I married my husband five years ago this month, the 23rd of June, Midsummer Night, the longest day of the year. I choose this day because all of Denmark is celebrating the long summer days and the short nights. Danes, old and young alike, flock to the beachs and parks to see a straw witch on her broom being burned. In fact, Denmark’s countryside is dotted with impressive fires and if you don’t go to the parks, or beaches, many people build fires in their own backyards. They invite family and friends to come for dinner and later enjoy the fire. Many pack a picnic and eat on the beach while waiting for the fire to start. I choose this day because it is always a lot of people on the streets, beaches, parks celebrating and it make my day even more special. It doesn’t get dark until around midnight and even then it is not really very dark. The sun rises already around two in the morning. The recipe today is pate that should be made the day before. It is minced pork, ham and bacon. Of course, all Danish ingredients.
Paté with Minced Pork, Ham and Bacon -serve 10-12
3 tbsp. butter
1 cup finely chopped onion
2½ lbs. ground pork
10 slices of bacon, finely chopped
and 14 slices of bacon for lining pan
3 garlic cloves, pressed
2½ tsp. salt
2½ tsp. thyme
1 tsk. freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 cup of heavy cream
½ cup sherry
1 6 oz. slice of ham, chopped
coarse sea salt
20 slices of cucumber
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
To make paté, melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until soft and translucent but not brown, about 5 minutes. Mix the ground pork and chopped bacon in a large bowl. Add sautéed onion, garlic, salt, thyme, and pepper and stir until incorporated. Add eggs, cream and sherry and stir until well blended. Add the chopped ham to the mixture.
Line 9x5x3 inch loaf pan with bacon slices. Pour the mixture into the loaf pan. Using hands, lightly and evenly press the meat mixture in the loaf pan. Fold bacon slices over, covering paté. Cover pa tightly with foil. Place pan in 13x9x2 inch baking pan and transfer to the oven. Pour boiling water into the baking pan to come halfway up sides of loaf pan. Bake paté until thermometer inserted through foil into center register 155°F, about 2 hours. Be aware that ovens are different and may bake quicker, so check the paté after 1½ hours.
Remove loaf pan with paté from baking pan and transfer to rimmed baking sheet. Place a heavy skillet or 2 or 3 cans atop paté to weight down Chill overnight.
To serve, cut paté crosswise into ½ inch slices and serve with mustard, cucumber slices and lots of good bread.