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The Terrine Topic


MatthewB
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Oh, I MUST get the day going (homeschoolers here -- "Kids, Mom is too busy thinking about terrines to direct your education. I'm sure your future college professors will understand..."), but I want to talk about this more:

Weighting -- I immediately began weighting yesterday's baked terrine after removing it from the oven, instead of waiting 30 minutes or so as many recipes direct. I also used 2 layers of cardboard covered with foil. Mine is somewhat smaller than the top dimensions of my terrine, but I wonder if it should have been a smidge smaller than I made it. (Pause while I went to get it out of fridge, remove 3 qts of applesauce -- the weights -- admire it, and take photos of it. Now I've just pressed some plastic wrap on top and returned it to the fridge. I'll have to wait for my daughter to walk me through posting the photos I've taken since I posted the last ones yesterday -- actually, SHE posted them for me!) Anyway, I put the terrine in the fridge after it had half-cooled (poured off the juices first), but I kept the weights on it until just now -- 24 hours. It sounds like I didn't need to bother weighting it so long, but it's not like it was any trouble.

What should I do now? Should I unmold it and wrap the whole thing tightly in plastic wrap like a present? Or, should I leave it in the terrine with plastic pressed on top and not unmold it until I'm ready to slice and arrange it before going to the party?

Presentation: I plan to bake French bread to serve with this. I have a big rectangular platter, so I'll place overlapping slices of terrine on it and add cornichons, a little pile of oil-cured olives, and a pot of Dijon mustard. I have kale to put under/around the terrine slices. Other suggestions are welcome...

~ Lori in PA

My blog: http://inmykitcheninmylife.blogspot.com/

My egullet blog: http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=89647&hl=

"Cooking is not a chore, it is a joy."

- Julia Child

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...

What should I do now?  Should I unmold it and wrap the whole thing tightly in plastic wrap like a present?  Or, should I leave it in the terrine with plastic pressed on top and not unmold it until I'm ready to slice and arrange it before going to the party?

...

Leave it in the terrine until you're ready to slice and arrange your platter. Some nice fresh greens around the edges, some of the herbs you used in the terrine... I love your terrine dishes, by the way. :smile:

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gallery_31100_2205_302631.jpg

Here is yesterday's terrine, weighted.

gallery_31100_2205_342856.jpg

Here is the terrine after being weighted 24 hours in the fridge.

Worries: the barding fat looks kinda icky to me. I've eaten several terrine/pate servings, so I'm trusting the slices will not scream "FAT" quite so much.

That grey color isn't so appealing, either. I hope the inside looks nicer.

~ Lori in PA

My blog: http://inmykitcheninmylife.blogspot.com/

My egullet blog: http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=89647&hl=

"Cooking is not a chore, it is a joy."

- Julia Child

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Lori, thanks for your narration of the terrine process. I don't know about your kids, but I'm certainly finding this all very educational!

When my finished terrine was finally revealed after all the weighting, etc., I thought it looked pretty unappetizing. But once cut, the inside looked great.

I used caul fat. It was icky. I'm going to try fatback next time. I think the caul might have given the terrine a bit of a strange, internal-cavity type flavor- not in a good way. Plus, it was a little disturbing to eat it- do you peel it off first, or just go for it? I went for it at first, got a little grossed out, then peeled it off, which ruined the presentation and further grossed me out.

But I really had no trouble devouring the terrine itself.

Did you do anything with the drained-off juice?

It seemed a shame to throw it away, but I couldn't think of anything to do with it.

Did you test the internal temperature?

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Back from the home education trenches.

One of the things I'm really curious about is the role of caul or barding fat in the making of the modern terrine. I mean, I'm not going to be saving this for months downcellar. OTOH, I ate a serving of country pate at a restaurant recently and thought the presentation was pretty sad -- it looked like a slice of cold meatloaf laying there on its little plate -- a rim of fat would have set if off nicely, I think.

I've saved the drained juices in the fridge. I have a chicken carcass that's almost picked over which I'll probably simmer in the next few days for a simple little stock -- I imagine those pork juices will find their way into that for a soup supper.

Yes, I tested the internal temperature with an instant read thermometer. The terrine I cooked immediately after assembly yesterday morning took 1:20 to reach 140 degrees F (oven: 375 degrees F) and the chilled terrine I cooked this morning took 1:35-ish to reach the same temp.

(I want to taste one!)

~ Lori in PA

My blog: http://inmykitcheninmylife.blogspot.com/

My egullet blog: http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=89647&hl=

"Cooking is not a chore, it is a joy."

- Julia Child

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Boy you guys sure are scientific about it - I just cooked it till it started smelling done! :laugh:

Excellent note, Lori, about the changes in cooking time for the terrine that you have chilled overnight. It will be interesting to note the differences in texture.

