Excerpted from HEART OF THE ARTICHOKE by David Tanis (Artisan Books). Copyright 2010. Christopher Hirsheimer photographer.
Rustic terrines and pâtés have been out of fashion for so long that I think the whole art form is due for re-examination.
Photo by Christopher Hirsheimer
This terrine is solid, the kind small purveyors bring to market in Paris. Most country-style terrines are rustic looking and meat-loaf-colored. For a rosier terrine, add a small amount of curing salt.
Make sure to have the butcher chop the pork on the largest holes of his meat grinder. Or, you can hand-chop the meat, cutting it into 1/8-inch dice with a big sharp knife or a cleaver. Transfer the chopped meat to a large bowl.
- 2 pounds boneless pork shoulder
- 1/2 pound duck or chicken livers
- 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 4 allspice berries
- 4 whole cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 4 garlic cloves
- Pinch of cayenne
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 1 tablespoon Cognac or other brandy
- Scant 1/2 teaspoon curing salt (optional)
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped thyme
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped sage
- Pickled Onions (recipe follows)
- Dijon mustard
Trim the livers. Put them in a blender or a food processor and puree. Pour over the chopped pork in the bowl. Add 2 teaspoons salt and mix well with your hands. Refrigerate the meat until it's quite cold.
In a mortar or spice grinder, powder the peppercorns, allspice, cloves, and coriander seeds.
Pound the garlic in a mortar with a little salt. Stir in the powdered spices, cayenne, white wine, Cognac, curing salt, if using, thyme, and sage.
Knead the spice mixture into the meat in the bowl with your hands. Cover and refrigerate to let the flavors meld for at least a couple of hours, or as long as overnight. It will smell delicious already.
Make a small skinny patty of the meat mixture and fry it to taste the seasoning. It should be highly seasoned. This is your last chance to make adjustments!
When you're ready to bake the terrine, preheat the oven to 375°F. Put the meat mixture in an 8-inch loaf pan or an earthenware baking dish. Cover the terrine tightly with foil.
Put the pan on a baking sheet, and then into the oven. Bake for 45 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for another 15 minutes, or until the terrine is nicely browned. The meat will look like it's floating in liquid, and that's a good thing. These juices will eventually surround the terrine with a tasty jelly. Check the temperature of the terrine with an instant-read thermometer. The center of the loaf should read 150°F. When it's done, carefully remove the terrine from the oven, making sure not to spill the hot juices, and let it cool to room temperature.
Wrap the terrine well with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least a day or two. For this kind of rustic páté, I don't find it necessary to weight the terrine as is classically done.
To serve the terrine, run a knife around the edges and slice it in the pan, or invert it onto a cutting board and slice it at the table. Serve with the pickled onions, cornichons, and Dijon mustard.
Variation: Another Way To Bake A Terrine
Perhaps you don't have a loaf pan or terrine. You can form the meat into a long sausage shape, about 3 inches in diameter by 12 inches. Wrap the meat in pastry (you can use the dough in the recipe on pages 102-3).
Put the sausage on a baking sheet and bake for about 45 minutes at 375°F. Store the sausage in the refrigerator for a day or two before slicing.
To serve, cut it into thick slices. Its looks are reminiscent of a fat French garlic sausage.