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Jan 6, 2011 06:46 PM

Another pate question

So my first chicken liver/ground pork/bacon pate came out just the slightest bit pink. Odd thing is that the center is perfectly brown---the hints of pink are around the edges and the bottom, where ground meat mixture meets bacon, and where the thing should be most cooked. There are a couple splashes of port, but I wouldn't think enough to color just the edges.

Baked 1 lb. total of ground meat from refrigerator cold at 325 degrees and in a boiling water bain marie for 1 hour, 40 minutes. Also, as I haven't decided whether to invest in a terrine yet, this was cooked in a fairly thin metal loaf pan (which should have transferred heat even faster). Think I'm safe to eat it? Thanks in advance to any pate experts.

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  1. Yes, I think it is safe to eat, I get pink sometimes as you describe, no idea why, but I'm not dead yet!! You might want to invest short dollars in a Pyrex or ceramic loaf pan before you go big bucks on a terrine. I make a lot of pates and am very happy with Pyrex and ceramic loaf pans, although not so much with metal ones.

    4 Replies
    1. re: GretchenS

      Thanks, Gretchen!

      Yeah, I was thinking about the vessel below as sort of a compromise between a loaf pan and one of those $120 terrines. I'm intrigued by the press as much as anything: the foil-wrapped-cardboard and ceramic-butter-dish combo I MacGyvered today rocked a solid "10" on the ghetto scale.

      1. re: eight_inch_pestle

        I got a Le Creuset terrine off E-bay - cost about £20 I think.

        1. re: eight_inch_pestle

          Sadly the linked site seems to be down. A foil-wrapped brick works perfectly in a standard loaf pan. For my smaller loaf pans, a friend used his fancy table saw and mitre box (or whatever) to make me a perfectly fitted bevelled wood piece that I wrap in foil and then weight. It is one of those tiny luxuries that makes me happy whenever I use it!

          1. re: GretchenS

            Yeah, dunno why that link died. Anyhow, it's the Le Crueset 3-piece terrine, pate available at Williams-Sonoma and Sur La Table for 40$.

            I, too, used an undersized loaf pan---one of those dimpled French things. Otherwise I would have hunted down a brick. Thanks again!

      2. Sometimes salting pork before cooking will cure it slightly. Cured pork will remain pink when cooked (think ham). This is a possible cause for the slight pinkish.
        If you're worried, perhaps use an instant read thermometer and cook to specific temps rather than just cooking times.

        3 Replies
        1. re: porker

          If you buy well raised animals, pink is awesome :). Enjoy it fearlessly.

          1. re: oana

            Well, the pork was from pasture-raised foragers, and the chickies free-range, organic, and local. About to dive in, so if I'm still posting in the a.m. all went well.

            1. re: eight_inch_pestle

              Ughh, beautiful! :) Enjoy every bite :). Oana

        2. Definitely the bacon. Nitrites will turn meat pink, even if it's been cooked to dull grey death. Perfectly safe!

          2 Replies
            1. re: Whats_For_Dinner

              You're right, WFD, 'twas mos' def' the bacon. Wasn't clear from the ends of the pate, which were a wee bit sloppy. Once you cut into it though, a uniform, approximately 1/16th-inch ring of pink left no doubt as to the culprit. Many thanks.

            2. Pink is leached out nitrate from bacon

              1 Reply
              1. re: Brandonthebutcher

                Yup. I get the same result every time.
                As long as you've checked the internal temp. you're good to go.