This is an odd dish. It is a paté made from the meat of your choice, spices and bread. The texture is not what we recognize as a modern paté. The meat in the dish is chopped instead of being ground and it gives the dish a less than smooth feel. That all being said the dish was good tasting and satisfying to eat.
The original recipe reads as follows…
Pour faire un paste en pot. Prenez tel char que vouldrez, hachié bien menu et le mettez bien cuire dedens un pot sain esue, grasse assez, sel egalment et espices et soit bien escumé tout premierement ; puis prenez vos espices, pain froyé ou passé et moyeulx d’oes bien batus, saffren un poy, pour donner couleur ; faictez boullir a poy d’eaue grasse largement et bien couvert qu’il puist bien estuver, en remuant dilligamment qu’il narde.
The translation is….
To make a paste in a pot. Get whatever meat you like, chopped up finely, and set it to cook in a pot with wine, good greasy bouillon, a judicious amount of salt, and spices; this should be skimmed. Then get your spices, ground or sieved bread, well beaten egg yolks and a little saffron for colour; boil it in just enough good greasy bouillon, and covered tightly, for it to stew, and stirring carefully so that it doesn’t burn.
This is how I created my version of the dish…
I decided to use chicken breast as my meat for the dish. White wine made sense to go with the light colored and mild flavored meat.
The recipe says to add spices but doesn’t name the spices. I assume this is because your choice of spices is likely to change with you choice of meat. I decided to use poudre forte which is a mix of cinnamon, ginger, clove, long pepper and black pepper.
Once I had all of my ingredients I chopped the chicken as finely as possible. this was added to a pot with chicken broth and wine, salt and some of the spice mix. It was boiled til cooked, skimming the top of the liquid frequently.
I used some of the liquid that the chicken was cooked in to soak the bread and then pushed the bread through a sieve. I added beaten egg yolks, spices, and saffron to the bread. This mixture was added to the pot with the chicken which still had a bit of the liquid from cooking. I set the chicken and bread mixture on a fairly high heat to cook down. It was stirred often to keep it from burning. The mixture was kept covered when not stirring and it was cooked until most of the liquid was gone and it had thickened into a paste.
The finished dish was served on bread.
I enjoyed the flavor and the soft texture of the paté. It was lumpy which makes it less attractive than modern paté but you could use a meat grinder or food processor to make the meat’s texture more paste like before cooking. The flavor was nice and though it was a loose paste when hot, when I allowed it to cool it set up and was thick enough that it could be molded.
2 thoughts on “Recipe #20 – Paste en pot”
“County” pates are not smooth, they are quite chunky. The defining characteristic of pate is the high gelatin content so it “sets up”. I bet that’s the key- a good meat broth should gel when cold. I always wonder when I read recipes like this- since these are crib notes for experienced cooks, would an experienced cook automatically take this mixture and let it sit and set up? Was their pate presented the same way as our pate? Do any of the other pate dishes in that manuscript explicitly state molding or letting chill to set up? This would make a fascinating ArtSci project!
The texture depends how finely you chop your meat. I hand-chop meat for sausages and it gets as fine as using a grinder.