Terrine Notes - Terrine de Lapin
My house rabbit terrine, which incorperates a layer of dried prunes for color and flavor. Rolling the flattened haunch with a mixture of carrots and herbs makes a flower design in the middle.With Thanksgiving coming up, I thought I'd bring out some old notes on the terrine making. Sometimes it helps to visualize some of the steps in my mind. I have done terrines with rabbit, a mix of farm raised rabbit and wild rabbit, and various other poultry. I started terrine-making with Richard Olney's recipe in his book Simple French Food, and have made my own tweaks and changes over time, the main difference being that I include duxelles, which is mushrooms that have been cooked down and combined with cream, in addition to a rabbit demi-glace panade, which is made by crushing old bread and garlic and working the demiglace into it to make a paste. We serve a slice of a house terrine as a first course at the Thanksgiving table. Since we have a large number of French guests every year, we like to start off with simple courses to ease the group into the concept of the big feast. The courses are an interesting and entertaining way to kick off the meal.
A terrine is done completely in advance, and should sit in the fridge after weighing down the top for at least 5 days before cutting. It's perfect for Thanksgiving because you can have it done well in advance and not even worry about it until the day of the meal, yet it is really elegant. I like to cut my terrine slices the morning before the meal, because slicing 16 pretty slices of a terrine takes some attention to detail.
Terrine des deux lapins (a mix of wild and farm raised) from last year's Thanksgiving meal. Instead of prunes, I used dried mirabelles, which tasted great with the wild game and also added to the flower motif in the center. Click the photo for a closer look.
This year I am going to make a two duck terrine, using colvert and farm raised duck, and perhaps dried figs instead of dried mirabelles.