4 Recipes for Perfect French Pies and Pâtés

4 Recipes for Perfect French Pies and Pâtés

The mouthwatering new recipe book from the esteemed Ferrandi School of Culinary Arts in Paris pays homage to charcuterie in all its forms. Try your hand at making rabbit rillettes, pork liver pâté, pork, potato and morel mushroom pie

Pork, potato and morel mushroom pie
Serves 6 | Active time: 3 hours | Soaking time: 15 minutes | Cooking time: 1 hour | Cooling time: 1 hour | Chilling time: 45 minutes | Storage: 4 days in the refrigerator

10 in (25 cm) baking ring, 4 in (10 cm) deep
Meat grinder + large plate
Steam oven
8 in (20 cm) baking ring, 4 in (10 cm) deep
8 × 12 in (20 × 30 cm) sous vide bag + vacuum sealer machine (optional, see
Chef’s Note)
Box cutter

2¼ lb (1 kg) quick puff pastry dough (p57)

Morel mushroom layer
7 oz (200 g) dried morel mushrooms
1¾ oz (50 g) shallots
2 tsp (10 g) butter
Scant ½ cup (100 ml) vin jaune

Potato layer
1 lb 2 oz (500 g) large Charlotte potatoes
Coarse grey sea salt

Pork farce
3 oz (80 g) shallots
3 cloves garlic
1 bunch flat-leaf parsley
1 lb 2 oz (500 g) upper pork shoulder
7 oz (200 g) fresh pork belly
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Egg wash and glaze
2½ tbsp (40 ml) heavy cream, min. 35% fat
1¾ tsp (10 g) egg yolk (about ½ yolk)
Melted butter, to glaze

Preparing the pastry
Roll the pastry to a thickness of 1/8 in (3 mm) and cut out 2 disks using the 10 in (25 cm) baking ring. Chill until assembling.

Preparing the morel mushroom and the potato layers
Soak the morels in lukewarm water for 15 minutes. Trim the bases and cut the mushrooms in half lengthwise to be sure they are thoroughly clean.
Peel and finely chop the shallots and sweat them in a skillet with the butter over low heat. Add the morels, cover, and cook for 15 minutes. Deglaze with the vin jaune.
Peel and rinse the potatoes and cut them lengthwise into ¼ in (5 mm) slices. Blanch in a large saucepan of boiling water with grey sea salt until they are just tender but still firm.

Preparing the pork farce
Peel and finely chop the shallots and garlic. Wash and finely chop the parsley.
Cut the pork shoulder and belly into pieces and grind twice through the large plate of the meat grinder into a bowl.
Add the shallots, garlic, and parsley and season with salt and pepper. Using your hands, mix until well combined.

Assembling the pie
Preheat the steam oven to 185°F (85°C/Gas at lowest possible setting). Line the base of the 8 in (20 cm) baking ring with potato slices. Cover with half the farce, followed by half the mushroom mixture. Repeat the layers, finishing with the mushrooms.
Slide the ring into the sous vide bag, if using, and vacuum seal. Cook in the steam oven for 50 minutes, then let cool for 1 hour in the bag. Remove the bag and blot off excess moisture using paper towel.
Place one of the puff pastry disks on a pie plate or baking sheet lined with parchment paper and set the filled ring on it. Remove the ring and cover with the second puff pastry disk. Using your hands, gently smooth the pastry over the filling to remove air bubbles, dampen the edges with a little water, and press down on them to seal. Use the larger baking ring to cut off the excess pastry and obtain a clean circle.
10 Using the box cutter, cut out equal-sized triangles around the circumference, then make a small cut in the centre of each tip. Chill for about 30 minutes.

Baking the pie
11 Preheat the regular oven to 350°F (180°C/Gas Mark 4). Whisk together the cream and egg yolk to make the egg wash.
12 Remove the pie from the refrigerator and score decorative lines on top from the centre to the edge and make a hole in the centre. Brush with two layers of egg wash, then chill for another 15 minutes. Brush once more with egg wash and bake for 35 minutes, then lower the oven temperature to 285°F (140°C/Gas Mark 1) and continue to bake for an additional 15 minutes. As soon as you remove the pie from the oven, gently brush it with a little melted butter to glaze.

