only way I can stomach this sort of crap is to stoke the fire with comments like “Yes, but the taxi trade used to be so corrupt” and “I believe the Revenue Commissioners are focussing on the taxi business at the moment.” then bring the conversation around to talking about some of my foreign friends, doing well, here in Ireland. I like to throw in a couple of grenades around our Irish habits of tax dodging and laziness too. That usually restores balance, leaving me in good mood and the narrow-minded racist fuming. Happy Days!

One “Bloody Foreigner” making her way here in Dublin is my friend Katia. She hails from France and no sooner had she arrived than she got busy stealing work from us Irish. When she is not earning income, doing a job an Irish person could do, she manages the Irish Food Bloggers Facebook page (Yes, a foreigner running OUR Facebook page). She also writes an excellent blog (that I’m sure an Irish person could do) called Proper Food. She rubs salt into our wounds by being extremely helpful and supportive of the Irish food blogging community. Perhaps it’s because we have so many “Bloody Foreigners” in our food blog group?  I don’t know. 

So to keep the racism level up where it ought to be, and to get some revenge on the interloping Frenchwomen, I am stealing a dish from them and cooking a French classic, Pâté de Campagne. One irony is that I use Piment d’Espelette to add some flavour. The Piment d’Espelette was a gift from Katia. Espelette being close by her grandmother’s home town (Bloody foreigners, trying to ingratiate themselves by bringing gifts). I also cook it sous vide (more French influence). 

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This is a country paté and the ingredients mix is not strict. Delicious but not strict.

 

Ingredients for my Pâté de Campagne

  • 300 gms chicken livers
  • 425 gms pork shoulder
  • 550 gms pork belly
  • 500 gms streaky bacon
  • 60 gms pistachios 
  • 3 teaspoons of red peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon of juniper berries
  • 2 teaspoons of Piment d’Espelette
  • 3 cloves of good garlic
  • 2 eggs
  • A large glass of white wine
  • An equally large glass of Cognac

There is a fair deal of chopping in preparation for this dish. Roll up your sleeves and get stuck straight in. I tend to do the cutting in ascending order of sloppiness.

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I love a nice bit of garlic in a rustic French paté, even if I hate the French.

Skin and dice the pork. Keep as much of the fat as you can. Fat equals flavour!

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It’s important to have a sharp knife and steady hand.

Slice the pork shoulder into small pieces. Trim the bacon of its rind. Reserve enough to line two loaf tins. Slice the rest up small. Then prepare the chicken livers (the very sloppy bit of this exercise). Cut out the hard connective parts and discard. Slice the balance up nice and small.

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Not something you would do before breakfast!

Throw everything that has been chopped into a big bowl. Shell the nuts. Crack the eggs. Crush the juniper berries.

Mix the wine and brandy in a saucepan.

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A needless shot of a French country saucepan.

Bring this to a simmer and set fire to the mixture. Stay back to avoid burning your eyebrows. Burn off the alcohol until there is none left. The alcohol will not improve the flavour of the pâté when cooked sous vide.

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That blue flame is the alcohol burning. Be careful!

Add everything (except the lining bacon) to the big mixing bowl.

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A delicious looking mixture.

Season with salt and pepper and get your hands in there and mix it as evenly as possible.

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Not so tasty looking now! Perhaps we should feed it to some ‘Bloody Foreigners’!

Line two loaf tins with cling film, leaving enough to comfortably wrap around the top. Then line the loaf tins with the bacon slices. Add the mixture until the tin is nearly full.

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I really enjoy this part of the process.

Tap the tins on the work surface to get any air pockets out. Fold over the bacon and add another strip if needed to complete the wrap.

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I feel fairly ‘French country’ while I do this process. Maybe I’m turning French?  If I am, who do I hate?

Wrap in the clingfilm. Then vacuum seal the lot.

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It doesn’t look to appetising at this stage. It will later.

Place it in a sous vide bath at 65ºC for 5 hours. It may be cooked sooner but giving it 5 hours won’t do it any harm. I’d rather not take any chances. When it is cooked, cool it in an ice bath and then leave it in the fridge overnight. Then you can open it up. There will be a deal of jelly around it. This can be scraped off before serving this delicious dish to any foreigners or other people who happen to be at your table.

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Delicious Pâté de Campagne. Good enough to serve to locals and foreigners alike.

