I've been having a lot of fun cooking for other people these last 2 weeks. I usually get to play with ingredients and recipes that I don't do at home. When there are only 2 and a half people eating most nights, I don't make intricate Terrines for example. If I did, I would eat them and the resulting inflation would not be a pretty sight.
I was asked to cater for 18 people last Saturday. "Typically French," I was told, so I am showing the result of one of those dishes here. I had the help of my friend Victoria, who wanted to know how to make it. Unfortunately, I didn't get photos of the first steps, on account of some of our recently bottled Cabernet being opened We only took some the last few steps, so you will have to believe me when I tell you it is easy peasy lemon squeezy to make. I also made a Red Onion Marmalade to serve with it, which apart from adding color to the presentation, is just downright delicious
2 large red onions sliced thin.
2 large oranges juiced and zested.
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup cider vinegar
1 cup red wine (or port if you are feeling extravagant)
Salt and coarse black pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and reduce until there is little liquid left in the pan..
Refrigerate until needed.
For the Terrine, I used 2lbs of boneless Pork ribs (lots of fat) and put them through the meat grinder on a coarse setting.
To this, I added a cup of Pistachios, a cup of chopped dried Apricots, a slug of Calvados and some fresh thyme leaves and 3 cloves of crushed garlic.
Mix well and set aside.
Line a loaf pan (or a ceramic terrine if you have one) with strips of bacon and then press half of the mixture in the bottom. Cut the Venison loin into strips like your fingers and lay them on top of the mixture lengthways (the Venison, not your fingers). I added them like tram lines so when the terrine is cut, the dark meat shows up in the center.
Add the remaining pork and press down firmly. Cover with more bacon and then wrap in foil and place the pan into a hot water bath, The water should come about half way up the pan.
Place in the middle of the oven at 350F for an hour.
Once removed from the oven, I place a wooden board that fits inside the pan, and add some weight to it (2 cans of Heinz baked Beans works just fine) so the Terrine gets compressed. I make these a day or two in advance.
When needed, heat the bottom of the pan under hot running water to release the terrine, and turn it out upside down onto your serving platter. Please don't scald your fingers doing this, I don't want to be sued. :)
I warm the marmalade a little before serving and then add a huge slice of fresh crusty bread.
You can vary the meat ingredients, as well as the flavorings. Just remember, you will need some fat in it if you want it to set and slice.