Thursday, September 15, 2011

Pate Chaud: Vietnamese Pork Pie


As challenging and fun making pate en croute sounds, I sadly didn’t have enough time this month to take a stab at it.  Thankfully, English pork pie was offered as an alternative for the September CharcutePalooza challenge.  I didn’t know what an English pork pie consisted of until I read the recipe in Charcuterie.  Once I read the recipe, though, I was completely familiar with it and realized that I’d been making pork pies for the past few years and eating them since childhood in the form of pate chaud.


Pate chaud is essentially the Vietnamese version of a pork pie.  Instead of Western seasonings, the pork is typically seasoned with fish sauce.  Depending on the cook, miscellaneous things like wood ear mushrooms may be added for a crunchy texture.  However, my grandma’s vegetarian version that I grew up on consisted of Morningstar Griller soy meat, mushrooms, peas, carrots, and Maggi (sort of like soy sauce) baked inside a handheld puff pastry shell.  The soy meat never bothered me because to this day I still prefer her version over any meat-based pate chaud I’ve ever tried.


My goal for this month’s challenge was to use the English pork pie recipe and technique in Charcuterie as a foundation and impart my grandma’s influence on it in order to make a respectable pork pate chaud.  Typically my grandma uses frozen peas, but I saw some nice snap peas at the market and had to use them.  Also, my grandma and I usually use premade frozen puff pastry dough, but making my own pastry dough from scratch this time was a good experience.


With the exception of a slightly soggy bottom (probably due to underestimating the amount of water released from the mushrooms) the pate chaud came out pretty good.  The pastry was understandably less flaky than the puff pastry that I’m used to, but it was flaky enough to hold its own.  One regret was not forming the pate chaud into its traditional handheld portions.  This would’ve made freezing and reheating portions much easier.

In all honesty, though, I still prefer my grandma’s vegetarian pate chaud.  There’s just something about the combination of soy meat, mushrooms, peas, carrots, and Maggi that I just love.



Pate Chaud Meat Filling

Mise En Place

  1. 675 g pork, freshly ground
  2. 100 g peas, diced
  3. 100 g carrots, diced
  4. 100 g shiitake mushrooms, roughly chopped
  5. 5 g black pepper, freshly ground
  6. 80 g mushroom-pork stock, reduced slightly more than normal and chilled
  7. 40 g Maggi, European version with red top is preferable

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