Picnic Rule #1: Don’t Forget The Meat

Since 1975, Les Trois Petits Cochons has been producing award-winning, all natural pâté and charcuterie. This makes me really upset; Why? Because I haven’t tried anything until now.

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For years, I could have been spreading decadent duck liver mousse on toasted baguettes and paired it with crisp white wine from a small region in France I probably can’t pronounce. To be fair, I was born six years after Les Trois Petits Cochons’ existence and probably didn’t achieve a mature palate for mousse, pâté or terrine until my late 20’s. Now, 35 years old, I’ve tried several cuts of meat, cheese and pâtés from all over the world and Les Trois Petits Cochons is a serious contender.

I was lucky enough to try a selection of their products and there were honestly so many highlights but with plenty of help from colleagues, I was able to boil it down to four items that were instant standouts. Not exactly sure how I was able to do that since this was definitely a Sophie’s Choice type of situation.

Nevertheless, here are four products that should definitely be in your picnic basket the next time you visit wine country. In our case, we went against the grain and wanted to see how each would pair with beer but not just any beer; we paired each item with several sour and wild ales from the new facility, Bruery Terreux in Southern California. The beers being made at Bruery Terreux are so complex and exude such fine character that it is easy to compliment most of the items from Les Trois Petits Cochons’ catalogue.

 

Pâté de Campagne

country brand pork pâté

This classic pâté is made of ground pork, onions, garlic and spices. We paired this with Bruery Terreux’s Ruebarb which is an oak-aged sour blonde ale with red raspberries and rhubarb. The herbal and floral notes within the beer worked so well with the meatiness of this  pâté.

Wild Boar Pâté

wild boar, pork & chicken liver pâté with chestnuts and raisins

Wild boar, pork and chicken, oh my! For the faint of heart, don’t worry, this wild boar pâté is not gamey whatsoever, in fact, it has a beautiful sweet finish that comes from the raisins. With that in mind, we decided to pair this with a beer that had a berry component that would play well with that flavor.

We felt the perfect beer from Bruery Terreux would be Tart of Darkness which is a sour stout. This unique stout has notes of tart plums, roasted coffee, vanilla and oak. The pairing was heavenly.
Mousse Impériale

pork & chicken liver mousse with truffles

This deliciously light mousse is so pleasing to the palate. The truffle does not overwhelm but compliments most flavors. We paired this wonderful treat with Bruery Terreux’s experimental beer, Frucht: Passion Fruit which obviously has passion fruit added with a hint of tartness and escalates the tropical notes within the mousse.

Mousse du Périgord

chicken liver & turkey liver mousse with black truffles

By now, you might have guessed that I really love truffles and this mousse just confirms it. As you can read in the description, this is pork-free. It wouldn’t normally be my first choice but this version is made so well, you would never tell the difference. I thought the black truffles would over power the mild fowl but it does the complete opposite.

With a complex mousse, we paired this with a complex beer, Humulus Rueuze which is piled with heaps of Hallertau Blanc hops to achieve an aromatic blend of citrus and funky notes that go so well together with this mousse.
les trois petits cochons

You can find all of these delicious products and more at www.3pigs.com

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