Rustic Lambs & Clams Pâté with Lamb Crackers for the Charleston Wine & Food Festival’s Recipe Contest

Drain the excess liquid and fat from the pan.  Place a weight on top of your pâté and leave until it has cooled.  This is essential to create the desired texture.  We used a washed brick wrapped in aluminum foil as a weight.  If using a loaf pan, place the weight directly on the pâté or on a dish that will fit the loaf pan.

Place the weight on top of the pate

Place the weight on top of the pate

Once the pâté has cooled, remove the weight and then loosen the pâté from the pan and transfer to a plate.  You could serve the pâté at room temperature or refrigerate it for several hours.   I wanted to serve it garnished with a Cognac gelée, so I removed the bacon, trimmed the pâté, and then placed it back into the clean terrine dish, covering it with a Cognac gelée.  I refrigerated this overnight.

Cover with Cognac gelee, if desired

Cover with Cognac gelee, if desired

The flavors and textures in this recipe were as good as any pâté I have ever been served, yet unique in the distinct lamb and clam flavors.  We thought the seasonings in the meat and layer of mushrooms and clams were exceptional, all with a subtle hint of Cognac.  The mushrooms were important to add the texture that I was looking for with the clams.  The aroma of the pâté baking wafted through the house each time I made it and it was intoxicating.  My taste testers were very impressed.  I did make it several times to fine-tune the textures and flavors.

Making lamb crackers

Making lamb crackers – There’s a black sheep in the family made with dark whole wheat bread

For something fun, I made lamb crackers to accompany the pâté.  These are simple to prepare and are a quick way to make a homemade cracker.  Take slices of your preferred bread (a softer bread works best) and run them through a pasta machine several times, taking the size of the opening down after the first pass.  It should take just two times to get it thin enough, but not too thin, to cut.  I used a lamb shaped cutter and toasted them on a greased baking sheet at 375 degrees for a total of ten minutes, turning them once.  You can adjust the baking time according to how dark you want the cracker.  It doesn’t get much easier than that!

Serving pate

Your guests will enjoy the presentation with the lamb crackers and mustard served in clam shell halves

A great pâté needs a few special accompaniments to make it complete.  We served ours with the lamb crackers, cornichons, red grapes, and one of our favorite mustards, Lusty Monk from Asheville, North Carolina.  This coarse-ground mustard has a delightful kick that comes from the fresh mustard seed.  I chose their Original Sin version.  The spiciness and heat was perfect with the rustic texture and flavors of the pâté.  I served the mustard in cleaned and scrubbed clam shell halves, so that along with the lamb crackers, our guests would know what we were serving, my version of Lambs & Clams.


Lambwich with Lusty Monk Mustard

Not to waste one bite, this pâté makes one awesome Lambwich.  One slice of pâté, sandwiched between two slices of bread, topped with lettuce, and dressed with a bit of Lusty Monk Mustard.  It was reminiscent of an old-fashioned liverwurst sandwich, but oh, so much better.

If you like my Rustic Lambs and Clams Pâté with Lamb Crackers, I would appreciate your vote, for the last time, in the Lambs & Clams Cooking Contest.  You need to go to Facebook and first “Like” the Charleston Food and Wine Festival.  You will then be able to access the voting link to the Lambs & Clams Cooking Contest from the burgundy colored tab at the top right-hand side of their Facebook page that says “Lambs & Clams Contest.”  Voting ends Friday, January 25, 2013.  Thank you!




