Making terrines is something of a lost art in the UK and we are venturing into this area quite tentatively. I have to say most of our experience has been in the indoor kitchen and not in the BGE. As I have found a very inexpensive small Le Creuset oval casserole, on eBay, that just fitted the mini BGE – I was going to see what opportunities it opens up when traveling with the mini BGE. – Was a terrine a possibility?
The plan was to use our standard home recipe – but clearly modified for the products around us. The basis of our standard recipe is minced pork shoulder, diced bacon and sausage meat – with various additions. British sausage meat is a combination of minced pork and rusk or dried bread.
Pork sausages in Tuscany are just that – pure pork – so the idea was to add some bread crumbs to some tuscan sausages, and then add some diced pancetta and as we had some in the fridge, a couple of chicken livers. Most of the other ingredients remain the same or similar and can be seen in the ingredient list. The seasoning was changed to suit the locality and try and capture the mixture of wild thyme, oregano, and rosemary that is on the air here wherever you walk! The absence of juniper berries from the store cupboard called for a little invention – but then as they are the flavouring agent for gin what could be better! The method was simplicity itself. The onions were lightly sautéd to soften, then left to cool. All the ingredients except for the pancetta that we were going to use to wrap the terrine were placed in a large bowl, mixed throughly and put in the fridge to keep cool (my fear at this point was that I had added too much liquid and the mix was a bit sloppy). The Pancetta was then used to line the terrine dish allowing each slice to overlap a little and to hang over the edge of the terrine dish. So I think we had encountered a second problem, the pancetta was very thin and left us wondering if it would hold together when tipping out the terrine ……………….. The terrine mixture was them packed into the terrine – pushing well into the corners. When half full, the strips of veal cut from the joint we were going to cook tomorrow were laid across the surface of the half filled terrine and them more pork mixture added and the remaining pancetta placed on the top. By this time the terrine was slightly ‘domed’ above the terrine dish – exactly what we wanted! A double thickness foil was greased and used to loosely cover the terrine before the lid was replaced
So just one further problem to overcome. The terrine would not fit into the Mini BGE with the platesetter and the grill in place as the handles hit the top. Time for a little invention! The fire ring was removed and the platesetter put feet down on the fire basket. Then the improvised ‘Bain Marie,’ our small Lodge cast iron frying pan with some ‘scrunched’ aluminium foil, filled with water and then the terrine dish was sat directly in this – not elegant but hopefully successful! The temperature was held at around 120C – slightly cooler than we would normally and cooked for around 2 hrs until the internal temperature was a little above 65C. A couple of times during the cook excess liquid was poured out of the terrine (it makes a great stock!). Once the internal temperature was above 65C and the liquid ran clear the terrine was taken out and allowed to cool for 15 mins. During this time a cardboard lid was cut to shape – slightly smaller than the terrine itself and covered in tin foil. The final fluids were then poured out of the terrine and the cardboard lid put in place and weighted down with a saucer and a very large piece of cheese from the fridge. The terrine was left to cool in the fridge overnight.
The following morning the terrine was turned out of the terrine dish and one of our concerns was clearly realised in that the pancetta covering the sides had been too thin to form a real ‘skin’ for the terrine and had been largely incorporated into it – but no matter, it was holding together, though it did hint at being crumbly rather than a solid terrine – but to test that, we would need to wait till lunch time! And the outcome? Yes it was crumbly and needed to be cut carefully (and generously) to stop it falling apart – but the taste …………….!!!
We wanted to capture the perfume of the hillside around where we are staying on Monte Amiata in Tuscany. This is an area famed for its Chestnuts and Olives in particular – but for a visitor from the UK the overriding feature is the aroma of fresh herbs, oregano, thyme and rosemary that almost assaults you as you walk through the countryside.
This is probably the nearest we have ever come to capturing the essence of a place in terms of tastes and smells in a dish of food! We served it with some freshly sliced tomatoes and cold white beans cooked with olive oil and sage. Was there any advantage in cooking it on the EGG? Absolutely not – but now we know we can! And yes, next time we will use less liquid so that it holds together a little easier but other than that – this is a dish that captures the essence of the ‘good life’
…………………………….. Buon appetito!
A pork Terrine capturing the tastes and aromas of the Tuscan hillside
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 Onion, finely chopped
- 3 Tuscan Sausages
- Small handful of chopped Pancetta
- 4 chicken livers
- 2 slices of dried bread turned into breadcrumbs
- 2 tbsp red wine (use a little less next time)
- 2 tbsp of aromatic Gin (use a little less next time) - in absence of Juniper berries!
- Splash of fresh orange juice (use a little less next time)
- Freshly chopped Thyme
- Freshly chopped Rosemary
- Freshly chopped Oregano
- Some fennel seeds or fennel fronds
- ½ tsp fine sea salt
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 2 small garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 50g pistachios, roughly chopped
- Pack of sliced pancetta
- Step 1 Heat the oil in a pan and soften the chopped onion for around 10 mins – cool
- Step 2 Mix with all the other ingredients except the strips of pancetta. (if you are unsure fry a little piece in a pan, then taste and adjust the seasoning).
- Step 3 With some form of indirect set up preheat the EGG (or Oven) to 140C (in this recipe we set to 120C and cooked for longer).
- Step 4 Line the terrine with the pancetta overlapping each slice as you go. Leave the ends hanging over the sides. Fill with the mixture, making sure it gets into the corners (it will dome slightly above the terrine).
- Step 5 Bring the pancetta up to cover the filling. Cover the dish with lightly oiled foil and add the lid if available. Place the terrine in some form of Bain Marie to make sure the terrine cooks gently and evenly. Bake for around 2 hrs at 120C, drain any excess juices and return to the oven for a further 15 minutes. The terrine should be firm, the juices should run clear when pierced with a skewer and a thermometer probe inserted into the centre should reach at least 65°C.
- Step 6 Remove from the terrine and cool for 15 minutes. Tip out any more liquid, cover with cling film, then place a piece of aluminium foil covered cardboard on top (cut so it fits the inside of the terrine) and rest some weight on top of this. Allow to cool overnight in the fridge
- Step 7 Slice thickly and serve with tomatoes and cold tuscan beans.