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The Terrine Topic


MatthewB
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OE isn't Gaelic, although apprarently 'Welsh' is. :wink:

No, no - didn't mean to suggest any such heresy - and yet it's hard for me to stomach the possibility that there's no connection at all. BTW it's quite possible that I am misremembering the origins of dighe - must hie me back to that there OED and retrace my steps. One lovely thing about it, though, I do unequivocally remember: it was the root not only of "dough" but also of the second syllable in "lady"; the making of bread being, apparently, the special province of the lady of the house.

Ah, this was a feeble joke. Welsh is thought to be A-S/OE for 'stranger/foreigner', apparently.

"Lady" is 'kneader of the dough' and "Lord" is 'distributor of bread'? Been while so I can't remember exactly. Have you made a castle pie as well as a Sea Pie and what are your sources for the sea pie, Amelia Simmon's?

Also, do you bother with the question of the quality of 16th, 17th, 18th, even 19th century flours compared to modern flours for making these pie/terrines? I imagine that the flour wouldn't be sieved that carefully for a pie crust (especially if it wasn't to be eaten) on the otherhand whole wheat flour doesn't store well and is a bitch to work with.

Edited by Adam Balic (log)
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trillium,

That terrine would be perfect for my 'oil for food' program.

I've found caul fat at Sheridan, but they don't call it that (and I can't remember what they did call it, but they had it).

I used some of my liver to make a sugo a la Bertolli, and it was less ooo-ey to slice it while frozen. I want a whole pig from Pierre this year...I wonder if you could get it before the butcher cuts it up. Hauling it over the mountains would be a challenge.

(we both got half pigs from the maker of Juniper Grove cheese..they're some kind of heirloom breed, were raised on cheese whey, and the pork is very tasty)

Jim

ps...also have a contact for goat now...will keep you posted

olive oil + salt

Real Good Food

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I used some of my liver to make a sugo a la Bertolli, and it was less ooo-ey to slice it while frozen. I want a whole pig from Pierre this year...I wonder if you could get it before the butcher cuts it up. Hauling it over the mountains would be a challenge.

Pierre says there are not butchers around here that have a vat to dip the hog so you can scrape the bristles and leave the skin on. However, there is some chef locally who buys a whole batch and drives them to a processor somewhere far (southern/eastern OR?) who can butcher that way. I think the chef is Italian or cooks Italian food. Anyway, Pierre thought maybe we could get in on the deal if we wanted a minimally processed (as in, you get the head and skin!) pig.

I think he was growing a couple of crosses, one of which had some Berkshire. The meat is amazingly buttery, isn't it?

Over the mountains is no big deal, compared to what we've contemplated. There is a guy in Indiana who grows the most wonderful hogs. They're pastured and the fat has a yellowish tinge from all the greens they eat. They taste a little closer to wild boar, without an extreme gamey taste. We really miss his stuff, and we've contemplated a hog road trip, or buying a seat for a pig on the plane, but we've decided it's too nutty even for us.

And a slice of this baby is yours for the asking...

regards,

trillium

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When do we get started making the pâtés?  I need guidance!

Maybe we could do a charcuterie cook along, like the baking thread? I'd be up for that, although summer is not a very traditional time to be making all of this, right?

What do I not like about cornichons? Merely that they are not quarter-sour kosher dills.

It's funny that you should mention that, I don't like the cornichons here in France (too sweet - they make some place in my jaw hurt!) and was a rather picky pickle picker in the States. I went to St. Petersburg (Russia) recently and found myself in pickle heaven. Everywhere. They were all exactly how I imagine the perfect pickle to be and I have yearned for them since, and the pickled chives, the pickled garlic, the pickled everything else. I could just eat pickle after pickle. I have a jar of polish dill pickles which I found at an imports shop that I pull out for my side of the table when we serve pâtés and terrines, they aren't exactly there, but closer.

This is very strange. The recipe I'm using is in no way sweet at all. They are so sour the partner can only eat them with rich terrines, the rest of the time they make him grimace. We did them by covering them in salt overnight, rinsing, and then dropping them into white wine vinegar that had been heated and poured over shallots, peppercorns and mustard seeds. Tarragon gets tucked in after it cools. Ok, I cheated and added a tiny bit of alum because I thought they could be crisper, but that's it. No sugar and no sweetness. Some of the recipes I looked at on the fr.cuisine Usenet group did have sugar and some didn't. I hate sweet pickles so I didn't use those. Of course, they didn't have that yeasty taste I associate with kosher dills, but they were not sweet!

regards,

trillium

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Excuse my ignorace, but I had no idea what a sea-pie was.

