This recipe will be a bit out of the ordinary for me. I know you usually expect fairly easy, family-friendly fare from Never Enough Thyme, but every once in a while I really enjoy expanding my culinary horizons and making something I’ve never done before. It’s the challenge, really, that intrigues me. We all need to get out of our rut on occasion and do something different. Don’t we?
I’ve wanted to make this French Country Terrine ever since I saw it on French Food at Home, a really wonderful show on the Cooking Channel. It’s hosted by Laura Calder, a Canadian-born and French-trained chef. I was so intrigued by the recipe that I recorded the show in which she made it and watched it over and over. I pretty much want to make every single thing she cooks. The show is really that good.
Making a terrine may at first glance seem complicated, but it surely is not! Let me tell you – if you can make meatloaf, you can make this terrine. When you boil it down, all it really is is a meatloaf that’s cooled and pressed. That’s it! And did you know that terrines are not limited to meats? Basically anything you can mold into a loaf shape can be called a terrine. I included some links at the end of this post to several different types of terrines. Some are veggies, some are fruits, and there are even dessert terrines.
My understanding about this particular terrine is that it’s a fairly classic French recipe and is generally served as a first course or either used as picnic food. It’s usually enjoyed with slices of baguette, good Dijon mustard and cornichons. A nice little glass of wine goes well, too!
Start by melting the butter in a small sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onions, cooking them until they are soft but taking care not to let them brown. at all. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute. Remove from the onion-garlic mixture from the heat, stir in the brandy and let this cool while you proceed with the recipe.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Combine the meats in a large mixing bowl.That’s ground pork, ground veal, and calves’ liver. Just a note – I cannot find fresh calves’ liver anywhere around here but it is available frozen. If using frozen, let it thaw overnight in the refrigerator and it will be just fine. Also, if you just can’t stand the taste of calves’ liver, you can leave it out substituting an additional 8 ounces of ground veal. Your terrine will have a much milder taste and you may fine that you need more seasonings.
To the meats, add the onion-garlic mixture and all remaining ingredients except bacon. Mix thoroughly. You can mix everything with a wooden spoon and a strong arm, but I find that this is much easier done in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment.
Stop here and cook a quarter-sized patty of the mixture. Taste to check for seasonings and adjust if necessary.
Using the back side of a knife, stretch the bacon to about twice its length.
Line a terrine or loaf pan with bacon strips. Cut strips in half to line the short ends. Allow the ends of the bacon to drape over the sides of the pan.
Pack the meat mixture into the terrine or loaf pan making sure not to leave any air pockets in the mixture. In the photo, I’m using a somewhat smaller terrine so my mixture mounds on top a bit. If you’re using a loaf pan, you’ll have plenty of room to press the mixture down into the pan. Fold the overhanging bacon strips over the top and sides of the mixture adding additional strips to the top only if needed.
Cover the top with a piece of parchment paper, then cover the terrine with foil.
Put the terrine in a roasting or baking pan and pour enough boiling water in the pan to come about halfway up the sides of the terrine. Place in the oven and cook for 1 to 2 hours. A precise cooking time is difficult because it depends so much on the size of terrine or loaf pan you use. You’ll need to test the mixture starting after one hour cooking. Use an instant read meat thermometer for best results. Mixture should be at 160 degrees to be fully cooked.
Remove the terrine from the water and cool completely at room temperature. Cut a piece of cardboard to fit over the cooked terrine in the pan. Wrap the cardboard in foil. Place on top of the terrine and top with a heavy can, a foil-wrapped brick or some other heavy object to provide weight and refrigerate overnight.
Slice and serve with baguette, Dijon mustard, and cornichons.
Other terrine recipes you might enjoy:
- Ratatouille Terrine from Food Mayhem
- Beet and Goat Cheese Terrine from Lisa is Cooking
- Pork and Veal Terrine from Food Safari
- Citrus-Berry Terrine with Red Grapefruit from Cooking Melangery
- Frozen Tropical Terrine with Mango Sauce from Savoring Time in the Kitchen
What I was up to…
- One year ago: Sour Cream-Pecan Coffee Cake
- Two years ago: Brunswick Stew
- Three years ago: Seafood Stew
- Four years ago: Cooking Tip-Bacon; Slow Cooked Oatmeal