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Coarse country terrine


I love terrines and pâtés. My favourite is - or should I say, was – now that Prince Charles has officially banned foie gras from all royal menus and “instructed chefs at all of his royal residences to stop serving the dish.” Sainsburys and other fine food outlets have followed HRM's example and are no longer stocking this delicacy. I suppose this is a correct and proper decision because of the unfortunate way the animal liver has to be artificially fattened by force-feeding. But, like most forbidden fruit – in this case food - I will always be tempted to err.
 

Terrines and pâtés, along  with a glass or so of medium dry Madeira or a nutty Sherry are one of my ideal comfort foods for these cold winter days and they are easier to prepare than is generally thought. There is  little difference between a terrine and a pâté. A terrine being a relatively deep porcelain or glazed earthenware dish in which the terrine or pâté are prepared and both can be made of fish, shellfish, poultry, ground meat or vegetables. Apart from foie gras (which, in the future, I am to sadly deny myself),  I prefer preparing the coarse country dishes made from goose, duck or pork liver, to which I add a generous soupcon of Armagnac, cognac or calvados.

As both terrines and pâté can be made a day or two in advance they are also make an excellent and savoury starter to any meal. Serve with a sweet chutney or glazed red onions and slices of warm toast.

Coarse country terrine

Ingredients

1 thick slice of ham, about 100g
2tbs brandy
1 onion, finely chopped
2-3 sprigs fresh thyme
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
100g chicken livers
10g butter
500g minced belly pork
250g chopped veal or chicken or both
¼ tsp ground allspice
pinch nutmeg
pinch ground cloves
2 eggs, beaten
 

Pteperation

Cut ham into long strips about 1cm wide. Put into a bowl with the brandy and salt and pepper and marinade for about 1 hour. Meanwhile mix everything else on the list well together in a large bowl, and then add the brandy marinade. At this stage you can test for seasoning by frying a spoonful of the mixture to cook it before tasting, and adjust if necessary. Using a terrine or loaf tin, put in half the meat mixture, then arrange the ham strips lengthways in a layer on top, then add the remaining mixture. Pat down firmly and cover the terrine with its lid, or use foil to cover a loaf tin. Set in a bain marie, a roasting tin filled with boiling water to half way up the side of the terrine or loaf tin. Bake at 180 C for 1¼ to 1½ hours. Remove from the water bath and leave to cool, then remove cover and set a weight on top. Chill for 24 hours in the fridge.
 

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