Chef’s Note
You can steam bake the pie filling without using a sous vide bag and vacuum sealer. This extra step is designed to concentrate the flavours

Rabbit rillettes

Serves 10 | Active time: 2 hours | Cooking time: 1½ hours | Chilling time: 24–36 hours | Storage: 8 days in the refrigerator

Fine-mesh sieve
Terrine mould in the size and capacity of your choice, or small cast-iron Dutch oven

Rabbit rillettes
1 carrot
1 onion
5¼ oz (150 g) smoked bacon
Scant 1/3 cup (70 ml) olive oil
9lb (4kg) rabbit, preferably Rex du Poitou, skinned and cut into 8 pieces
3 tbsp (1¾ oz/50 g) wholegrain mustard
1½ cups (350 ml) Sauvignon Blanc
About 4 cups (1 litre) white chicken stock ½ calf’s foot
2 sprigs thyme + 1 bay leaf
2 tbsp finely chopped parsley
2 tbsp finely chopped chervil
1 tbsp finely chopped tarragon
Salt and freshly ground pepper

To serve
10 slices toasted country bread
2 oz (50 g) lightly dressed mesclun greens

Preparing the rabbit rillettes
Preheat the oven to 340°F (170°C/Gas Mark 3).
Peel and quarter the carrot. Peel and finely chop the onion. Cut the bacon into lardons.
Warm the olive oil in a Dutch oven over high heat and, when hot, brown the rabbit pieces all over. Add the carrot, onion, and lardons, reduce the heat, and cook until the vegetables are softened. Add the mustard and cook until lightly browned. Deglaze with the wine and reduce by a third. Add enough chicken stock to just cover the meats and vegetables and bring to a boil. Add the calf’s foot, thyme, and bay leaf. Cover and cook in the oven for 1½ hours.
Carefully transfer the rabbit pieces to a plate and discard the aromatics and calf’s foot. Strain the pan juices through the fine-mesh sieve into a bowl and skim the fat off the surface (see Chef’s Note). Taste, reduce the juices further if necessary, and season with salt and pepper as needed.
Remove the rabbit meat from the bones, then shred it twice making sure all of the small bones have been removed. Place in a bowl and stir in the parsley, chervil, and tarragon until well mixed. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.
Spoon the rillettes into the terrine and cover with the pan juices. Cover and let set in the refrigerator for 24–36 hours.

To serve
Serve on toasted country bread, topped with lightly dressed mesclun greens.

Chef’s Note
To remove the fat more easily, chill the sauce so that the fat solidifies on the surface, then scoop it off using a spoon.

Pork Liver Pâté
Serves 12 | Active time: 1 hour | Marinating time: 24 hours | Infusing time: 20 minutes | Cooking time: 2¼ hours | Chilling time: 2 hours | Storage: 10 days in the refrigerator

Meat grinder + plate with 1/8 in (3 mm) holes
Instant-read thermometer
Food processor
Terrine mould in the shape of your choice, with a capacity of approximately 5 cups (1.2 litres)

14 oz (400 g) pig’s liver
1½ tbsp (22 g) fine salt
1¾ tsp (4 g) ground white pepper
1½ packed tsp (6.5 g) muscovado sugar
¾ tsp (2 g) smoked paprika
Scant ½ tsp (1 g) quatre-épices spice mix
Scant ½ tsp (1 g) ground nutmeg
Scant ½ tsp (1.5 g) ascorbic acid
2½ tbsp (40 ml) Madeira wine
1¾ oz (50 g) onion
Scant 2½ cups (600 ml) whole milk
1 bouquet garni
2 lb (900 g) soft fat from pork belly (gras de mouille de porc)
2/3 cup (5 oz/150 g) lightly beaten egg (about 3 eggs)
7 oz (200 g) jellied broth (optional)

Preparing the pâté (start 1 day ahead)
Remove the veins and connective tissue from the liver and cut into approximately 1½ in (4 cm) pieces. Season with the salt, pepper, sugar, smoked paprika, quatre-épices, nutmeg, and ascorbic acid. Add the Madeira, press plastic wrap over the surface, and let marinate in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
The next day, peel and finely chop the onion. Place in a large saucepan with the milk and bouquet garni and bring to a boil, stirring to prevent the milk from sticking to the pan. Immediately remove from the heat, cover, and let infuse for 20 minutes.
Cut the pork belly fat into 1½–2 in (4–5 cm) pieces and blanch in a saucepan of boiling water for 3 minutes. Drain and grind through the meat grinder fitted with the plate with 1/8 in (3 mm) holes.
Remove the bouquet garni from the milk and let cool or reheat as needed to reach 140°F (60°C).
Place the liver and eggs in the food processor and process for 2 minutes. Add the pork belly fat and process for 1 minute. Pour in the milk and onions and process to obtain a smooth mousse-like texture, ensuring the temperature of the mixture does not exceed 113°F (45°C).