So with the terrine, we generally cook it at a rather low temp a rather long while. Since they contain a mix of meats, often pork, poultry, and other meats, we should be careful to cook it through. The Terrine des deux lapins, above, cooked for an hour 15 mins and then sat in the oven for an additional 15 minutes. Besides smelling done, I also went on the color of the juices (clear). It will continue to cook once out of the oven. Lori cooked hers to 140F/about 65C. For those who have prepared terrines and used thermometers, what temps were in your recipes?

Lori, it looks very good. Once you slice it you'll see, it will be beautiful. But do wait as long as you can. The longer you wait, the better it tastes. :smile:

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gallery_31100_2205_72513.jpg

The terrine unmolded easily after I dipped it in hot water in the sink for about 5 seconds. Slicing was also simpler than I'd feared.

gallery_31100_2205_55795.jpg

...nekid (as they say in the south) on the serving platter

gallery_31100_2205_178754.jpg

not-so-great closeup of the layers

gallery_31100_2205_300463.jpg

The finished platter -- I served homemade sliced French bread with it.

I'll add my impressions later -- gotta run.

~ Lori in PA

My blog: http://inmykitcheninmylife.blogspot.com/

My egullet blog: http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=89647&hl=

"Cooking is not a chore, it is a joy."

- Julia Child

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Making these terrines has been a fun and satisfying project, something I've been wanting to explore for some time. Most of my worries turned out to be groundless: the salt level was fine, the texture was fine, the presentation was fine. That is both the good and the bad of this experience -- it was fine. I mean, I enjoyed it very much, but at the end of the day, it wasn't an ethereal experience. In fact, someone at the party who was unfamiliar with terrines asked me to describe it. I said, "Do you like meatloaf?"

"Yes."

"Well, it's like a meatloaf made with pork instead of beef and served with mustard instead of ketchup."

Don't get me wrong -- I'm glad to have made it and there'll probably be more terrines to come in my life. But, once again I've realized something that is important for me to keep in mind. It's easy for me to get seduced by a food from another culture and get so caught up in it as a Project that I forget that it is something thousands of everyday people from that time and/or place made as a matter of course from the ingredients at hand. The fact that I live in a different time and/or place may make it challenging for me to procure those ingredients and utensils that are so pedestrian to them, so that makes the dish seem exotic to me. I spend so much time researching and finding "authentic" ingredients that the dish begins to take on more significance than it ever demanded or deserves. By the time I make it, it isn't possible for the end result to live up to my expectations.

I hope my evaluation doesn't sound depressing or sad, because I don't feel that way. I like terrines and I'm glad to know I don't have to pay a bunch of money for a slice or two at a restaurant -- I can easily put together a very nice one at home. I especially enjoyed sharing the experience here on egullet -- it makes it fun to know there are other people following my progress and cheering me on. Thanks for sharing this with me.

~ Lori in PA

My blog: http://inmykitcheninmylife.blogspot.com/

My egullet blog: http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=89647&hl=

"Cooking is not a chore, it is a joy."

- Julia Child

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Lori, I don't think you over or under sold it. Cooking is a means of travel, of exploration, of anthropology, of sensuality, of seduction, of faith, of comfort and of politics. Not everyone can afford to get on a plane. Some of us, however, can go into our kitchens. I think you did a great job.

Edited by MobyP (log)

"Gimme a pig's foot, and a bottle of beer..." Bessie Smith

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"111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321" Bruce Frigard 'Winesonoma' - RIP

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Wow Moby, that looks like a fine terrine!  Now where did you get this idea to run the meat through a tamis?  Was it worth your obvious hardship, will you do this again, or are we better with a rough marinated chop?  Give me more tasting notes!

Thanks lucy. It was worth it for the texture - very smoothe and luscious. The problem was that I hadn't sharpened the blade sufficiently on my food processor, so it made more work than it should have done. Next time I'll spend more time on equipment maintenance, and less time on the tamis.

The tamis idea itself came from a terrific book on terrines that I own whch covers everything from the simplest chicken liver pate, to a stuffed Boar's head gallantine. There's also a terrific picture of an assembled (rather than cooked) rabbit terrine in the Girardet book (I think you can google print the image online) with a mixture of baby leeks, rabbit, foie, and bound with a dense gelee. Lucy, you'd be able to do this one because come spring time the french leeks are so extraordinary. Unfortunately their English cousins are not so fine.

Edited by MobyP (log)

"Gimme a pig's foot, and a bottle of beer..." Bessie Smith

Flickr Food

"111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321" Bruce Frigard 'Winesonoma' - RIP

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Don't get me wrong -- I'm glad to have made it and there'll probably be more terrines to come in my life.  But, once again I've realized something that is important for me to keep in mind.  It's easy for me to get seduced by a food from another culture and get so caught up in it as a Project that I forget that it is something thousands of everyday people from that time and/or place made as a matter of course from the ingredients at hand.  The fact that I live in a different time and/or place may make it challenging for me to procure those ingredients and utensils that are so pedestrian to them, so that makes the dish seem exotic to me.  I spend so much time researching and finding "authentic" ingredients that the dish begins to take on more significance than it ever demanded or deserves.  By the time I make it, it isn't possible for the end result to live up to my expectations.

