Pâté de Campagne, or Country Pâté

by Ann Marie Michaels on April 28, 2009

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I love pâté de campagne but I had never tried to make it before. When I found this recipe for pâté de campagne by Julia Child, I couldn’t wait to make it. I’m always looking for good liver recipes, because liver is so nutritious.

According to the Weston A. Price Foundation, liver:

  • contains more nutrients, gram for gram, than any other food
  • is an excellent source of high-quality protein
  • is nature’s most concentrated source of vitamin A
  • has all the B vitamins in abundance, particularly vitamin B12
  • is one of our best sources of folic acid
  • contains a highly usable form of iron
  • has trace elements such as copper, zinc and chromium
  • has an unidentified anti-fatigue factor
  • contains CoQ10, a nutrient that is especially important for cardio-vascular function
  • is a good source of purines, nitrogen-containing compounds that serve as precursors for DNA and RNA

I think you’re going to like this pâté, even if you don’t normally like liver. It tastes a lot like Braunschweiger or liverwurst, only I think it’s even more mild. It’s delicious served with sourdough bread, Dijon mustard, and Cornichons or other pickles.

This recipe is based on Julia Child’s recipe for in her book, The Way To Cook. I modified it slightly, based on what I had on hand. I also think it’s very important to use real sourdough bread, not yeasted bread (real sourdough breaks down the phytic acid; phytic acid prevents absorption of minerals). I have also specified that it is necessary to buy organic liver, and ideally, you want to use pastured or free-range chicken and eggs, and nitrate-free sausage.

Pâté de Campagne


Yellow onion (1)
Butter (2 TBS) — where to buy butter
Nitrate-free, antibiotic- and hormone-free pork sausage meat (1 pound) — where to buy meat
Raw pastured or free-range chicken breast (1 pound) — where to buy chicken breast
Organic pork or beef liver (8 ounces) — where to buy chicken breast
Sourdough bread (10-12 ounces) — real naturally fermented sourdough bread, not the fake stuff they sell at the grocery store
Large egg, preferably pastured (1) — where to buy eggs
Goat cheese (1/3 cup)
Garlic (1 clove)
Port, cognac or brandy (3 TBS) — I used port, because we didn’t have any cognac. You could also use Armagnac.
Sea salt (1 TBS) — where to buy sea salt
Ground allspice 1/4 tsp
Thyme, fresh or dried (1/4 tsp)
Bay leaves (2) —
Freshly ground pepper (1/4 tsp) —


Food Processor
Terrine or loaf pan


1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Saute the chopped onions in the butter.
3. Mix all the ingredients in a food processor. I couldn’t fit them all in so I had to mix each ingredient and then mix them by hand in a large bowl.
4. When thoroughly mixed together, pack into a terrine or loaf pan (preferably enamel) and cover with wax paper or parchment paper (cut in a rectangle to fit on top). Layer foil on top of that (with a one-inch overhang of the foil).
5. Bake in a bain-marie (set the loaf pan in a shallow pan of water — the water should come up halfway up the sides of the loaf pan) for 1 to 1-1/2 hours. A meat thermometer should read 160-165 degrees.
6. Let cool for an hour, then refrigerate when cool at least overnight. Serve cold or room temperature with sourdough bread, Dijon mustard, and cornichons or other pickles.

This post is part of the Real Food Wednesday blog carnival on Kelly the Kitchen Kop.

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{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

Soli April 29, 2009 at 2:53 AM

Yum, that looks good! I am so determined to make my own pate this year.

Tidbit, in Sweden when you have your leverpastej sandwich it’s typical to have pickles on top. For anyone who knows food pairings and nutrition better than I, I’d be curious to hear ideas of why this mix happened.

Soli’s last blog post..The end is nigh


Local Nourishment April 29, 2009 at 3:48 AM

Wow. That’s a lot of ingredients. I’m not a good cook and we don’t have liver (ever) but I’m game!

Local Nourishment’s last blog post..Eczema. Why?!?


Julie April 29, 2009 at 4:14 AM

Thanks for this recipe! Pate is a great way to get liver in the diet.
Soli, I have had pate as an appetizer at a French Restaurant before and they also served it with tiny pickles called gherkins and pickled onions and thinly sliced red onion along side a very nice French baguette. I’m no expert on nutrition or French cuisine, but the tang of the pickles is a nice contrast to the richness of the pate.
Talking about this makes me hungry! I think today I’m going to make this.


