Le petit pâté de Pézenas

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Le petit pâté de Pézenas is a speciality of the town of Pézenas in the Hérault département of France.

The size and shape of a large cotton reel, these little pies are a golden brown, crispy pastry with a moist, sweet inside. They can be eaten as an hors d'oeuvre, with a salad or as a dessert. They are cooked in patisseries all over the town, but their origin is far from local. Tradition has it that Lord Clive brought the recipe from India and taught it to the pastry makers of Pézenas when he was staying at the Château de Larzac in 1768. More likely is that his servants were responsible.[1] The recipe is:

 200g lean roast mutton
 100g sheep suet
 75g lard
 250g flour
 5 soup spoons of brown and white sugar
 lemon peel
 salt and pepper

 1.  Mince the mutton, fat, sugar, lemon peel, salt and pepper.
 2.  Mix together the lard, flour, a pinch of salt and a little water.
 3.  Knead to a smooth dough, roll out and make small cylindrical pots.
 4.  Fill with the stuffing.
 5.  Leave to rest for 24 hours.
 6.  Cook in a hot oven for 35–40 minutes.
 7.  Serve warm.[1]

The same filling is also used in Tourte de Pézenas, made with flaky pastry.[1]

In the BBC TV programme MasterChef: The Professionals, broadcast on 27 November 2012, Michel Roux, Jr. demonstrated how to cook the dish and set it as the "classic recipe" for contestants to make.[2]


  1. ^ a b c Bonnefont, Marie Elise Pézenas: le temps d'une balade (Bonnefont, 2003) ISBN 2-9520940-0-4
  2. ^ MasterChef: The Professionals, episode 14, series 5

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