Recipe for Pate de Meles from Corsica..
Ever the one for an unusual recipe! Here’s one I found in a glorious book my brother bought me called ‘Secrets of the Great French Restaurants’ published in 1971. It’s from restaurant L’Auberge in L’ile Rousse, Corsica and makes for interesting reading-particularly the last part…
“A unique pate made with the Corsican blackbirds that are very common in the wild bushland of the island. Their flesh acquires a very special flavour from the berries they eat. Their dark brown plumage distinguishes them from the blackbirds of the mainland and their fleash is far more tender and tasty. During the shooting season they are killed by the hundred, hence the exceptionally large quantities given in the recipe.
For 100 birds take the same weight of chicken livers and a pieceof neck of pork equal to two-thirds of the weight of the birds.
4dl Madeira, chopped truffles, 7g salt per 50g meat, 1g freshly milled pepper, 7 juniper berries, grated nutmeg, 50g cornflour, ½ dl cognac, ½ dl spirit of myrtle
Stew the birds for 3 or 4 minutes in 3 decilitres of the Madeira. Leave to cool then bone them. Finely chop flesh of birds and the livers. Roughly chop pork and the truffles, keeping the two separate. Put all of the ingredients into a bowl along with the cornflour, myrtle, Madeira and cognac.
Cook by steaming in tightly sealed containers. Give the terrines two cookings of one hour each, with an interval of 48 hours in between.”
NB: How times change, cooking a pork product halfway and then re-cooking it two days later!