Hey, it's hardly common knowledge, even for this crowd!

I'm sorry, one of these days I will get around to doing a bio thread, and the first thing in it will be my standard disclaimer that I don't mean to be coy or obscure, but even before I came to the vast plaza that is eGullet I already had some difficulty keeping track of which things I had discussed with whom. (Not to mention that you never know who has read a thread, and I hate to get all redundant about me me me me me.)

So anyway (yo, anyone who's tired of hearing about this, skip this graf and I'll get back on track in the next, OK?), the blithely unexplained mention of sea-pie ties back into The Book What I Wrote with my mother, which is Lobscouse & Spotted Dog, based on the novels of Patrick O'Brian, in which many raised pies (and many of those, sea-pies) and suet puddings are consumed. So we put a fair bit of effort into researching the genre, and we ended up building an awful lot of these pies, both for recipe testing and for subsequent personal appearances. (Early on we started doing theme decorations on the lids, in tribute to the venues - I'll hunt up some of the cooler ones, and try to scan & post them soon. How often, after all, does one get to create a scale representation of a ship in pastry? :cool: )

I rather suspect the Quebec dish was an attempt to spell "sea-pie" in French and the similar pies are an attempt to make sense of the name in French, but could the name have developed the other way round from six-pâtes to sea-pie?

We wondered about that ourselves - and I'm not sure I can absolutely prove this, but I think it extremely unlikely.

For one thing, there's the logical meaning of the name, which is not (as most people - including us - initially assume) a pie of seafood or even necessarily a pie to be eaten at sea, but a pie constructed like a ship, each layer representing a deck. There's some marvelous silly dialogue about this in O'Brian, which we played to the hilt with our own sea-pies. Early on we took to making a different filling for each deck; this is not a defining characteristic, but it was fun and it made for a great-looking cross-section. :rolleyes:

For another, if cipaille had come first, it would almost have had to originate in France, rather than Canada, whereas the cipaille is consistently and exclusively Canadian. Sorry, I don't have dates at my fingertips, but IIRC the earliest English references to sea-pies do predate the French presence in Canada. One place you'll often encounter sea-pie references is in the context of whaling. Doesn't Melville mention them? I would say (or perhaps this is something I actually remember from the dim recesses of research!) that that suggests a natural convergence in the 18th century or so - northeast US, Newfoundland, etc. Might be interesting to investigate whether there's any Newfie tradition of sea-pie.

Lastly - has anyone looked up the etymology of cipaille? If I hadn't been too lazy and disorganized to trot upstairs and haul out my Littré again before starting this post, that might already have provided the definitive answer. (I will go up & look, shortly - promise.) If the word ain't there at all, as of 1873, then it's a done deal; if it is - well, we'll cross that bridge when we see what it says.

So BTW the Hannah Glasse reference is also a bit of a red herring. Actually, we did later base a recipe - loosely - on her Cheshire Pork Pie. That one's not in the book, because we did it to celebrate the publication of the 19th novel - by which time our book had already been out for a year or so. It's on the web, though; it is also the subject of this adventure.

[EDIT to correct link]

Edited by balmagowry (log)
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It's funny that you should mention that, I don't like the cornichons here in France (too sweet - they make some place in my jaw hurt!) and was a rather picky pickle picker in the States. I went to St. Petersburg (Russia) recently and found myself in pickle heaven. Everywhere. They were all exactly how I imagine the perfect pickle to be and I have yearned for them since, and the pickled chives, the pickled garlic, the pickled everything else. I could just eat pickle after pickle. I have a jar of polish dill pickles which I found at an imports shop that I pull out for my side of the table when we serve pâtés and terrines, they aren't exactly there, but closer.

Bleu, you give me hope. If they don't have to have that horrid sweetness to them, I may yet learn to love cornichons after all. Hmmmm. If I grow my own and pickle 'em the way I like 'em - who shall say me nay? :raz:

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Ah, this was a feeble joke. Welsh is thought to be A-S/OE for 'stranger/foreigner', apparently.

Oh dear - two nations divided by a common language, again. :sigh: :blush:

"Lady" is 'kneader of the dough' and "Lord" is 'distributor of bread'? Been while so I can't remember exactly.

Yus, something like that - I don't remember exactly either. The thrill for us was separate from the "Lady" aspect: it was the discovery that "digh" was the common source of "dough," "duff," "dog," "dick," and "dowdy." Imagine my excitement as a pudding etymologist! (Imagine my subsequent contempt for the recent PC ruling against the use of the name "Spotted Dick"!)

Have you made a castle pie as well as a Sea Pie and what are your sources for the sea pie, Amelia Simmon's?

