This is recipe is a country style forcemeat  which is made entirely of duck meat, fat, and livers, along with the addition to seasonings and pistachios.  Forcemeat is basically an emulsion between a lean meat and fat through grinding, sieving, or pureeing.  Forcemeat is a basic for pates, sausage, terrines, roulades, and galantines.  One of the keys of making the forcemeat is keeping your meat grinder cold ( store in the freezer or in ice water before you ready to grind) and your meat cold.  This helps keep the meat out of the danger zone and also helps the fat from melting.  Country style forcemeat or terrines are more coarse and less refined ( don't pass the meat through a sieve for a really smooth consistency)  This was just something I wanted to make with some duck breast I had recently.  Once in a while I like to make some classical french dishes because it is not to often that you see these types of recipes on a menu.  Specialty markets, charcuterie shops, and some restaurants would have something like this dish.   This is a very rustic dish, perfect for a Sunday afternoon.


4 duck breast with fat cap, cleaned of sinew and connective tissue

1/2 cup of duck livers cleaned of sinew, blood veins and diced (not foie gras but you could use it if you had it)

2 shallots

4 garlic cloves

1 tbsp of chopped fresh thyme ( used dried if you don't have fresh just reduce amount to 2 tsp)

1 tbsp of fresh chopped parsley

1 tsp of dried sage

1/2 tsp of mace

1 tbsp of fresh ground coriander seed

1 tbsp of fresh cracked pepper

pinch of nutmeg

Salt to taste (roughly 4 tbsp)

1/3 cup of roasted pistachios

Pickled fiddlehead ferns

1 cup of fiddle head ferns

1 cup apple cider vinegar

1/3 cup sugar

1 tbsp of mustard seeds

1 tbsp of coriander seeds

1 bay leaf

1 tbsp of peppercorns


1 tbsp of capers

1 tbsp of dijon mustard

hand full of arugula

Fluer de sel

Place meat grinder attachments with blade and medium dials into the freezer.  Meanwhile take duck and dice along with the fat on top of the breast.   Place the meat in the freezer for 15 minutes.  Take the meat grinder out and set up ready to grind the meat.  Take the meat out of the freezer and start to grind the meat placing the shallots and garlic through the grinder as well.  Typically you have a bowl of ice and then you have another bowl on top of the ice to catch the meat into, this way the meat always stays very cold.   Once you have all the meat ground up fold in the duck livers.  Then add all of the seasonings.  Then you need to test the meat to make sure it taste good.  Take a small saute pan with a little butter or oil and place a tsp of meat in the pan.  Cook it until it is cooked through ( 2 minutes).  Taste the meat to make sure it has good flavor.  If not adjust the salt and seasonings to your palate.

Preheat Oven to 300 degrees

Then line a terrine mold with plastic wrap having some overhang on the outside of the terrine.  Place half of the meat into the terrine mold pushing down to help get rid of any air pockets.  Then place your pistachios in the middle of the meat.  Take the second half of the meat and place on top of the pistachios.  Fold the overhanging plastic wrap over the meat to seal it.  Place the lid on the terrine and place in baking dish.  Pour in steaming water into the baking dish so the water goes half way up the sides of the terrine mold.  Bake in the oven for roughly an hour or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.  Take the terrine out of the oven and let it cool for an hour.  Then take the lid off and weigh the terrine down using a brick, cans, or anything else you can find that is really heavy.  I like to take a piece of cardboard and cut it into the shape of the terrine.  Place that on top of the terrine and then place cans or a brick on top.  Place the weighed down terrine into the refrigerator over night.  The next day the terrine will be ready to eat.

For the pickled fiddlehead ferns,

Simply add all the ingredients except for the fiddleheads into a pot.  Bring to a boil, cook for one minute and then pour over the fiddleheads in a bowl or glass jar.  Cover and let it cool.  This is a very quick pickle.  You can do this well in advance and allow the fiddleheads to mature in flavor.  The longer the better.  Store in a cool place. 

To serve slice the pate and place on a plate.  Add capers, mustard, arugula, fiddlehead ferns, and fluer de sel on top of the pate.  Serve with some crackers or bread.