You have quite eloquently expressed the feelings I get upon tasting a new dish I've spent three or more days thinking about/ preparing. It can take so much effort to get the "right" ingredients or tools together. After the labor investment, I always expect to be blown away by a new taste sensation, but the end result tends to be rather anticlimactic.

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Hi All-

I've made my first terrine and I have questions.

1. Are livers interchangeable? The recipe called for pigs liver, and I was able to find it, could I have substituted chicken or beef?

2. I overshot the temp of 160. The recipe said up to 2 hours or an internal temp of 160 based on an instant read thermometer. when I checked 75% of the way through the timing, the reading was 172. Will this just be an overdone pate? or is there a way to salvage it and make it moist again?

3. I weighted the terrine as indicated. Oil and aspic flowed out initially. Can I put this back in to try to keep it moist?

4. Lastly, I ordered Caul fat from the butcher. He asked to see the recipe (Which I had brought with me). What he ordered did not look like any of the pictures of caul fat that I have seen. Yes, there is a membrane and yes There was snowy white fat attached, but this was thick. There were places where the fat was an inch thick in spots. I peeled the fat back to even out the depth It did not look like the pics I've seen of caul fat. Can someone help me with what to ask for in the future in order to assure I get the lacy membrane that the pics show?.

Thanks to all for any help.

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First, get a new butcher. He obviously has no idea what caul fat is and why should he need to see your recipe?

Caul fat is thin and lacy and has to handled carefully, certainly not an inch thick in places. Dietrick's Country Market has great caul fat but they don't take credit cards. You have to send them a check of some kind.

All liver is not liver for terrines. Pork liver has a higher fat content than chicken liver or veal liver. Chicken liver must be used with schmaltz(rendered chicken fat). Veal liver needs fat of some kind. Foie Gras has enough fat.

Higher temps and longer cooking just render the fat out of your terrine. I don't know how to put it back in. Let it float on top and it will harden as you cool the terrine and privide a seal.

Try your terrine, your palate wil tell you whether it is good or not. -Dick

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Caul fat is thin and lacy and has to handled carefully, certainly not an inch thick in places.

Actually, caul fat is sold in various forms. I once bought a 4lb chunk of caul - frozen - from a chinese grocery, which was shaped like an american football. You had to soak the caul in a bucket (you shoulod soak your caul anyway) before it unravelled into sheets of lacy fat. Then you cut it to the size you want etc.

"Gimme a pig's foot, and a bottle of beer..." Bessie Smith

Flickr Food

"111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321" Bruce Frigard 'Winesonoma' - RIP

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I unmolded and took some slices from the second terrine yesterday for our Christmas celebration here. We'd had our large meal mid-day and had "tea" for supper, which was anglo-french in character. We had slices of terrine with fresh homemade bread and accompaniments, a very nice cheese plate, fruit, crackers, plus scones, clotted cream, and jam. I thought there was probably a greater depth of flavor with this terrine, I'm sure due to it's week of aging.

~ Lori in PA

My blog: http://inmykitcheninmylife.blogspot.com/

My egullet blog: http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=89647&hl=

"Cooking is not a chore, it is a joy."

- Julia Child

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  • 4 weeks later...

I'm thinking of doing a terrine (or 2, because there will be about 18-20 guests) for my husbands birthday dinner. I've never made one before and after looking at several recipes, and reading through this entire thread, I'm thinking of doing this one which seems straightforward and not too complicated. I might substitute another meat for the turkey, and pistachios for the walnuts. But anyway, my question is about the pork that's used.

"cubetti pancetta or the same quantity of bacon pieces" I know pancetta, I'm assuming cubetti pancetta is some kind of standard british supermarket item and I could just use a piece and cube it myself. If she says 'bacon' that would be unsmoked, right?

"boneless pork streaky rashers, rinds removed". Is this fresh pork? smoked, cured? :unsure:

edited for clarification

Edited by Chufi (log)
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"cubetti pancetta or the same quantity of bacon pieces"

This is confusing to me. Pancetta is not smoked but most bacon is. That said, I'm guessing the finished product will be delicious, regardless of which you use.

"boneless pork streaky rashers, rinds removed". Is this fresh pork? smoked, cured?  :unsure:

From the description, this sounds like slices of fresh pork belly (neither cured nor smoked) with the skin removed but again, I'm not certain.