Here are the other participants and their recipes:

Lynda of Taste Food Blog

Peter Barrett of A Cook Blog

Olga Berman of Mango Tomato

David Dadekian of Eat Drink RI

Heather Scholten of Farmgirl Gourmet

Cecilia Stoute of One Vanilla Bean

Vivek Surti of Vivek’s Epicurean Adventures

Rustic Lambs and Clams Pate with Lamb Crackers and mustard served in clam shells

Rustic Lambs and Clams Pate with Lamb Crackers and Lusty Monk Mustard served in clam shells

Rustic Lambs and Clams Pâté with Cognac gelée

This recipe was created for a 5-cup loaf pan. I used a 4-cup pâté terrine pan, so I modified the recipe a bit. The pâté is excellent served plain, without the Cognac gelée. I added it to dress up the pâté. If you use a pâté terrine pan, make a flour paste with 1/4 cup of flour and 2 to 3 Tablespoons of water and seal the pan with that paste before placing in the oven.


For meat mixture:
1 pound ground lamb
8 ounces ground pork
6 ounces chicken livers, pulsed several times in a food blender or finely chopped
1/2 small onion, grated
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin seed
1/2 teaspoon ground fennel seed
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander seed
1/2 teaspoons chopped, fresh thyme leaves
3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 Tablespoons Cognac
1 large bay leaf

For clam mixture:
8 ounces portobello mushrooms, scrubbed clean and chopped medium
8 ounces raw clams, rough chopped
4 Tablespoons butter
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt or more to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 teaspoons chopped, fresh thyme
4 Tablespoons Cognac

Softened butter, for greasing pan

10 -12 slices of good bacon

For Cognac gelee:
1 envelope plain gelatin
1/4 cup Cognac
1 3/4 cup beef broth (I used low-sodium)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

2. Grease a 5-cup loaf pan pan with butter. Take the bacon strips and stretch them with the back of a heavy kitchen knife. Use the bacon to line your pan.

3. Combine all of the ingredients for the meat mixture in a large bowl and thoroughly mix with your hands until the spices, Cognac, and meats are blended together. Check for seasonings and set aside.

4. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the 4 Tablespoons butter. When foaming has subsided, quickly add the mushrooms and spread them out in the pan. Sprinkle with the salt, add the chopped thyme, a bit of freshly ground black pepper; let them cook for just a few minutes until slightly softened, stirring occasionally. Add the Cognac and then the chopped clams, stirring to combine. Cook this mixture just another minute or two to warm the clams and soften and reduce the brandy. Check for seasonings and remove from the heat. Set the pan aside.

5. To begin layering, place one-third of the meat mixture into the bottom of prepared pan, pressing tightly into the corners. Make a nice even layer and press it down firmly. Next, add one-half of the clam and mushroom mixture, spreading evenly across the meat mixture. Once again, layer with one-third of the meat mixture, followed with the remaining clam mixture, and end with the final third of the meat mixture. Each time, pressing the meat mixture down and making it compact.

6. Place a bay leaf on top of the meat mixture and cover with three bacon slices to encase the meat. Seal the loaf pan tightly with aluminum foil. Place loaf pan in a roasting pan or large ovenproof dish. Pour in hot water to come halfway up the sides of the pan. Bake for two hours.

7. Take the loaf pan out of the oven and hot water bath and remove aluminum foil. Let sit a few minutes. Drain the excess fat and liquids and then weight down with a 4-pound weight. Cool completely. Remove the pâté from the pan. *You could either serve this at room temperature or refrigerate and serve the pâté as is.

Optional – Remove the bacon, clean the pan, oil it and line it with plastic wrap (for ease of removal), and place the pâté back in the pan. Cover with Cognac gelée.

To make Cognac gelée:
1. Sprinkle one package of gelatin over the Cognac in a small bowl and bloom (soften the gelatin). Let sit for a few minutes.

2. Pour 1 1/2 cups hot beef broth over the gelatin mixture and stir until gelatin is completely melted. Add Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, as desired. Cool until almost room temperature and then pour over the pâté. Refrigerate overnight.

3. Remove pâté carefully from the pan. If it will not loosen easily, place the pan in warm water for just a few seconds and then remove. (* I trimmed the sides of the gelee on my pâté so there was just a layer on the top.) Serve with desired accompaniments and garnishes.


Page: 1 2

End of Article.

We participate in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.