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The Terrine Topic


MatthewB
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Riffing off this thread . . .

Looks like I'll be working on charcuterie this fall & winter.

As far as vessels, I have the Le Creuset terrine (cast-iron w/ 1 3/8 quart volume).

Can I adjust all recipes to fit this size? Or should I have other terrine sizes? If I should have some other sizes, which sizes? Which brand, etc? (I don't want to go broke purchasing various terrines.)

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I don't have one of these, but I took a look and it should be appropriate for most pates/terrines. You should also be able to do en croute without the lid. Ideally you might want at least two of different widths, to be able to serve different size slices (depending on your intended presentation), but if this is for your own education, it should handle a wide variety.

"If the divine creator has taken pains to give us delicious and exquisite things to eat, the least we can do is prepare them well and serve them with ceremony."

~ Fernand Point

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I don't have one of these, but I took a look and it should be appropriate for most pates/terrines.  You should also be able to do en croute without the lid.  Ideally you might want at least two of different widths, to be able to serve different size slices (depending on your intended presentation), but if this is for your own education, it should handle a wide variety.

I was thinking of a wider one also.

Any ideas on what I should pick up?

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I have always used more simple molds like these from Bridge kitchenware, which are cheaper than the Le Creuset and come apart (similar to a springform pan) for easier unmolding (this is speaking as a home chef... others may have better product suggestions for heavy use.)

"If the divine creator has taken pains to give us delicious and exquisite things to eat, the least we can do is prepare them well and serve them with ceremony."

~ Fernand Point

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I just use regular loaf pans -- aluminum or pyrex, or a smaller steel one that seems to lose more of its tin lining every time. In other words, the same pans I use for plain old meatloaf. :rolleyes: But then I've never done one en croute. The breakaway molds are indeed better for that; but personally I don't like en croute: always soggy pastry no matter what you do, and not much value added.

Since I've, um, never followed a recipe :blink: so I don't know how you'd make adaptations for different size molds. BTW: are you sure your LeC is that small? Is it the really narrow kind?

Try to get a hold of the "Terrines, Pates & Galantines" volume of the Time-Life The Good Cook series from 1982. If you work your way through that one, you will be a real master. It's got tons of technique pictures, and recipes from all over the world.

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As far as vessels, I have the Le Creuset terrine (cast-iron w/ 1 3/8 quart volume).

I have a variety of porcelin terrines that I use on a regular basis. The cast-iron one you mention makes too many portions for my use. A small 350-gram terrine such as shown here or here can produce 10 to 12 portions. I prefer rectangular terrines, but oval ones are nice for some preparations, too.

Bouland

a.k.a. Peter Hertzmann

à la carte

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Try to get a hold of the "Terrines, Pates & Galantines" volume of the Time-Life The Good Cook series from 1982. If you work your way through that one, you will be a real master. It's got tons of technique pictures, and recipes from all over the world.

YES! This book is brilliant and definitely instructive. I recently made a three layer vegetable terrine inspired by one of the illustrated recipes in this book in the bottom part of my William-Sonoma "fat-free" draining loaf pan set and it turned out rather well. I adapted a recipe (originally for a mushroom pate) from a low fat cookbook I'm fond of and just divided the basic batter into three and whirled it in the food processor with spinach, blanched carrots and mushrooms and then layered it into the pan. It came out tri-colored and tasty, although the waxed paper the recipe suggested lining the pan with and folding over the top of the batter stuck a little bit. :angry: But it was worth experimenting with and I'd highly recommend getting yourself a copy of this book at a used bookstore or off of eBay.

Katie M. Loeb
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Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

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I would definitely advise the breakaway pans if you're doing anything en croute. On the other hand, you'll want one that's one piece and doesn't leak otherwise. If you're unmolding a terrine it really doesn't matter if it's enamelled cast iron, porcelain or some metal loaf pan although it may affect the cooking time. If you're serving it out of the terrine, it should be a terrine (clay or porcelain oven ware) or a Creuset just for the esthetic value.