I wish I could be of more help :sad:

=R=

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Chufi: Always enjoy your posts. I have been fooling with terrines for a few years and I find terrines very forgiving. I think I am right that they were developed to use up whatever was left over in the kitchen. Don't be afraid to experiment. You can test your mix for flavoring by cooking up a small sample. You get an idea of the final result. Sort of like making sausage.

Hope this helps.

The Philip Mahl Community teaching kitchen is now open. Check it out. "Philip Mahl Memorial Kitchen" on Facebook. Website coming soon.

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I agree with Jmahl. The biggest thing I learned during my terrine adventure is that winging it was fine. I WOULD NOT assemble the terrine without first sauteeing a small portion of the meat mixture, letting it cool, and tasting it for seasoning, though. That's got to be the only ironclad rule. Good luck!

~ Lori in PA

My blog: http://inmykitcheninmylife.blogspot.com/

My egullet blog: http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=89647&hl=

"Cooking is not a chore, it is a joy."

- Julia Child

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  • 3 weeks later...

We are having guests from out of town, they're coming for the birth of their first grandchild (my sister-in-law's baby), and I don't know what the schedule is going to be, so I have been thinking of things I can serve at the last minute. They are going to be in town I think for at least a few days.

This morning I passed a very fashionable traiteur (deli) and they had a pretty lentil terrine with chicken breast in the center. They used brown lentils, not puy lentils, and I think they could have done better to choose a more firm lentil. Since I just picked up a sack of those cute little black beluga lentils I thought I might do a terrine with those. I think using the beluga lentils will give a much better effect than the brown ones, because like the puy they remain in tact very well, and they have a nice sheen and color.

Since much of the pleasure of the terrine is in how nice it looks at service, I'm stuck on this idea. I have been looking for recipes and can't find any, so I think what I'll do is prepare the lentils with aromatics like bay and thyme, an onion in the cooking water. Then I'll poach and season the chicken breast, and prepare a gelatine with some white stock which I have clarified.

Some of the things I've been thinking about, please chime in if you have any tips to offer:

1) Do I weigh this down?

2) When using the gelatine, should I make a more concentrated mixture? My instinct is to make the gelatine a bit more concentrated than usual. Any tips?

3) Three ideas for the lentil terrine are chicken (cheap), tuna (visual theme with the 'beluga' lentils), or ham hock(classic lentil pairing)? I'm going to do chicken but I want to do tuna some time if this looks pretty.

4) Ideas for a salad and presentation? Mini individual or sliced terrine? What else can I do to maximize the effect?

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Since I just picked up a sack of those cute little black beluga lentils I thought I might do a terrine with those.  I think using the beluga lentils will give a much better effect than the brown ones, because like the puy they remain in tact very well, and they have a nice sheen and color. 

First of all, I'm already looking forward to your photos.

I've only made simple mushroom terrines with aspic but a cookbook I have by Jean-Christophe Novelli outlines two terrines similar to what you thinking about: one with the components found in cassoulet, and the other with ham hocks and lentils.

1)  Do I weigh this down?   

The answer appears to be yes, though tapping the terrine pan to remove bubbles seems to be equally important. The cassoulet terrine specifically mentions weights and refrigeration for at least 24 hours.

2)  When using the gelatine, should I make a more concentrated mixture?  My instinct is to make the gelatine a bit more concentrated than usual. Any tips? 

Cassoulet recipe says 1 cup stock with 4 gelatin leaves. I believe that your instinct is correct though.

4)  Ideas for a salad and presentation?  Mini individual or sliced terrine?  What else can I do to maximize the effect?

My vote goes to sliced - terrine cross-sections are always nicer to look at than a loaf. Perhaps something vibrantly colored in the terrine itself?

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Thank you! I will give it a good swat on the counter, good point.

One question, does your chef weigh down the lentil terrine?

I have the lentils on and much of their pretty dark color is escaping into the cooking water! I am thinking that a dark colored but translucent medium for the gelatine will work better than a clarified white stock and highlight the color of the lentils which is still pretty. I am wondering if I add acid to the gelatine liquid that this will do anything to the gelatine effect? i.e. a dark aged old vinegar.

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My chef? Novelli's a chef who wrote a book with really nice-looking food p0rn laden with generally impractical recipes. He had a little mini-restaurant empire going for a while (apparently collapsed) and I read somewhere on eGullet that he's restarted with one.

Anyhoo, the lentil terrine is not exactly a terrine in the pan sense of the word. The hocks and lentils are spread onto cabbage leaves and the everything is tightly roll packaged into a sausage with cling film and foil. There is no gelatin used in that one either; rather the cooking fluids from the hocks is further reduced and used as the binding gelatin.

Personally I vote for the translucent look rather than the white stock. There's just something nicer about being able to see hints of shapes too.

I don't know about adding the vinegar though; I've never done it but acid doesn't do wonders for protein complexes and I suspect that you may have problems getting it to set.

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