Have not made a castle pie, as such - as for sea-pie sources, I do have Amelia Simmons, but hers was not the only one. Having once grasped the principle, there is a lot to be learned about sea-pies from a study of raised pies in general.

Also, do you bother with the question of the quality of 16th, 17th, 18th, even 19th century flours compared to modern flours for making these pie/terrines? I imagine that the flour wouldn't be sieved that carefully for a pie crust (especially if it wasn't to be eaten)  on the otherhand whole wheat flour doesn't store well and is a bitch to work with.

We didn't bother in the sense of trying to recreate it, because what we were doing was not so much re-enactment as adaptation. Our goal was to create recipes which would be feasible (if still a bit insane) for the modern cook, while adhering as faithfully as possible to the flavors and textures and principles of the dishes from the period. We did put some energy into studying the flour issue, but ultimately concluded that, though it might be possible to approximate the old flours, it would be inexact science at best, and it wouldn't exactly make the recipe less daunting for the home cook! Remember that for our purposes we didn't have to go back any farther than the early 19th century, so our mandate really didn't cover that kind of evolution. Remember also that we were writing for a somewhat peculiar audience; we hoped that culinary historians would be interested (as indeed they have been), but culinary historians are not always cooks - and certainly there was no guarantee that the teeming hordes of O'Brian fans would have any special ability in the kitchen. Without writing down to the least common denominator, we decided it was fair to gloss over a few of the fine points. As it was, anyone ambitious enough to cook from the book would have to go pretty far afield for the more esoteric ingredients - it didn't seem fair to saddle them with artisanal flour as well. (We also reasoned that anyone who knew enough to ask the question would probably have his own standards - and sources - where flour was concerned!)

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Armchair terrine-maker, that's me. Armchair charcuterie. Yes, I like that.

And it needn't stop there! Armchair pastry. Armchair baking. Armchair cheese-making. Armchair winemaking. Have we stumbled on something here, or what?

Hmmmm. Maybe for those disciplines which are complex enough to require a team or a staff we should be thinking on a larger scale.

Couch catering, anyone?

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Absolutely! Catering definitely requires a couch. Great idea for expanding our talents and experiences. Even four-poster-bed cassoulet, perhaps.

Hmmmm... kinky. :shock:

Meanwhile, as promised re sea-pie etymology: Littré has no entry for cipaille. Q.E.D., I think.

Hey, Adam - how was your 16th-century chicken pie?

Query: which d'you spose came first - the 500-year-old chicken or the 1000-year-old egg?

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Hey, Adam - how was your 16th-century chicken pie?

Query: which d'you spose came first - the 500-year-old chicken or the 1000-year-old egg?

It was so good that I went around to a friends place and made it again. Since I don't often repeat recipes, this is unusual.

The sauce was very good (juice form cooked chicken, verjuice and egg yolks whipped over heat until they thicken to the consistancy of cream), one wonders how it was ever replaced by flour thicken sauces, less stable maybe and more expensive to make?

So now my friends use verjuice and barberries in their cooking, due to my forcing of historical food on them. :smile:

Maybe it is different in the states, but in the UK 16th century chickens can be bought from any high street 16th century chicken store.

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Hey, Adam - how was your 16th-century chicken pie?

It was so good that I went around to a friends place and made it again. Since I don't often repeat recipes, this is unusual.

Recipe, please? or recipe source?

So now my friends use verjuice and barberries in their cooking, due to my forcing of historical food on them. :smile:

I love that. As the old saying goes, everything old is nouvelle again. :wacko:

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Well there are several 16th-17th century sources for very similar dishes, sometimes called a 'Chickin Pye', sometimes ' bake [ed] chickens in cawdle', all have in common the baking of chicken in a closed container with spices and sour fruit, fresh or dried, the broth/juices being mixed with egg yolks and verjuice to form a sauce (caudle). The exact method varies slightly, some of the earlier versions are sweetened slightly.

The version I mostly use is from:

16th century recipes

Which was originally owned by the wife of the archbishop of Canterbury.

Essentially I brown the chicken pieces with some leeks, add them to a pot with the leeks, barberries, ginger (powdered and candied in syrup), salt pepper and mace.

Cooked for an hour, juice removed, turned into the sauce, chicken plate up (on serving platter) covered in sauce, with decorations of puff pastry lozengers (to keep the pie theme). Sauce is a ivory colour, looks bice with the ruby barberries and a garnish of parsely.

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  • 2 months later...
I am bumping this thread up to se if anyone is familiar with "Professional Charcuterie" by John Kinsella & David Harvey.

No, are you giving it a recommendation?

