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How is it made and what are the ingredients?

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This is a very broad topic. Akin to, "How is cake made, and what are the ingredients?" –  hobodave Jul 31 '10 at 1:21
    
Broad questions like these are going to be unavoidable for questioners who don't know anything at all about the subject (no offense questioner!). @ hobodave. Your answer below seems like the right balance of answer, explanation, and a semi-response to the impossible open-endedness. –  Ocaasi Jul 31 '10 at 4:41

2 Answers 2

Pâté is a mixture of ground meat and fat minced into a spreadable paste.

Source: Wikipedia

Liver is most commonly used. There are literally endless combinations of other ingredients. Vegetables, herbs, spices, other meats, etc. The meat is typically cooked and then processed into a paste like substance, though textures vary.

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For a good introduction for the home cook to trying something as ambitious as a Pâté I've found this book to be excellent resource: Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing. Pâté is not the singular focus of the book, but about a fifth of it is dedicated to it.

The general method involves grinding or pureeing the meat, while taking special care to not melt or break any of the fat from the animal in the process. (Keeping the blades cold is always key concern.) Cooking the pâté should also be done gently by either poaching in water, or placing in a water bath in the oven.

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