This is a very versatile recipe, as you can amend it easily depending on what prominent flavour you prefer. It’s an old family recipe from my in-laws in France.
The master recipe is as follows:
1/3 part minced game (pheasant, wild boar, venison, hare, etc., choose 1)
1/3 part pigs liver, chopped small
1/3 part minced pork (half lean, half fat)
1-2 eggs for each 1kg meat
1 small glass cognac (not Madeira) for each 1kg meat
10g salt for each 1kg meat
2g ground black pepper for each 1kg meat
1 truffle for every 3 jars (the outside part chopped up and mixed with the meat, the rest sliced for the tops of each jar)
If you put the truffles in a large jar with the eggs for a couple of days prior to making the paté, you’ll find that the eggs get impregnated with truffle flavour (a usual trick in restaurants, who serve you truffle omelettes which have a truffle flavour precisely for using this trick, but then put chopped mushrooms in them!!)
Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl (I tend to start off with a wooden spoon but finish using my hands!) Place about 330g in each small jar. Press down slightly with a spoon. Place the slices of truffle on top (this is optional, but does give a lovely flavour) and close the jars with their rubber seals in place.
My in-laws used to make extremely large quantities of this paté in the large old fashioned tin dustbins filled with water and heated over a burner, as they were a family of wild boar hunters. I just use a normal large casserole, which fits 3 of the small jars. If you find that they bang together whilst they’re cooking, just stick a new dishcloth or tea-towel in the water in between the jars and that’ll sort it. Now, cover the jars with water, bring to the boil and simmer for 2 1/2 hours. Turn off the heat and allow the jars to cool in the same water overnight.
The following day, bring to the boil again and simmer for a further hour to conclude the sterilization process. This paté will keep for up to 3 years.
Now, having this as your Master Recipe, you can start experimenting.
I don’t tend to use game, other than on this particular occasion (as someone had been hunting partridges and offered them to me). I normally substitute the game with pork (don’t even try it with minced beef, because the end result is dry and not nice and moist like the pork version).
500g minced pork
500g fatty pork (250g belly pork or pork jowl/dewlap + 250g pork fat)
500g pigs liver
The rest of the ingredients are the same as is the cooking process.
If you’re wondering what jowl/dewlap is (“Papada” in Spanish!), it’s the loose fold of skin hanging from beneath the throat in cattle!!