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Duck, Pork and Pistachio Terrine - Tue, 8th Sep 2009
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Terrine is coming back into fashion at the moment, and it's easy to make. Basically just a cold meat loaf, the secret is in the almightly mountain of meat - it's hard to make just a little, so don't. Make a few and share them with friends, or freeze for an on-demand supply.


1.0kg Pork belly, skin removed 0.5kg Veal shoulder, trimmed
0.5kg hard pork back fat 2 duck breast fillets, coarsely diced
300gm chicken livers, trimmed 0.5 kg Pork shoulder
3 tbsp brandy or cognac 25ml dry vermouth
2 tsp quatre epices* 15gm salt per kg of meat (about 2 tsp for these quantities)
200gm shelled pistachio nuts 2 sprigs thyme, leaves only.
5 juniper berries, crushed 2 cloves garlic, finely diced
500gm streaky bacon 1 bunch fresh flat leaf parsely, chopped

Mix the livers with half the brandy and leave in the fridge for a few hours.

Roughly chop all the other meats except the duck and bacon, then mix with the remaining brandy, vermouth, thyme, garlic, juniper berries, salt and pepper. Pass through the coarse blade of a mincer. Add the livers with their marinade, chopped duck breast, quatre epices, pistachios, parsely and mix thoroughly to combine. It should be quite fatty and stick to your hands. To check the salt level, microwave a small tsp of the mixture to cook it, then taste. Remember that the bacon will add a little salt.

Line a terrine tin (I use a standard loaf tin) with baking paper, and then with bacon, allowing the ends to hang over the edges. Fill with the terrine mix and pack down to remove trapped air. Wrap the hanging bacon back over the top of the terrine. Tap the tin on the bench to help remove any air pockets. Bake in a bain-marie for 2 hours at 150 C. Use a meat thermometer to ensure that the center of the terrine reaches 70 C.

Remove from the oven and weight down with a heavy book or a clean housebrick wrapped in a teatowel until cool. This is the most important step, which helps the terrine maintain shape when it is remove from the tin. When cool, refridgerate overnight. If the terrine is going to be kept for longer than a few days, seal the top with liquid, but cool, duck fat. Can also be frozen, if required. Serve with crusty bread, or fresh baked gougere.

* Quatre Epices is a traditional spice mix, composed of 7 parts all spice, 1 part clove, 1 part cinnamon, 1 part nutmeg, ground and mixed.

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