Kipper Pâté

  • Serves

    makes About 20 Slices

Kippers—herring that has been salted and smoked—are an old English specialty, traditionally eaten fried, poached, or grilled for breakfast.


For the Pâté

  • 1 large yellow onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 8 oz. fatty end of Irish bacon or regular bacon, diced
  • Pinch quatre-épices
  • 1 medium russet potato
  • 4 large kippers
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tbsp. Drambuie
  • 1 tbsp. scotch
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Seasoned Fat

  • 1 cup lard
  • 1 small yellow onion, peeled and sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed and peeled
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme


Step 1

For the pâté: Preheat oven to 350º. Put onions and bacon into a large, heavy skillet over medium-low heat and cook, stirring often, until onions are very soft, about 1 hour. Add quatre-épices, mix well, and set aside.

Step 2

Meanwhile, put potato into a steamer basket set over a pot of boiling water over high heat. Cover and steam until soft, about 50 minutes. Let cool, then peel, cut into large pieces, and set aside.

Step 3

Lay kippers out in a single layer, skin side down, on a baking sheet and bake until pliable and just warmed through, 6–8 minutes. Remove flesh from bones, gently flaking fish to remove very soft, thin bones. Discard bones, heads, tails, and skin. Set boned fish aside.

Step 4

Combine onions and bacon, potatoes, and kippers in a medium bowl, then pass through a meat grinder fitted with medium-hole disk into a large bowl. Pass ground mixture through meat grinder once more into bowl. Add egg, Drambuie, and scotch and season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix until thoroughly combined. 5. Transfer kipper mixture to a 5-cup terrine and gently rap terrine on a hard surface to settle the mixture. Cover terrine with foil and transfer to a small roasting pan. Add enough boiling water to the pan to reach two-thirds of the way up the sides of the terrine, and bake until internal temperature reaches 160°, about 50 minutes. Remove terrine from pan, discard foil, and set pâté aside to let cool. 7. For the seasoned fat: Meanwhile, put lard, onions, garlic, bay leaf, and thyme into a small pot. Heat over low heat until lard is melted. Remove pot from heat; set aside to steep for 1 hour and discard solids. 8. Pour seasoned fat over pâté, cover with foil, and refrigerate overnight. Serve directly from terrine, with melba toast, if you like.

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