Chef John's Pate de Campagne


I realize making this pate may seem like quite a production, but if you enjoy charcuterie, this would make for a very fun, beautiful, and quite delicious project.

close up view of a sliced Pate de Campagne on a wooden board
Prep Time:
1 hrs 10 mins
Cook Time:
1 hrs 45 mins
Additional Time:
10 hrs 15 mins
Total Time:
13 hrs 10 mins
1 9x5-inch loaf pan


Pate Spice:

  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves

  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger

  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper


  • 1 ¼ pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1-inch cubes

  • 6 ounces duck leg meat

  • 4 ounces fatty bacon, chopped

  • 4 ounces chicken livers, roughly chopped

  • 1 small yellow onion, diced

  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced

  • cup chopped Italian parsley

  • ¼ cup cognac

  • 5 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • teaspoon pink curing salt (such as Instacure™ #1) (Optional)

  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream

  • cup dry bread crumbs

  • 2 eggs

  • ½ cup dried cherries (Optional)

  • ½ cup shelled whole pistachios (Optional)

  • 8 strips bacon, or as needed


  1. Combine cloves, nutmeg, ginger, and cayenne pepper in a small bowl to make spice mixture.

  2. Place pork shoulder, duck meat, chopped bacon, chicken livers, onion, shallot, parsley, cognac, salt, garlic, pepper, 3/4 teaspoon spice mixture, and pink curing salt in a large bowl. Mix thoroughly until evenly distributed. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate about 2 hours.

  3. Whisk cream, bread crumbs, and eggs together in a bowl.

  4. Transfer pork mixture to a rimmed baking sheet lined with a silicone mat or parchment. Freeze for 15 to 20 minutes to facilitate grinding the meat.

  5. Grind pork mixture into a bowl using the meat-grinder attachment of a stand mixer. Add dried cherries and pistachios. Add the cream mixture; fold gently until just combined.

  6. Arrange bacon strips crosswise in a 9x5-inch loaf pan, letting ends hang over the edges of the pan. Trim some strips to fit the ends of the pan.

  7. Fill pan to the top with the ground pork mixture; smooth the top. Cover surface with strips of bacon. Fold side bacon piece edges over the top. Cover with a piece of parchment cut to fit the top of the pan; wrap tightly with heavy duty aluminum foil.

  8. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

  9. Transfer pan to a deep pot or Dutch oven. Pour in hot tap water to reach 1/2 to 2/3 of the way up the side of the pan. Cover.

  10. Bake in the preheated oven until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center reads 155 degrees F (68 degrees C), 1 3/4 to 2 hours.

  11. Transfer pan to a paper-towel lined surface to absorb any moisture. If mixture has risen above the top edge of the pan, press it down with a heavy pan. Remove the aluminum foil, leaving the parchment paper on top. Transfer pan to a paper-towel-lined baking dish. Cut a piece of cardboard to be slightly smaller than the top of the pan. Wrap with aluminum foil and place on the parchment paper. Press down with weights like canned food.

  12. Refrigerate at least 8 hours to chill and compress the pate.

  13. To unmold the pate, pour very hot water into a large bowl. Dip mold into hot water for 1 to 2 seconds. Turn out onto a paper-towel-lined dish; chill again before slicing.


Cook's Notes:

Coarsely grinding the meat is probably the most crucial step, but if the meat is very cold, the attachment on your stand mixer will do an adequate job. If you don't have one, you can pulse on and off in a food processor, and as long as your meat was partially frozen, this will work.

I suggest using bacon that's lightly smoked, so as not to overpower the rest of the flavors.

Substitute brandy for the cognac if desired.

Add dried cherries and pistachios in step 5 if desired.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

250 Calories
15g Fat
11g Carbs
15g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 12
Calories 250
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 15g 19%
Saturated Fat 6g 28%
Cholesterol 114mg 38%
Sodium 1121mg 49%
Total Carbohydrate 11g 4%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 15g
Vitamin C 6mg 28%
Calcium 42mg 3%
Iron 2mg 12%
Potassium 269mg 6%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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