Pork terrine

11 September 2006
Pork terrine

(Cost per portion using rare-breed pork, 60p)


(one-litre, serves 12)

250g fillet of pork
300g pork shoulder
About 500g pork belly
125g back fat or lardo
125g pigs' liver, arteries and gristle removed
1 rounded tbs seasoning mixture
150ml dry Riesling
15-20g salt, according to taste
200g back fat, lardo or bacon for lining the terrine

12 pruneaux d'Agen in Armagnac
3 bay leaves
Fresh thyme


If you are going to make this without cutting corners, allow three days:

Day 1. Prepare the mixture and leave overnight to mature.

Day 2. Cook the mixture, cool, and weight overnight.

Day 3. Turn out and serve.

Day 1. Preparing the meats.

Work with a very sharp knife that cuts rather than mashes the meat. Hand-chopping the meat is time-consuming but justified. Allow about 45 minutes' preparation time for one terrine and two to two-and-a-half hours for four.

Cut the fillet into 1cm cubes.

Carefully trim the shoulder, removing any sinews but not the fat. Cut it into strips and, a few strips at a time, dice it fine.

Remove the rind and any bones from the belly. It should weigh about 250g. Cut it into thin rashers. A few slices at a time, dice it to the same size as the shoulder.

Chop the fat into 5mm cubes. Mince or process the liver.

Put the meats, seasoning and wine in a bowl. Mix by hand. Take a few minutes to do this, because the various meats must be evenly combined. Refrigerate the mixture overnight.

Day 2.

Take the mixture from the fridge and allow to recover for about an hour. It needn't be at kitchen temperature, but the chill should be taken off. Mix in the salt.

By hand or on a slicing machine, slice strips of lardo to 1mm thickness. Line the terrine with it, letting it overlap the sides.

Half-fill the terrine, pressing it well down against the edge and into the corners. Lay a row of prunes down the middle, if you are using them. Put more filling on either side of the prunes and press down. Cover the terrine with the rest of the mixture.

Lay the strips of lardo over the meat and level the surface. Put the bay leaves and thyme on top. Cover the terrine with a sheet of foil and prick.

Take the terrine out of the water or drain it from the bain-marie. Leave the terrine to cool for two hours. Place a light weight, not more than 1kg, on top of the foil to press the terrine, and leave it overnight to set.

Day 3.

To serve, there are two schools of thought. One believes that the terrine should be presented in its container; but itÁ¢Â€Â™s much simpler and less messy to turn it out. Use a thin-bladed, pointed knife. Slide it down into the angle at the bottom of the terrine and run it around the edges (see picture). Dip the terrine into hot water for about five seconds. Invert it on to a work surface. It should slip out easily.

When making several terrines as a batch, turn them out only as you require them.

Terrines will keep beyond a week under refrigerated conditions (1-3Á‚°C), so itÁ¢Â€Â™s advisable to make a batch for one week at a time. Chez Bruce prepares four to eight terrines (48-96 portions). An advantage of cooking in bulk is that the seasoning can be more precise.

Hand-chopping the meat gives greater control
Cut the fat into 5mm cubes
Line a terrine with lardo
The prunes are optional
Layer lardo over topof the meat and level the surface
Put bay and thyme on top
Prick the foil covering
Bake in a bain-marie
Use a thin-bladed knife
Test for Á¢Â€ÂœdonenessÁ¢Â€Â
Press and leave to set

Photo Á‚© Sam Bailey

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