Pate en Croute

A sophisticated dish of duck stuffed with veal and chicken livers and covered in pastry, Pate en Croiite I (pa-tay on kroot) may be served cold with a crisp green salad.

1 X 5 lb. duck, boned

1 oz. plus

1 teaspoon butter

2 shallots, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, crushed

1 lb. lean veal, minced

8 oz. chicken livers, minced

8 streaky bacon slices, finely chopped

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon ground allspice -½ teaspoon dried thyme

3 eggs, lightly beaten

3 tablespoons brandy

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

PASTRY

½ lb. flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 lb. butter, cut into small pieces

4 egg yolks, lightly beaten

8 to

10 tablespoons water

First make the pastry. Sift the flour and salt on to a large marble slab. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and place the butter and egg yolks in the well. Using your fingertips mix the butter and egg yolks together, adding the water a little at a time and slowly drawing in the flour. Continue mixing in this way until all the flour is incorporated.

Knead lightly until the dough forms a ball.

Cover the dough with greaseproof or waxed paper and chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours.

Meanwhile, lay the duck, skin side down, on a wooden board. With a sharp knife, carefully slice off the thickest pieces of meat, being careful not to pierce the skin. Chop the meat very finely and place it in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.

In a small frying-pan, melt 1 ounce of the butter over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, add the shallots and garlic and fry, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 4 minutes or until the shallots are soft and translucent but not brown.

Remove the pan from the heat. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the shallot mixture to the chopped duck in the mixing bowl.

Add the veal, chicken livers, bacon, salt, pepper, allspice and thyme and mix well.

Stir in two of the beaten eggs and the brandy.

Place the stuffing in the centre of the duck and form it into a loaf shape. Fold the duck skin over the stuffing to enclose it completely. Using a trussing needle and string, sew up the skin securely.

In a large frying-pan, heat the oil over moderate heat. When the oil is hot add the duck and fry it, turning occasionally, for 6 minutes or until it is brown and crisp.

Remove the pan from the heat and, using tongs or two large spoons, transfer the duck to kitchen paper towels. Set aside.

Using the remaining teaspoon of butter, lightly grease a large .baking tin. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to moderate 350°F (Gas Mark 4, 180°C).

Remove the dough from the refriger-ator. Break off one-third and set it aside. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the other two-thirds of the dough into a rectangle about

½ inch thick. Lift the dough on the rolling pin and lay it over the baking tin. Place the duck in the centre of the dough. Carefully fold the dough around it, pressing it into place so that it comes up the sides of the duck but leaves the top uncovered. Using a pastry brush, moisten the edges of the dough with a little of the remaining beaten egg-On a lightly floured surface, roll out the remaining third of the dough. Lift the dough on the rolling pin and lay it on top of the duck. Trim it so that it overlaps the bottom dough by about

½ inch. Crimp the two edges together to seal. Use the dough trimmings to make a decoration for the top.

Using the pastry brush, brush the top and sides of the dough with the remaining beaten egg. Place the baking tin in the oven and bake for 2 hours. If the pastry starts to brown too much, cover with aluminium foil.

Remove the pate from the oven and set it aside to cool to room temperature. Then chill it in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve it.

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