Thursday, January 24, 2008

Man of Many Meats

Paté, from chunky peasant rillettes to smooth goose-liver, made of anything from venison to duck to pork, have always been high on my list of Delicious Things To Eat Any Time I Get The Chance. Spread on a hunky nut bread for breakfast with a slice of cheddar alongside? Yum. As a foie gras-like part of a multi-course French meal. Oui!

So it was with gusto that I lapped up the presentation by Ben Dyer, head honcho at Viande Meats & Sausage, the other night at Foster & Dobbs. Refreshingly candid and with a new lover's enthusiasm for his chosen profession, you can't help but admire a guy who says that one of the best things about his craft is that it uses all the leftover parts of a butchered animal.

A simple set-up on a long table, with a mixer and grinder attachment alongside a hot plate was all he needed to whip up a startling country pate of bacon, liver, pork and pistachios. It was all swaddled in a wrapper of caul fat, that looked for all the world like your grandmother's knitted shawl (right).

And he shared his "mother recipe" that can be endlessly fiddled with to create your very own pate. Plus he loves Julia Child, he said, "because all of her recipes work." A man after my own heart.

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