Friday, October 15, 2010
Out of all the comfort foods in the world this is probably my favorite. Like most people in Quebec. "Pate chinois" is part of growing up, it's a taste of home. Every family has its own recipe, and ask anyone here they'll tell ya' "MY Mom makes the best pate chinois!". That's always debatable. Like spaghetti sauce. Mom's the best.
Now, the name of this dish translates into "chinese pate", but there's absoluetly nothing chinese about it. The origins are still debatable, but we're pretty sure it dates back to when they were building the railroads, there was a lot of chinese people working and they would eat what was available: ground meat, corn and potatoes. Quebequers also working along them ended up calling it "le pate des chinois"(the chinese' pate).
That's one theory. There are a few others but this is not a history lesson, if you wanna learn more go to wikipedia, there's a page about that.
Now on to the food.
I make this the way my mom makes it (of course,'cause it's the best...), and it's pretty much traditionnal. Some people put bell peppers in the meat, or peas, or I don't know what...no no no...Meat, corn and potatoes. That's it.
First peel and cook some potatoes and mashed them with butter, milk, salt and pepper.
Sautee some ground beef with onions, garlic, salt, pepper and cinnamon.(yes, cinnamon. that's the "secret" ingredient!!)
Then, in a big loaf pan or casserole dish, depending on how many people you're cooking for, lay down the meat. Then pour one or 2 cans of cream corn, along with corn kernels(canned or frozen, doesn't matter...). The amount here again depends on how much you're making. This one here would feed about 3-4 people, I used 1 can cream corn and 1 medium can of kernels. Peaches 'n cream corn kernls. Yum, already...
On top go the potatoes, nicely done with the fork, and paprika on top for color.
In the oven at 375F for 30-40 minutes, until you start to see some bubbling action happening.
Oh My. THAT'S what I'm talking about!
Now. As MUCH as I LOVE ketchup, I DO NOT put that stuff on here. A lot of people do but I'm a purist when it comes to pate chinois. As it is is how it is.