TERRINES are sometimes fiddly dishes to prepare and not something you will want to make every day.
However, a homemade terrine can become the centrepiece of a summer buffet when you have friends or family members to impress.
And a terrine makes a more substantial statement than a large piece of pate.
The line dividing pates and terrines is very thin.
Both are most commonly made with minced or very finely chopped meat, poultry or vegetables, highly seasoned and then cooked in a very slow oven.
Pates tend to have a smoother texture and, apart from fish and vegetable pates, are predominantly made of liver, served from the container in which they are cooked, and eaten spread on bread or toasts.
Terrines often, but not always, have a coarser texture than pates, with definite pieces.
They are usually pressed after cooking, then served sliced as a first course.
Terrines do not have to be made from meat.
Layered terrines of seafood or vegetables set with aspic are very attractive.
This pork-based terrine produces a wonderfully flavoursome liquid during the cooking and, as the terrine cools, that liquid turns to a jelly that ultimately holds the terrine together.
If you wish it to be less coarse, you can mince the pork belly.
Makes 20 slices.
PORK AND HERB TERRINE
- 1kg cold pork belly, finely chopped
- 1kg chicken liver, finely chopped
- 12 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 tbspns salt
- 1 tspn freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tspn dried thyme
- 1 tspn dried marjoram
- 1 tspn dried oregano
- 1 tspn dried tarragon
- 1/4 tspn freshly ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tspn freshly ground allspice
- 1/4 tspn freshly ground cloves
- 1/4 tspn freshly ground nutmeg
- 2/3 cup dry white wine
- 3 tbspns port
- 3 tbspns cognac (or good brandy)
- 6-8 large rashers bacon, preferably with some fat, trim the rind
PREHEAT the oven to 190C. Combine the pork belly, chicken liver, shallots, garlic, salt, pepper, thyme, marjoram, oregano, tarragon, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, nutmeg, wine, port and cognac in a large mixing bowl.
Use your hands to mix the ingredients thoroughly.
Line a 2.5-litre terrine dish with the bacon, draping it over the sides.
Pack the meat mixture into the terrine dish, pressing it flat with your fingers.
Fold the over-hanging bacon over the meat mixture to wrap completely.
Cover the terrine dish with a double layer of aluminium foil, and a lid if it has one.
Set the terrine in a deep baking dish and add enough boiling water to come two-thirds of the way up the sides of the terrine.
Set the dish in the oven and bake the terrine for 2 hours.
Remove the dish from the oven, pour off the water, and then return the terrine to the baking dish.
Remove the foil and allow the terrine to cool briefly, then cover with plastic wrap and place a piece of heavy cardboard, cut to fit, on top of the terrine.
Weight the terrine with a couple of heavy cans (some juices may spill over from the dish, but keep the remaining liquid in the terrine, as the juices will flavour it and keep it moist as it matures).
Refrigerate for 1 to 3 days, then slice and allow to come to room temperature before serving.