Pâté with Pork Tenderloin and Morels

Pork pâté with morel and tenderloin inlayI like to make pâté around Christmas. This year I wanted to try a terrine with an inlay. Inlays are usually pieces of lean mean, like a pork tenderloin or duck breast, that are set in the middle of a terrine, surrounded by forcemeat, so that each slice of the terrine has a cross-section of the lean meat. At left you can see a rosy pork tenderloin cooked to medium.

Winter is a reflective season, and nowhere is this more true than with food, as many of the things we eat in December were by necessity harvested in September, or earlier. The special significance this pâté has to the past year is the garnish studding the forcemeat: morels. This was a remarkable year for mushrooms. These morels are a small portion of the hundreds of pounds picked by Chad and Thea out near Devon early in the summer. Most were dried, and I’m sure many are now being enjoyed at kitchen tables around Edmonton.

As you might have guessed from the shape, this pâté wasn’t actually cooked in a terrine. I pressed the forcemeat around the tenderloin, then wrapped the whole assembly in plastic and poached it in the oven. I hoped it would keep its round profile, but obviously the meat settled, producing the oval shape you see above. I guess I should invest in some proper terrines. (Christmas gift hint.)