Rabbit Pâté

We asked our friends Noah Fecks & Paul Wagtouicz to recreate a Thanksgiving meal from 1947 inspired by the classic food photography of Gourmet Magazine.

You will need:
3 tablespoons duck fat (you can substitute lard or softened butter)
1 cup diced onion
25 bacon strips
6 peppercorns
2 whole allspice berries
2 bay leaves
2 cloves
1⁄4 teaspoon dry mustard
1⁄4 teaspoon thyme
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1⁄2 cup cognac or brandy
2 large eggs
4 cloves garlic
11⁄2 cups ground pork
11⁄2 cup ground rabbit (reserve liver and slice into long strips)

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. Using 2 tablespoons of the duck fat, sauté onion and garlic on medium heat.
  3. Powder salt and all spices in mortar and pestle or spice grinder.
  4. Remove onion and garlic from heat and let cool.
  5. Grease an oven safe 1.5-quart loaf pan (approximately, 9”x 5”x 3”) with remaining 1 tablespoon of duck fat.
  6. Lay raw bacon strips slightly overlapping across the width of the pan.
  7. Add additional strips, cut in half, on the ends of the pan. All strips should be hanging well over edge.
  8. Toss the pork, rabbit, eggs, cognac, spices, and cooled sautéed onion in a bowl with any remaining bacon strips and combined well.
  9. Pour half of the pork mixture into a loaf pan lined with bacon strips and lay the strips of rabbit liver lengthwise on top of the mixture.
  10. Add remaining mixture and fold bacon strips over the loaf tightly.
  11. Cover loaf with tin foil or lid.
  12. Place in a roasting pan filled with enough boiling water to come halfway up the side of the loaf pan.
  13. Place all in the oven for approximately 2 hours, until a thermometer inserted in the middle of the loaf reads 160–165°F.
  14. Remove pâté from oven and place a skillet, weight, or canned good on top of pâté to press down until cool (about 2–3 hours).
  15. Remove weight and chill overnight, keeping the pâté covered with foil.
  16. To serve, un-mold pâté carefully by running a plastic or soft knife around edges to release. Wipe any jellied fat off pâté before serving. Any remaining portion can be wrapped well in foil and chilled.

Photography by
Noah Fecks & Paul Wagtouicz