Intensely-flavoured handmade pâté from Pâté Moi
“We sell only one product, and we handmake every single batch and hand-pack every single pot fresh for the Market each week,” says Flip Dunning, owner of Pâté Moi, purveyor of Borough’s famous mushroom pâté. “It’s made to a family recipe, which my brother came up with when he was eight years old—you couldn’t make it up!—and other than a few seasoning tweaks, I’ve stayed true to his original recipe. Even after 10 years, I try every batch myself, and I still love it.”
While the exact recipe remains a closely held secret, one thing’s for sure—it requires a lot of mushrooms. “We use about 80kg per batch, so the flavour is absolutely top-notch—really earthy and intensely mushroomy,” Flip continues.
The mushrooms—a mixture of portobello, button and wild mushrooms, depending on the season—come from an organic farm in Suffolk. “We always use fresh mushrooms, never dried, and cook them very, very slowly. It’s a real labour of love.”
Vegetarians and carnivores alike
Flip’s mushroom pate has a huge fan-base, of vegetarians and carnivores alike—in part, she suspects, due to its versatility. “You can do loads with it. Have it on crackers, with crudités, in a venison or beef wellington—use it as a duxelle, perhaps with some more wild mushrooms chopped up in it.
“Try it stuffed in chicken thighs wrapped with Ginger Pig pancetta, that’s delicious. Or, for every day, it’s gorgeous just stirred into pasta or risotto,” she reels off. “For me, though, you really can’t beat just having it slathered on a slice of really good toasted sourdough, with a cup of tea.”
Justin Saunders, head chef at Borough Plates, is inclined to agree. “If I could, I would use it instead of butter, on just about everything. It’s stunning,” he enthuses. At Borough Plates, he is currently putting it to use in the most inventive of ways.
A little garden
“I start with a generous spread of the mushroom pâté, a blob of cauliflower puree, then top it with thinly sliced raw chestnut mushrooms, some romanesco florets, pickled shimeji mushrooms, a few springs of land cress and red veined sorrel, followed by a dusting of dried porcini powder. It’s like creating a little garden,” he explains.
“When I first tried the pâté I just loved it, so built up the dish around it. It’s the real star of the show. It’s a fantastic product.”