Working (Wo)man’s Lunchbox Pâté
By Meredith Leigh

Excerpt From Pure Charcuterie: The Craft and Poetry of Curing Meats at Home


This is a thing I make on the weekend so that during the week I can rush in from the farm, kick off my boots and have a wholly delicious and nutritious sandwich meat in a flash, accompanied by some good cheese, a crusty bread, fresh greens, and mustard.




28.8 oz. pork lean trim
9.6 oz. pork or beef liver or heart
9.6 oz. pork back fat, trimmed
1.5 oz. kosher salt
1.5 oz. brown sugar
1.2 oz. crème fraîche
0.7 oz. brandy or port
1 egg
2.5 oz. pâté mix*
0.3 oz. orange zest
4 oz. hazelnuts
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 oz. onions, minced
Small handful of parsley,
Bacon, sliced thin for
wrapping pâté

*pâté mix
(makes 13 oz.)
3 oz. ground cloves
3 oz. ground coriander
2 oz. dried thyme
1.5 oz. white pepper
1.5 oz. nutmeg
0.75 oz. mace
0.5 oz. bay leaf



1. Grind 1 lb. of the pork and fat, plus liver, garlic, onion and parsley, through the coarse plate of the meat grinder, then through the fine plate.


Grinding pâté through the fine plate
of the meat grinder. This process can
be repeated to create finer texture.


Set aside. Grind the rest of the pork lean trim and the hazelnuts through the coarse plate and add to the meat and fat mix. Chill. Combine the egg, cream, brandy (or port) and orange zest. Set aside. Measure pâté spice mix and add to panade. Remove meat mix from the refrigerator and place in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Add the panade salt, brown sugar and spices and mix on speed 2 or 3 for about 2 minutes. Taste test, adjusting seasoning if necessary. Line the loaf pan with plastic wrap, and then with the strips of bacon, leaving a bit of overhang. Fill the pan with the pâté mixture, then fold the bacon over, then the plastic wrap, and then wrap the top with foil. Bake in a water bath at 300°F until the internal temperature of the pâté reaches 145°F.


Working (Wo)Man’s Lunchbox Pâté, assembled


A typical water bath set-up: the pâtés are wrapped and placed into a larger
casserole pan that is filled with enough water to come about halfway up the sides of the pâté pans.


2. Cool to room temperature, weighted. Then transfer to the fridge and chill completely, overnight, weighted. Turn out on to a wooden board before slicing and serving with crusty bread, cheese and condiments. This pâté will keep in the fridge for at least two weeks. I have not had one last longer than that, so I cannot speak to its further stability.



60-20 Suspension

The 60–20 suspension seems to be the popular way to feature organ meats. I use it religiously in producing mousses and liver pâtés, and it has not failed me yet. The differentiation is rather simple. You are composing a suspension of two main players — an organ meat and fat. Virtually all other instructions and considerations for the pâté of thirds also hold true here, though the panada may be more prominent in the recipe, as the binding action of myosin (which comes from muscle) will be absent when working merely with organs and fat.

To more finely reduce the texture of any pâté, use a combination of the coarse and fine plates of your meat grinder, or just run the mix through the fine plate several times. The more grinding and mixing you do, recall that you may need to stop and chill the mix, so that it does not rise too much above 39°F. Additionally, there will be times when you may want to sieve the mixture, or force it through a tamis or chinois, to screen out larger bits and create a pâté that is supremely silky. If this is the case, you will simply dump the entire mixture, after grinding, into a fine mesh sieve, or a tamis or chinois for even more discerning results, and press it through (this takes patience and time!) into another bowl.

The ratio for a 60–20 suspension is as follows:
• Organ meat: 60%
• Back fat: 20%
• Salt: 2%

• Spices: 10–15%
• Panada: 10–15%

I use the 60–20 suspension in combination with some of your terrine-making skills to produce pâté gratin here. Gratin refers to the inclusion of some pre-cooked ingredients, in this case, fermented peppers and sautéed mushrooms. We will achieve two pâtés, to help
you master different principles; for one, the pan is lined with back fat; for the other, you will envelop the pâté in a pastry to create a beautiful pâté en croûte. The filling for both is the same.