Terrines are awesome. There is something about off cuts of meat being packed into a loaf mould and cooked slowly to produce a delicious cold cut of taste and texture. They can be as rustic or as fancy as you like. Meat, veg or fish can be all made into a terrine. I even once made a three flavour jelly terrine. Brilliant it was, even if I do say so myself.
Terrines are the one thing that I like to judge a restaurant by. If the terrine is good, then you can bet the rest of the meal will be pretty nice also. Even though they are simple to make, care and attention has to go into them. Just a bit of love is needed.
I learnt to do this terrine at my stint in Café Boheme, and I’ve been doing it ever since. It is probably the easiest terrines to make ever. It doesn’t involve buying an expensive mould (even though I have one), and then carefully lining it with thinly sliced bacon and then gently building the terrine and cooking it at a slow temp for an age in the oven.
Nope, this one all you need to start is a big pot and a ham hock. This is the one thing that can be difficult to get. Well buying hocks are not difficult. The difficult thing is buying good ones. I’ve brought them from butchers all over London, and some from within Borough Market too. Most have been mediocre to say the least. But the best ones I’ve found have been from the Ginger Pig, and at £3.80p each. Bonus.
So what you need for the terrine is as follows:
1 Large Ham Hock
2 Carrots, chopped into thirds
2 Sticks of Celery, chopped into thirds
1 Onion, cut in half and studded with cloves
Maybe a leek
Few fresh bay leaves
Fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped
Ground black pepper
As I said it is very easy to make.
Pop the hock in a large pot. Cover with water. Bring to a simmer. Drain of this water and rinse the hock. You do this to get rid of some of the fat. It will give you a clearer stock later on.
Pop the hock back into pot and again cover with water. Bring to a simmer. Skim the scum off that forms on the top. You will need to do this from time to time.
Add all the other ingredients. I am a traditionalist when it comes to studding my onions. No idea why I do it, but it looks good.
Now turn down the heat and let it bubble away for a few hours. You will know when it is done as the meat will be falling off the bone.
Once it has cooked. Take the hock out of the stock. Cut off the fat and skin and pop them back into the pot. Pump up the heat and let it reduce a little more.
Gently shred the meat in a bowl. You may have to let it cool a little, but not too much.
Mix thoroughly with finely chopped parsley, and season to taste. Remember to over season it, as you’ll be eating it cold and therefore any seasoning will be subdued by the coldness of the meat.
Now the minor hard part. You will need to cut off about 3 or 4 sheets of clingfilm about 12 inches long. Lay these on top of each other and flatten out. Add some of the now fatty stock to the meat mixture, not too much, but just enough to moisten it. This will help the mixture set in the fridge.
Now lay out the mixture on top of the clingfilm at the edge closest to you, but about 2 inches in. Stretch it out a little. Not too much as you do not want a thin sausage. Now the tricky part. This I sometimes have to do twice. Roll up into a sausage. Turning the ends in opposite direction to tighten the mixture. If there is air inside, prick it a few times with a sharp knife, and then roll it again in another two sheets of clingfilm. This expels the air and will help keep its shape in the fridge. Again roll very very tight. Tie the ends, either with string, or as I do with some Ikea bag clips.
Pop in fridge for 24 hours and leave it to set.
It will keep for about 5 days in total. But once I open mine its gone in a day.
The stock you can use for soups, curries etc. It can be a bit fatty, but you can de-fat your stock. You will need to pour it into a bowl through a sieve. Let this liquid cool down and then freeze it. Once frozen place it in a sieve lined with muslin cloth and leave to defrost in the fridge for about 24 hours. What you will be left with is a perfectly golden clear fat free flavoursome stock. My freezer is super small so I can only do a little at a time. But it’s a great thing to use. Best consommé I’ve ever had.
Serve the terrine cut into portions with small onions, cornichons, chutney and some good toasted bread. Eat and enjoy.