Anyone that knows me, knows that I favor the classics in food , fashion, and life. Pates and Terrines have always fascinated me as they are classic, complex, yet easy dishes that conjure up grandeur, elegance and rusticity at the same time. A terrine is a time honored way to utilize offal and ground meats, usually pork based and bake into a rich flavored loaf. You can get fancy and layered with them or just really basic. I love them for Holidays, entertaining, and picnics. I had the heart and liver of the lamb we purchased and in true nose to tail fashion, wanted to use them, as opposed to discarding them. I knew they would go into a lovely simplistic terrine.
The key to a good Terrine is fat. You need to line your terrine pan generously with bacon, or caul fat. I buy my caul fat at Paulina Market in Chicago which is sold frozen in 1 lb packs. I use it for more than terrines as its great for wrapping and searing fish and other meats or vegetables you don’t want to dry out. Pork is almost always used as a main component in a meat terrine. For this terrine I used simply ground lamb, the heart, liver, pork fat, caul, garlic and spices and herbs. You must allow the flavors to ripen and meld for a few days. after cooking and weighing down. I love it on crusty bread with grainy mustard and cornichons.
The following is not a recipe but a method with photos. As always I like to change it up as I evolve as a cook.
- Puree your offal. Before I’ve frozen the meat and liver and have ground it with my meats ( it’s easier), but as they were thawed I used my extraction blender to puree it simply with several cloves of garlic.
2) In a mixing bowl mix your offal puree, ground lamb ( some pork if you have it) and a generous amount of pork lard. I judged amounts by the size of terrine loaf. Add your spices of choice, salt and pepper. I added some Cumin and rosemary, along with the garlic. I also will add Bay leaves in the process for more aromatics.
3) Line your Terrine with caul fat. In hindsight I would add my bay leave at the bottom of loaf pan, as when you flip it, they will be visible. This time I didn’t, but the flavor permeated through.
4) Fill your Terrine
5) Wrap tightly and close in the ends and folds.
6) Cover and Bake in a water bath slowly for approximately 2 hrs. The water bath is important to catch the fat and aide in the steaming and cooking of the terrine.
7) When done take kitchen items and weigh down while cooling. I used y cast iron pan and some cans and jars. Be sure its balances and wont fall over. Books work well too. Once cool keep weighted in the refrigerator and allow the flavors to mature for 2-3 days before serving. To unmold place pan in hot water to unmold gently. Allow to reach room temp before serving.
8) Enjoy with pickled vegetables, mustard, cornichons, etc.