Country pâté is a French meat dish made of ground meat.
It is different from other French pâtés in that it is coarser. It is also easier, less stressful and more straightforward to make.
A country pâté may contain some liver, but not to the extent that other pâtés often do. The meat is usually beef (or veal) or pork. Other ingredients include vegetables such as onions, bread crumbs, herbs and spices (often including juniper berries, black pepper, garlic, thyme), and flavourings (such as a brandy, Armagnac or a sherry), and eggs.
You don’t want to use lean meat. The meat needs some fat in it, to bind the ingredients together, and to make the finished product moist. The fat can come from a pork cut such as unsmoked fatty bacon (aka streaky bacon, American bacon.)
You mix the ingredients, and pack the mixture into a terrine dish. You bake it in a water bath.
When cooked, you remove it from the oven. You don’t drain off the rendered fat or any juices; you need to allow them to be absorbed back in.
When cool, put foil on top, and then a weight on it to press it down for at least a few hours. This is important if you want to be able to serve it in slices. If you place to just dig it out in spoonfuls, you can skip this step. Chill with the weight on it overnight in the fridge.
Turn it out of the terrine to serve. Let sit at room temperature about 30 minutes before serving to get some of the chill off.
Trim off any jelly or fat on the sides, if desired.
Country pâté is often served on or with a dense bread as a starter or a snack, or as a light lunch with a salad and pickled items such as caper berries, cornichons and / or olives.