The eagle-eyed amongst you will have notice that this is only Part 1. In Part 2, I get to have a go at not only the French but some Mexicans who have infiltrated our lovely isle, bringing their own brand of generosity and pleasantry to try to erode our natural racism. Bloody Foreigners!

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Latest comments
  • That is a stonking good pate … love the pistachios and pink peppercorns. Loving your in-cab conversations, too. Bookmarking both for future use. 🙂

  • This is a very good looking Pâté. You’ve explained it so well too. I also love the photography as always.

  • I don’t have a sous vide( yet) cooking time otherwise? Please. Looks delicious Worth the wee bit of hard Irish labour 🇮🇪

  • That looks fantastic – it makes me think I should make pâté more often 🙂

      • That must make you very popular 😉

  • That looks brilliant – it has been a long time since i made pate, something that is soon to be rectified – thank you for the inspiration 🙂 Love your answers for racist taxi drivers – I might have to try that over here with certain people in our tiny village who have an equally ignorant attitude to ‘bloody foreigners’ and don’t mind sharing it with my husband who is a ‘bloody foreigner’!

  • Never in a million years would I have thought to sous vide a terrine! I usually use a water bath. Could you tell a difference? Was it more moist than cooked traditionally? I’m so excited to do this! Great post as always. You tell a great story.

      • So, moister, not crumbly?

  • This looks so totally yummers! (You’ve convinced me to get a sous vide cooker as soon as I can move homes!)

  • Delish! And thank you also for the link to the earlier post with the bain marie cooking time; saved me having to ask. Funnily enough, our taxi drivers are all ‘bloody foreigners’ so we never get that particular diatribe…..

  • C, two things: first thank you. I simply ask taxi drivers in what country they would be considered foreigners. It tends confuse them. Secondly, that pâté is killing me. I’m hungry just to think of it. And finally (some of us bloody foreigners can count but I’m not one of those), I’m amazed you still have some garlic left. Mine is very nearly gone.

  • I wonder if those complaining about “bloody” foreigners gets how small a world it really is. They keep proving it out by carrying out the same conversations the world over! Thank goodness dishes like this help keep the sanity.

      • We’re in shock with the two big elections this year but we’ll survive. 😉

  • With a house full of Pâté haters, your beautiful loaf is making me green with envy. I can’t even cook my favorite fried chicken livers unless the fam is out of town. But now that I see this can be made sous vide, I’m thinking it doesn’t stink up the house? Then I could make me a wee personal loaf!

  • Bloody Irish have even infiltrated my family! We’re all citizens of the world, even the narrow minded bigots. They just need to travel a bit, mix with some thinkers, eat some foreign food. Your delicious Firish terrine would be a good place to start.

  • Didn’t have time to comment earlier, but I’m back to say the pate looks delicious! I admire the fact that you take the effort to make such time consuming projects. 🙂

  • Loving a good pate and this ones looks so well bonded , must be the sous vide. I really need to look into one of them…Does it take up a large portion of your kitchen counter?

  • C’mere you’re totally losing the run of yourself with your sous wotsit pate 😉 Seriously though, WOW! It looks amazing. The whole site is looking very spruced up too – excellent. It’s been a while since I’ve paid a visit as things are chaotically busy with work, kids, life, the usual! Will stop by again soon 🙂 , Sheila

  • Brilliant! The post and the terrine. It looks really delicious.
    Oh how I would love to witness you riling up a taxi driver. I usually emerge from such journeys in a lot of pain from biting my tongue. A lovely tribute to Katia too, well deserved. I can’t wait for the Mexican installment!

  • Not having a sous-vide machine, if I made this pate/terrine, after it was cooked I would weight it whilst it cooled. Do you weight yours or does the vacuum seal press the pate down?

  • An apt post in this time when it seems to have become ok for people to publicly proclaim their hateful opinions of others who are not the same as them. Love the photos Conor and keep stirring the pot.

  • Great post, Conor. As you might have guessed, I love the idea of cooking a terrine sous-vide. This paté de campagne looks better than any I’ve ever had, and I bet it was succulent compared to the regular dryish crumbly stuff. Chapeau!

  • Conor, you manage to make everything beautiful – even raw chicken livers! I can’t resist baiting the occasional idiot who crosses my path from time to time, either, so you made me chuckle.

      • From now on, I shall consider it my civic duty! mwahahahaha!

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