Hi everyone I’m back after a computing nightmare that affirms the ancient law of 3′s. Three broken computers, 3 weeks to sort it out and 3 times more work than I really wanted! Poor me. I’ll pause at this point so that you can get a violin.
so what have my readers been missing, well you have missed my Easter post which was going to be about an old Berry recipe Pate de Paques or Easter Pate.
Berry is the old provincial name for the adjacent department (by about 3 K to where I live).
Pate de paques is traditionally eaten as a first course for Easter dinner and any leftovers is simply eaten with salad over the ensuing few days, in our house leftover’s are quite rare. It is a bit of fuss and bother making it, but the final dish always looks spectacular but if you really don’t want to bother local supermarkets sell a range of Pate de Paques from the cheap and nasty to the luxurious – veal and quails eggs anybody?
There are many different ways of making Pate de Paques, I think each family has their own tricks and tips. But some features are consistent, hard boiled eggs; pork and veal mince and pastry.
To make Pate de Paques you need
- 2 packets of puff pastry
- 700g of Veal and Pork mince
- 250g of nice fresh Spinach (a good handful)
- 3 good sized Shallots
- 2 cloves of Garlic
- A few branches of Parsley
- 6eggs and 1 Egg yolk (for glazing the pastry)
- 50g of Butter, 1/4 tsp ground cloves, 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon of ground coriander.
- Sweet spices
This recipe is rated ‘difficile’ but really it isn’t but you do need to take your time and be well organised.
To start hard boil the 6 eggs and set aside to cool.
Roughly chop your bunch of spinach and add to a pan with the butter, cook gently for 10 or 12 minutes adding chopped parsley halfway through, set the pan to one side and cool.
Put your minced pork and veal to a bowl, and add the fried shallots and garlic, the sweet spices and the cooked spinach, mix well, I always think the best thing to do is to get your hands in to the mix.
Grease and generously flour your cooking container, a pate pot or loaf tin is ideal. Then line the container with puff pastry.
Add half the meat mixture to the container. Then shell the hard boiled eggs and cut at each end a disk of white so that the length of the end has at least some egg yolk in it, place each hard boiled egg on top of the meat so that they butt together in a continuous line (the photo shows how).
Put pate de paques into a preheated oven 200C of gas mark 6, cook for 1 hour, if the pastry becomes to coloured cover the top with baking foil.
Once cooked, leave to cool completely. You could serve the dish straight from the cooking container, but I prefer to turn it out. Chill the pate in the fridge, carefully run a knife around the cooking container and with care invert the contents gently onto a serving plate. You can then carefully turn the pate by hand or invert the correct way up on to a different serving plate. Take care, pate served from the floor is always unappetising.