18 May 2013

Recipe: Chicken Liver & Pork Terrine

Following on from yesterday's Food-day past, I though I should post the recipe for the terrine — which I have to say is extremely yummy — I've eaten worse in good restaurants!

This is what I did, but like most recipes around here you can vary it almost any way you like.

Just one word of warning: as you see in the photo, these quantities make a huge amount; ours over-filled a large Le Creuset casserole; so you might want to make a smaller quantity.

Chicken Liver & Pork Terrine

2x 400g packs (organic) chicken livers
2x 400g packs good pork sausagemeat
thick slice of bacon (or 4-5 rashers of back bacon), cut into 5-10mm lardons
large red onion, finely chopped
large packet stuffing mix
6 large cloves garlic, crushed & chopped
2 peppers, finely chopped
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 large handfuls fresh herbs (parsley, tarragon, basil or whatever is to hand), chopped
1 tbsp garlic paste
3 tbsp tomato paste
wine glass liquor (armagnac, brandy, whisky or wine, as preferred)
10 juniper berries, crushed
Worcester sauce
olive oil
butter (for greasing the casserole)
salt & pepper

1. Well butter a large casserole or cake tin.
2. Tip the stuffing mix into a large mixing bowl and hydrate it with hot water as per instructions on the packet; but don't make it too stiff, slightly too wet is fine.
3. Sauté the chopped onion, pepper, garlic and juniper berries in a little olive oil until the onion is just going translucent. Add the chopped bacon and cook for a few more minutes until the bacon is almost cooked. Add this to the stuffing, juices and all.
4. In a little more olive oil sauté the chicken livers until partly cooked but still bloody in the middle. The idea is really only to make them a bit less yeuchy to deal with. Set them aside to cool for a few minutes.
5. While the chicken livers cool, add all remaining ingredients except the egg to the mixture and start mixing it together.
6. Finely chop the chicken livers on a plate (they will still be bloody); or if you're feeling really blood-thirsty blitz the livers in the food processor. Add the livers (with juices) to the mixture.
7. Add the beaten egg and mix everything together well.
8. Pour the mixture into the casserole and firm it down well.
9. Cover with a lid (or foil) and bake at about 160°C. (If the casserole is really full, stand it on a baking sheet.) To test if the terrine is cooked, insert a knife in the middle for a few seconds; if it is hot to touch when removed the terrine is cooked. I then gave mine another 10 minutes without the lid just to colour up the crust slightly. Overall mine took just shy of 2 hours.
10. Remove the casserole from the oven and allow it to cool for a little. Then press the terrine overnight as it cools (use a board or plate with a heavy jar as a weight); the more it is pressed the better.
11. Devour the following day(s) with good crusty bread and a glass of robust red wine.

There are an endless number of variations you can work here. Instead of (or as well as) the peppers use tomatoes, fennel, celery, aubergine, mushrooms. Use whatever herbs you fancy or have to hand; or replace the herbs with (wilted) spinach. Add (whole) kidney beans and maybe reduce the meat content. Use breadcrumbs instead of stuffing mix. It might even work with the addition of some (unsweetened) apple or apricot. Try it!

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