This has been the first year when I’ve actually had a bit of free time to spend in the kitchen in the lead up to Christmas (it normally consists of *fairly* stressed,very late nights), and I have very much made the most of it, I have a multitude of recipes to write up but think that this is the first I should share with you, as it has the Wow factor you want during the holidays, is seasonal and just amazing.
What I find brilliant about terrines is the fact that they are essentially pretty cheap to make, Okay so for this one you need a glug of brandy but hopefully you’ll still have a little left over from Christmas, and really they come together very easily.
This took about twenty minutes to come together, followed by an hour and fifteen in the oven. Then you cool it and keep it in the fridge until you want it, I cooked ours two days ahead, it will keep in the fridge for three days happily. It was incredible with a little of the red cabbage we always have for Christmas, some gherkins/cornichons, and some good fresh crusty bread or toast. It really suits pickles and chutneys, use your favourite! It comes from Good Food Magazine although I did a little tweaking! They say it feeds ten as a starter, we had it along with our leftovers on Boxing Day instead of a joint of beef or ham, and I’d say this would make a great lunch for eight to ten too. I think it may be too rich to give as a large portion for a main course.
The article this comes from says you can make and freeze this ahead. To do this you would cool it completely then wrap well (in or out of the tin) with cling film, then foil. Use within six weeks. Defrost thoroughly for 24 hours in the fridge.
You will need a 900g loaf tin, and a roasting dish that will take the tin with some water around it.
12-18 rashers of smoked streaky bacon or pancetta
3 cloves garlic
25g / 1oz butter
800g / 1lb 12 oz minced pork
50g / 2oz pistachio nuts
3 tbsp fresh thyme leaves (or 1 tbsp dried)
1 tsp salt
50 g / 2oz dried cranberries
3 tablespoons brandy
200g / 7oz fresh chicken livers, trimmed and rinsed
Pre-heat your oven to 180degC / gas mark 4 / 350degF
- Line your loaf tin with rashers of bacon, slightly overlap and have the edges hang over the side. Make sure you have got it right into the corners, or you may tear it when you’re packing the filling in.
- Finely slice the garlic and fry in the butter briefly (no more than one minute), you want to soften not brown it. Let it cool whilst you get the rest of the filling ingredients together.
- Roughly chop the cranberries and pistachio nuts.
- In a big mixing bowl put the mince, thyme, salt, brandy, egg, nuts, cranberries, and the cooled garlic and butter. Season well with freshly ground pepper. All you will have left is the chicken livers. Give everything a good mix, squishing with your hands is the easiest way.
- Start filling your lined tin, initially you want to fill half way. Then place a layer of the chicken livers. This produces a lovely centre almost like pate and looks showy when sliced. However, should you want to chop the liver up quite small and mix it into the filling then you can.
Once you have the livers in cover and fill the rest of the tin with the filling. I had a little left over(which then went into my turkey stuffing mix!). Bring the hanging bacon over the filling. If you don’t have enough overhanging bacon use a couple more rashers on the top, but make sure you have encased all the filling. Place the tin into the roasting dish with some water around it.
- The recipe stated to just put the tin into the oven, but I have made terrines before and always use a bath / bain marie. For a start they produce a lot of liquid whilst cooking that would go all over the bottom of your oven if there wasn’t something around the tin to catch it! The other factor is that I don’t want the sides to go brown, and cooking in water sort of steams and poaches.
- Pop it in the oven for one hour fifteen minutes, check and turn the tin after 45 if needed.
- Once out of the oven strain as much of the liquid the terrine produced as you can. Now you want to compact the terrine whilst it cools. You can do this with a couple of tins, I placed a small wooden board on top of mine followed by the tins. Cover with some foil first though!
The bacon on mine once cooked wasn’t actually wrapping the top of the terrine as it shrank(I didn’t use the most expensive bacon if I’m being honest and it must have had a high water content), but I didn’t worry about this as you serve it upside down!
Once it’s cool keep it in the fridge (or wrap and freeze) until you want it!