What’s the first thing you cut out when life gets busy? Laying on the couch? Checking stuff/internet surfing? I start slacking on the blog and cleaning. Dustin recently told me, “I like it when you’re busy– you’re much happier. Even though the kitchen is much dirtier.”
And I don’t even know why it’s dirty. It’s not like I’ve done any cooking except testing sausage and bacon recipes for a magazine article. Instead I’ve been living off a steady diet of kolaches, tacos, and the other healthful things for Serious Eats, washed down with rivers of iced coffee, beer, and $3 Whole Foods wine. “How I suffer for my art.”
What else did I do this summer? (It feels like summer is just ending here in Austin BTW) Visited New Orleans for wedding planning! But really just did more eating, drinking, and socializing… then hosted said friends during Hurricane Isaac and repeated the pattern in Austin. I also biked to and from my day job everyday in the 100+ degree heat. I get props for that, right?
I also basked in the glorious Portland late summer weather and attended IFBC while completing a writing class through Cook n’ Scribble. Really, I can always find the time for something if I want to. The class and conference made me realize that this blog has grown SO tiresome. The here-is-some-cool-stuff-I-made-with-a-recipe-and-photo format feels played out.
The last couple months have been a swirl of working, writing, drinking, and schmoozing. I’m exhausted, but I’ve had a blogging breakthrough. Can’t wait to share it with you after I clean my house!
In the meantime, I’m keeping up with the format. Here’s a country pâté I made with some of the scraps from bacon and sausage making along with some venison I found in my freezer.
Paté Campagne with Venison
1 tablespoon butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small shallot, diced
1/2 of a medium onion, diced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, minced
1/4 cup cognac
1 pound pork shoulder, cubed (or various leftovers from sausage making)
1 pound venison shoulder or stew meat, cubed
1/4 pound pancetta or slab bacon, cubed
2 bay leaves
1/8 tsp ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground clove
1/4 teaspoon dried ginger
1/4 teaspoon dried coriander
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup shelled pistachios
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. Toss the pork, venison, and bacon with the bay leaves, allspice, clove, ginger, coriander, and salt and pepper. Place in the refrigerator overnight.
3. Place the meat mixture in the freezer for 30 minutes.
4. In a pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the garlic, shallot, onion and thyme and cook for about five minutes, stirring frequently.
5. Deglaze the pan with the cognac, scraping up the brown bits. Reduce by half, remove the onion and shallot mixture from the heat, and let cool to room temperature.
6. Discard the bay leaves and grind the cold meat into a bowl set in ice.
7. Add the cooled onion mixture to the meat. Using a sturdy spoon, stir vigorously to combine until the meat takes on a uniform texture.
8. Fold in the pistachios, distributing them evenly.
9. Pack the mixture into a terrine. Cover in foil and bake in a water bath in the preheated oven for about 90 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 170°F at the center of the pâté.
10. Allow to cool for 1 to 2 days in the refrigerator. Slide the pâté out the terrine and slice before serving.