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Pork Terrine with Pancetta and Pistachios

I make this terrine or a variation often, usually on Sunday. Jeff and I also use Sunday to make sure we have plenty of pancetta, kiełbasy, chicken liver pâté, loaves of bread from our starter Imogene, pickled red onions, and mustards and fruit mustards made with our Chardonnay. I like to have these items well stocked and on hand.

For the holidays, this can be an elegant appetizer, sliced and served fanned out on a festive platter; the green pistachios pop against the pale, pink pork. Add the vibrant, electric red of pickled onions, and you have quite a colorful presentation.

I also like to have this on hand for unexpected guests. I can quickly put together an impressive luncheon straight from the refrigerator, open-faced sandwiches with slices of terrine on bread fried in pancetta or duck fat with a slice of lettuce, pickled red onions, and our house-made mustard. Toss in a few bottles of wine, and all is right with the world.

All terrines will benefit from a condiment, this can be enhanced with a good mustard.

Equipment

  • Spice grinder
  • Meat grinder
  • Standing mixer
  • 1.5L/1 1/2 quart terrine mold*
  • Roasting pan
  • Parchment paper
  • Aluminum foil
  • Meat thermometer

*You may also use a bread loaf pan or three mini loaf pans.  You may have a small extra amount that you could fry up as a chef’s treat.

Ingredients

What you’ll need for the spice mix

1 tsp. ground white pepper
1/4 tsp. paprika
2 bay leaves
1/4 tsp. dried marjoram
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground mace
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground cloves

What you’ll need for the terrine

1 1/2 tbsp. Kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon Prague powder #1 (aka curing salt #1)
1 tsp of the above spice mix, reserving the remaining spice mix in an airtight container for future use
2 tsp. minced garlic
2 pounds pork shoulder cut to 1 in. cubes
1/2 pound pork back fat cut in 1 in. cubes
1/2 pound pancetta cut to 1 inch cubes
1 cup shelled pistachios, whole
1 tbsp. Madeira or Port
Optional: Caul fat

How To Make

1
For the spice mix: Place all ingredients into the spice grinder and grind until bay leaves and dried herbs are pulverized. You will have almost four teaspoons of pâté spice mix. Set aside.
2
Set oven to 325º, and place grinder attachments and bowl in freezer to chill.
3
Mix Kosher salt, Prague powder, pâté spice mix, and minced garlic in small bowl.
4
Mixed cubed meats with salt, spice, and garlic mix. Place in freezer for 30 minutes.
5
Grind the chilled, seasoned, cubed meat using the 1/4 inch die plate of meat grinder into a chilled bowl or a bowl over an ice bath. Grind half of the ground meat a second time.  Refrigerate or freeze until thoroughly chilled.
6
Fit the bowl into the standing mixer. Using the paddle attachment mix the ground meat for 90 seconds with the pistachios and the Madeira or Port. You may test the seasoning at this point by pan-frying a small spoonful, mindful that cooked food served cold requires more seasoning. Adjust the seasoning if necessary. Refrigerate or freeze as you prepare the mold, oven, and water bath.
7
Preheat oven to 300º. Place the empty terrine mold in a large roasting pan and fill the pan with enough hot water to come 3/4 the way up the side of the mold. Remove mold and place roasting pan with water in the oven to preheat with the oven.
8
Line the long sides and bottom of the mold with a single sheet of parchment paper that extends over the edge about 1 inch on each side. This will allow the terrine to lift and slip out easily. If using, line the mold with caul fat, spread open to show the delicate lace, leaving some flapped over the edge so you can pull to cover the top once filled. Fill with the meat mixture, pressing into the corners. If using, pull the caul fat up and over to cover the meat. Pull any parchment paper edges over the top and cover tightly with aluminum foil.
9
Place filled terrine mold into the roasting pan water bath and cook in the oven until the internal temperature is 150º, start checking the temperature after 45 minutes. Terrine may take up to 1 1/2 hours.
10
Remove from the water bath. Cool for two hours then refrigerate overnight.
11
The terrine is ready to eat and will develop if left a few days. To unmold, run a butter knife at each end between the terrine and the mold where the parchment paper is not present. Lift the terrine out of the mold using the parchment paper edges.
12
Arrange on your best butcher block or holiday tray. Slice and serve with cornichons and a variety of mustards.

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