Soli April 29, 2009 at 4:47 AM

Julie, I can;t believe this slipped my mind this morning. What I’ve heard is that it’s best to pair liver with something high in vitamin C/acidic (hence liver and onions being a common dish) to help digest. I’m not quite sure how this works out, but hopefully someone here can add more.

Soli’s last blog post..The end is nigh


Laryssa @ Heaven In The Home April 29, 2009 at 5:47 AM

Thank you so much for sharing this! This looks so much like the pate I had as a child in France. I’m very excited to try recipe!

Laryssa @ Heaven In The Home’s last blog post..Favorite Books For Children


Nancy April 29, 2009 at 6:54 AM

Soli, I would imagine that pairing liver with a food item high in vitamin C is so your body can take full benefit of the iron in the liver. Iron is best absorbed in the presence of vitamin C.


Jeannette April 29, 2009 at 9:07 AM

Just got some beef liver and I was trying to figure out what to do with it. What a timely post! I’ll be making this for sure.


Catherine May 1, 2009 at 5:56 AM

I have been looking for some good liver pate and liverwurst recipes. I used to love liverwurst as a kid growing up in Europe. Its been ages since I have tried some but have great memories eating it as a kid. My girls can choke some liver down but my eldest dd says it tastes like eating mud :-0

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FarmerKimberly July 10, 2011 at 7:04 AM

I like your daughter’s description that it is like eating mud. I don’t know how to describe it but I definitely have a texture issue with liver.


Laura May 21, 2009 at 9:54 AM

I’m wondering how it would turn out without the sourdough bread?


Naomi Snider June 28, 2011 at 5:17 AM

Just wondering if you might know of a good recipe for beef liverwurst? I know there’s such a critter; I used to buy it at Bagelstein’s in Dallas. I am looking for a recipe without pork.


bash147 July 2, 2011 at 7:02 PM

I just ate liver pate for the first time this summer and I must say it was phenomenal. I also tried a slice fried in bacon fat with a fried egg. Super rich and delicious


Kasi July 5, 2011 at 12:58 AM

I have to try this. I bought some liver, I know we need to eat it, it is good for us…. but we never ate it in my house. I did make a dish with it last night, kind of ‘hid’ the liver…. maybe this will be for when we are ready to eat liver openly LOL.


FarmerKimberly July 10, 2011 at 7:03 AM

I have not been able to find a way to make liver that I can eat. For some reason, I just cannot stomach liver. (pun intended). When I am feeling brave, I will give this recipe a try.


sewpretty13 July 14, 2011 at 11:12 AM

My husband loves store bought liverwurst, so I am looking for a recipe that he would love. He might like this one. Could we leave the bread out?


OliviaScott July 16, 2011 at 12:25 PM

Oh thank you so much for this! I just ordered two lbs. of beef liver because I need the nutritional benefits but was worried about how it would taste..I think this’ll do it! :P)


coconutfreek July 19, 2011 at 7:19 PM

I bet this is wonderful. Not sure I will try and make it but I am sure it tastes good.


LeahS July 20, 2011 at 8:46 AM

wow, that’s a lot of ingredients. I’m going to have to try it. I love pate!


Jin January 9, 2012 at 7:15 PM

1 tbsp of salt made this way too salty, I’ll cut back to 1 tsp next time. Otherwise, it was pretty good. My liver-hating family ate it without wondering what was in it. :-)


Michelle Anderson July 31, 2012 at 1:45 PM

Hello! Does anyone know if this would freeze well? I’m likely the only one in our family that will eat this and I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be able to eat it all before it would need to be tossed out.



corrie December 22, 2012 at 8:44 AM

is the bread listed in the recipe for serving or part of the pate?


Ann Marie Michaels December 22, 2012 at 3:37 PM

It is part of the pate. You can substitute coconut flour or almond flour bread if you cannot tolerate regular bread


Cassie June 23, 2013 at 5:00 PM

Oh no! I just put this in the oven. I thought the sour dough bread was for after :/


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