I have a huge number of cookbooks but keep going back to the old standards for terrines, timbales, etc. I have been using recipes from Pellaprat's book (the '66 English translation) for many years.

It is time I bought something new along this line...

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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How many people who make their own terrines actually have a meat grinder? Or is the preference for a food processor from the freezer?

"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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How many people who make their own terrines actually have a meat grinder? Or is the preference for a food processor from the freezer?

I don't like the pasty texture of some of the meat when a food processor is used.

I have a meat grinder/sausage stuffer because I handle a lot of wild game and make sausage from the parts that are not used in roasts, etc. I often smoke the sausage but some is used fresh.

I have the Waring Pro MG 800. I got it to replace a Villaware that bit the dust.

I bought it at Abt electronics on line because they ship free. (and since I am in Calif. there is no tax) It comes with three cutting plates, fine, medium and coarse and two sizes of sausage feed tubes. It is easy to use and versatile enough that it satisfies my needs. For 169.00 it is a good deal. I looked at a light commercial grinder but it was almost 600. and I didn't feel I needed to spend that much. The Villaware was not as powerful, cost more and was constantly needing to be taken apart to clean out stuff that backed up.

Waring makes a cheaper one but it only has 150 watt motor. This one is 450.

When I make patés and terrines or timbales, forcemeat, I want some texture. I often grind part of the meat fine, part medium and some coarse, depending on the meat, either mix it or layer it and also process some in the Cuisinart to get the paste consistancy.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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A few things to toss into the discussion:

Another terrific classic book on this subject is Jane Grigson's "Charcuterie & French Pork Cookery."

In the restaurant where I learned to make a pork terrine, we actually kept all the metal parts of the meat grinder, the bowls, tools, etc., in the freezer overnight. That way, the mixed refrigerated terrine ingredients and everything touching it stayed ice-cold throughout the process. This keeps all the fat solidified, which is important to the final texture of the terrine.

The other important trick was passing the ground forcemeat through a "tamis" (drum sieve). This removed all traces of fiber and gristle, and resulted in a fantastically smooth terrine. We'd set the tamis over a parchment-covered sheet pan, then use a plastic scraper blade to force the meat through the screen. This is VERY time-consuming and muscle-wearying work, but if you're dedicated (or you have your own personal brigade of kitchen flunkies to do it for you), the results are worth it.

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The other important trick was passing the ground forcemeat through a "tamis" (drum sieve). This removed all traces of fiber and gristle, and resulted in a fantastically smooth terrine. We'd set the tamis over a parchment-covered sheet pan, then use a plastic scraper blade to force the meat through the screen. This is VERY time-consuming and muscle-wearying work, but if you're dedicated (or you have your own personal brigade of kitchen flunkies to do it for you), the results are worth it.

I don't have flunkies, but I do have a large French food mill with a very fine double screen which I put the forcemeat through when I want it extra smooth, rather like a mousse.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Just wanted to mention that I passed on "Professional Charcuterie" and went for the Time-Life series book. After looking at it, I'll probably pick up the Jane Grigson book and "Head To Tail" looks like it may be of help, too.

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How many people who make their own terrines actually have a meat grinder? Or is the preference for a food processor from the freezer?

Have a meat grinder for forcemeat pre-work, but it is the wrong type. According to a couple of books I have the correct type grinder has internal blabes that slice the meat just before it passes through the perforations. Mine works my more by brute force and this 'crushes' the meat and doesn't give as good a texture. Apparently.

Cooking in pastry can be a bitch, but if the pastry is 'water-proofed' (either due to the type of pastry used or from a layer of back fat) it shouldn't go soggy. A poultry liver pate cooked in a brioche shell, filled with sauternes gelly is a fine thing and well worth the effort.

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  • 4 months later...

Planning on trying my hand at some terrines pretty soon and I do have a question. Most recipes ask for Cognac or armagnac, can I sub a good quality Bourbon or Rum for this? all "authenticity" issues aside (and hopefully Julia is will not be looking when I do this), does the quantity of alcohol used need to be adjusted to account for the difference in taste between one liquor and another?

Thanks

Elie

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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Elie - use what ever alcohol you wish, but yes, the different flavours will effect the final product (I wouldn't use Pastis like Brandy for instance). If you are unsure of the final flavour profiles use add the alcohol at the end, bit by bit. Cook some of the terrine mixture (fry or poach), to test for the correct amount of seasoning (which you should do anyway).

Best of luck.

p.s. There is an Australian chef, Greg Malouf, who does some interesting recipes based on middle eastern (especially Lebanese). One of these is a pressed terrine of chicken livers and sumac. Let me know if you are interested in this sort of thing.

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