Assembling the pâté
Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C/Gas Mark 3). Grease the inside of the mould with a thin layer of lard and fill with the pâté. Bake in a bain-marie for 15 minutes, then lower the oven temperature to 185°F (85°C/Gas on lowest setting) and continue to bake for about 2 hours, or until the temperature in the centre of the pâté reaches 167°F (75°C).
Let cool to room temperature, then chill for 2 hours before serving. If you wish, you can glaze the pâté with jellied broth heated to 167°F (75°C), before chilling.

Beef Wellington
Serves 5 | Active time: 45 minutes | Cooking time: 40 minutes | Cooling time: 15–20 minutes | Chilling time: 2 hours | Freezing time: 15 minutes | Storage: 3 days in the refrigerator

Fine-mesh sieve
Lattice dough cutter
Instant-read thermometer

Beef tenderloin
1 tbsp (20 g) butter
1½ lb (750 g) centre-cut beef tenderloin

Mushroom duxelles
2¾ oz (75 g) shallots
1/5 oz (5 g) garlic
1½ lb (750 g) button mushrooms
2 tbsp (1 oz/30 g) butter
Generous ¾ cup (200 ml) white chicken stock (fond blanc de volaille)
Salt and freshly ground pepper

To assemble
1¾ lb (800 g) quick puff pastry (SEE RIGHT)
3 oz (90 g) thinly sliced dry-cured ham
7 oz (200 g) mushroom duxelles
1 egg + 2 egg yolks
Salt and freshly ground pepper

To serve
Fresh basil leaves
Fleur de sel and crushed black pepper

Preparing the beef
In a skillet with the butter, sear the beef tenderloin until well browned on all sides. Season with salt and pepper. Let cool on a rack for 15–20 minutes, then cover in plastic wrap and chill until assembling.

Preparing the mushroom duxelles
Peel and finely chop the shallots. Peel the garlic, remove the germs, and finely chop. Wash the mushrooms, cut off the bases, and finely chop the tops.
Sweat the shallots and garlic in a skillet with the butter, then add the mushrooms and stock and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook over low heat for 15 minutes.
Drain in the fine-mesh sieve, pressing down gently to remove excess liquid.

Assembling and baking the beef Wellington
Divide the dough into 3 pieces to make one large, one medium-size, and one smaller rectangle. Roll the largest piece into an approximately 14 × 17¾ in (35 × 45 cm) rectangle, 1/8 in (3 mm) thick, for the top. Roll the middle piece into an approximately 8 × 12 in (20 × 30 cm) rectangle, 1/8 in (3 mm) thick, for the base. Roll the smallest piece into an approximately 6 × 12 in (15 × 30 cm) rectangle of the same thickness for the decoration. Cover all three with plastic wrap and chill.
Spread a piece of plastic wrap across a work surface and cover with dry-cured ham slices, for rolling up the beef. Spread the mushroom duxelles into a thin, ½in (1 cm) layer over the ham. Remove the plastic wrap from the beef and place over the duxelles. Using the plastic wrap, roll the beef up tightly. Close the ends and freeze for 15 minutes to firm up the roll.
Whisk together the egg and egg yolks to make an egg wash. Place the middle-sized pastry rectangle (the base) on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush around the edges with egg wash, making a 1½ in (4 cm) border.
Remove the plastic wrap from the beef roll and place in the centre of the pastry. Cover with the largest pastry rectangle and smooth it over so that it follows the contours of the beef. Gently press around the edges to seal. Trim the edges to obtain a clean rectangle with a maximum border of 1¼ in (3 cm). Brush all over with egg wash. Roll the lattice dough cutter over the final pastry rectangle, open it out carefully to reveal the lattice pattern, and place over the Wellington. Brush with egg wash and pierce around the border with a wooden toothpick to seal. Chill for 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C/Gas Mark 6). Remove the Wellington from the refrigerator and brush again with egg wash. Bake for 10 minutes, then lower the oven temperature to 350°F (180°C/Gas Mark 4) and continue to bake for an additional 30 minutes, until the temperature at the centre reaches 113°F (45°C).

To serve
Cut into slices, garnish with basil leaves, and sprinkle the serving plates with fleur de sel and crushed black pepper

Lead photo credit : Pork, potato and morel mushroom pie from the latest recipe book by the Ferrandi School of Culinary Arts

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