This is a coarse pate, hearty picnic fare, best served in slabs with crusty bread, cornichons, and coarse mustard, and washed down with young, rustic wine.
- Grind the shoulder, lard, ham, and half of the bacon together into a forcemeat.
- Mix in the spices and the brandy and let the mixture marinate overnight in the refrigerator.
- Preheat the oven to 340.
- Saute the onions until golden. Add the flour and mix well.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the beaten egg.
- Combine the egg-onion mixture well with the meat mixture.
- Line a terrine or a loaf pan with the other half of the bacon. Leave some hanging over the edges and reserve some for a decorative top.
- Lightly pack the meat-egg mixture into the bacon-lined pan.
- Lay the reserved bacon strips along the top and weave the overhanging bacon into it to make an attractive pattern.
- Place the covered terrine in a larger pan of hot water coming about halfway up the sides of the terrine. Bake for 2-3 hours, until a skewer comes out clean and the juices run clear. The pate should be swimming in fat.
- Uncover the terrine for a few minutes to crisp the top bacon.
- Drain off the melted fat and cool under a weight (this makes it easier to slice).
- Serve cold.
The French recipes call for pork belly or uncured bacon. You can use hickory or applewood-smoked American bacon if you are not committed to French authenticity.