The material and the cross section of the pan will affect the timing. Otherwise I see no reason why you can't adjust the rest of the recipe, or at least the measurements of the ingredients to suit the size of your terrine. Use a meat thermometer to check that the pork is cooked to the right degree. A terrine or Creuset pan will hold the heat and continue cooking a bit after you remove it from the oven.

Robert Buxbaum

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Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

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Well now I'm all fired up to try and make pate after reading through this thread this morning. Just got back from evil old Williams Sonoma with 4 little non-stick mini loaf pans, and now I'm off to the butcher. Right now all I have is Julia's basic recipe from The Way but I'll start hunting some of these other books down. Looks like I am officially palying hooky from work at this point! :cool:

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MatthewB-- How much did the Le Creuset terrine set you back if you don't mind me asking? Approx $75 or so? Higher? Lower?

I picked up mine during a sale. The standard everyday price is $100. If you're in the market, you might consider trying Le Creuset outlets.

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Well this thread inspired me to give this a go yesterday. I knocked off work early and headed for Williams Sonoma. I'm a 100% commission wine salesperson, so August is NO time to be wandering in WS. With great discipline, I marched past the Creuset and Auberge and went for the 4 pack of no stick 6x4x3 mini loaf pans. Took them home, read through the Pate section of Julia's The Way, Joy, Olney's SFF, and headed for the store. There I picked up 2/3 pound free range chicken livers, 3/4 pound of ground veal, some bacon, and scampered back home, checking this thread again to see if anyone trashed the mini loaf idea before I got started. I cut the fatty ends off the bacon and rendered them. The I sauteed a Sugar Daddy onion in oil and butter. Then I Queezed the livers, mixed them in with the veal, 1 egg, the onion, chopped bacon, some pistachios, the rendered fat, S&P, ground thyme, a good healthy splash of armagnac and another good splash of port. Lastly, a handful of breadcrumbs. Mixmixmix, buttered 2 loaves, filled them (the second one only got 3/4 full since I ran out of stuff). Put the meat-heavy bacon strips that had sacrificed some of their fat earlier on top to seal, covered in foil then baked at 350 for about an hour in a water-filled pan. Holy Moly, thank you all for getting me off my butt. It tastes great; I think the high percentage of liver and the port made it nice and rich. And the size is perfect for 2-3 people to scarf on without having to put away leftovers.

Edited by pleiades (log)
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  • 2 weeks later...

Last week I picked up these Chantal mini-loaf pans that are 2 1/2 cup in capacity. I think these & the Le Creuset terrine will get me going.

Today I received my copy of "Terrines, Pates, & Galantines." (Thanks so much for this recommendation.)

I'm thinking of doing Chicken Liver Parfait (Parfait aux Foies de Volailles) this weekend (page 100 of "TPG").

This sound like a decent recipe with which to begin?

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Or, to put it another way, what do you want to learn from this exercise?

Seems like a very easy run-through of a terrine.

Also, I need to find a source for fatback, etc. I doubt I'll have time to do that this week. So, I'm thinking of waiting until next week for a pork terrine.

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  • 5 months later...

I'm planning on making a veal terrine for an upcoming dinner, but am afraid that I don't own a terrine. That, and some some inconsistencies between recipes I've seen gives me the following questions, which I would be much obliged if you could answer:

1) Often it is specified to tightly seal the terrine, using a flour paste. However I also saw some terrines on the internet featuring steam holes. For the non-terrine owner, does this mean I should search for a tight seal with whatever dish I use, or is a less than perfect seal preferable?

2) Would a metal loaf pan or pyrex dish be acceptable substitutes to a pottery or cast-iron terrine? I believe from my search of the forums that the answer is yes, but I wanted to confirm

3) The recipe I had settled on did not specify weighting the terrine down after cooking, however many do. Should I weight with a couple cans for a few hours after cooking?

4) Finally, this recipe calls for a well buttered terrine. Others call for a well buttered terrine lined with cling-wrap. What would be the best approach?

Any assistance on this is greatly appreciated.

Simon

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Some suggestions for success:

1) Definitely use cling wrap, but do 5-6 layers, buttered, yes, but not aggressively.

2) I would weight it down. Make a press by cutting out a piece of cardboard just under the size of your mold. Whatever type of mold you use, pyrex, whatever.

3) Think of your terrine as an emulsion, like a flan, a little more protein laden? yes, but it is an emulsion of proteins so you don't want to overcook it, because it will turn out yucky either way, nor do you want it to cook to quickly. Think low and slow.

4) In a waterbath in a 250 degree oven, use a digital thermometer and take it to 150 degrees. Allow it to rest to room temperature. Place a few holes in the plastic wrap, weigh it down with the press and weights, and place in the refrigerator to cool completely, preferably overnight. Its best to let the terrine hang out for a day. Then its really tasty with some cornichon, and baguette.

Patrick Sheerin

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You might find that, unless your recipe is a gurt big 'un, a loaf pan makes a pretty flat terrine.

Suggestion: cut a couple of pieces of corrugated cardboard to fit your loaf pan, turning it into a "V"-shaped receptacle. Carefully line your cardboard with foil (you don't want wrinkles), and then line the foil with plastic film wrap as detailed above. You may find that the plastic wrap "slicks down" more smoothly if you mist the foil lightly with water or spray it with Pam beforehand.

The smaller-volume terrine(s) will cook more quickly (and cool more quickly, which is a food-safety consideration), and will be more visually appealing when turned out and sliced.

Oh...and if you'll be weighting the terrine (it gives a better texture and mouthfeel, so I'd recommend it) you'd want to have dry beans or baking weights or gravel or something to provide a base for the cardboard pieces to rest on.

“Who loves a garden, loves a greenhouse too.” - William Cowper, The Task, Book Three

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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Thank you both for your responses! My terrine inexprerience is truly showing itself though, as I am now left with even more questions:

ducphat: do you butter the pan, and then instert cling; or insert cling-wrap and butter that? Also, in your comment about poking wholes in the wrap before weighting, are you suggesting that one should leave 'tails' of plastic wrap after lining the pan so that you can fold it over the top of the terrine?

chromedome: Apologies, in my mind I inteneded a mini loaf pan, which should make the terrine less flat. With that in mind, can I ignore the dry beans/gravel/weights business, in that the purpose of those was to support the cardboard mold while weighting? Just to clear things up, my impression of weighting is to remove the (mini) loaf pan from the oven, cool, (pierce cling wrap which I have folded over the top?), place a piece of cardboard that just fits the mold, and place weights on that cardboard. Is that correct?

Just a note, I am not using whole liver as many terrines seem to, but ground veal. I'm not sure if the liver would even make sense in this context, but I thought I had best mention it.

Also, do either of you know the answer to the question about sealing vs. no seal on the 'terrine' (mini-loaf pan)?

Thank you both again for your invaluable tips.

Simon

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do you butter the pan, and then instert cling; or insert cling-wrap and butter that?

I would lightly butter the cling wrap. When you have several layers of wrap it becomes a little more stiff and easier to work with than just one layer. You might want to experiment with other types of fats as your lubricant. What about porcini oil, or and herb infused oil may lend a nice touch. Not knocking butter, but giving you some more options.

Just to clear things up, my impression of weighting is to remove the (mini) loaf pan from the oven, cool, (pierce cling wrap which I have folded over the top?), place a piece of cardboard that just fits the mold, and place weights on that cardboard

This is what I am referring to in terms of poking holes. It will make weighting the terrine down a lot easier.

With weighting the terrine down, this is not a sealed terrine. That involves other stuff. That we could get into if you wanted to. But try first with making the terrine this way first, it is a little bit easier.

Try using some liver, even duck or chicken livers, it adds a depth of flavor to the terrine that would be missing by omitting it.

Patrick Sheerin

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