Thursday, November 16, 2006

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.

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Blogger Jann said...

all your photos are wonderful...really gives you a great visual of each step..I think I can do this...maybe! Would certainly like to be at your home for Thanksgiving!

1:42 AM, November 16, 2006  
Blogger Christine said...

This is fantastic! I have Mr. Olney's book and must try to make this. Thank you for all the wonderful photos.

2:38 AM, November 16, 2006  
Blogger Unknown said...

You have done it again, Lucy!

Olney's book is one that I do not have — maybe I'll find it at Shakespeare & Co. and get the Kilimeter Zero stamp in it.

This is a wonderful post.

4:28 AM, November 16, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your step-by-step photos make it look so easy. You should send out terrine 'kits' for Christmas gifts! I'll forward my address..

10:39 AM, November 16, 2006  
Blogger Papilles et Pupilles said...

Amazing ! So yummy !

10:51 AM, November 16, 2006  
Blogger L Vanel said...

Thanks gang! The thing about terrines is that they just take a little time and patience. My photography skills have vastly improved this year, so I hope to well document my Two Duck Terrine coming up next week. It will be fun to do!

1:04 PM, November 16, 2006  
Blogger Lori in PA said...

I enjoyed the pix just as much a second time. Re slicing your terrine ahead -- how do you store the slices until serving to keep their good looks?

1:09 PM, November 16, 2006  
Blogger L Vanel said...

Lori, I actually slice it while it is in the terrine without removing it, and then put it back into the fridge. I slice it in the morning, and that evening I can simply place each slice on a plate, using a spatula. The key is to use a super sharp knife and a spatula with a good edge.

1:32 PM, November 16, 2006  
Blogger franchini said...

The colours and textures in the terrine look so lovely. The more I look the more I can see.

I'm interested in your comment above that time and patience are important in making a terrine. I've always just assumed they would be too hard and beyond my skills. I will follow your progress with interest next week and maybe try one myself for our Christmas dinner. I don't have a terrine tin...if I were to buy one, is there a particular type you would recommend - metal, ceramic or stoneware - or does it really not matter all that much?

3:00 PM, November 16, 2006  
Blogger wheresmymind said...

What temperature do you serve at?

3:28 PM, November 16, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cela me fait terriblement envie. C'est superbe !

7:07 PM, November 16, 2006  
Blogger L Vanel said...

Terrines are really pretty easy. They are basically meatloaf - cooked in soft heat (in the bain marie) for awhile, pressed, chilled, and eaten cold. In most old French cookbooks, terrines are listed under the chapter dedicated to conserves, because they used to be a way of preserving meats for long periods of time. The fat surrounding the terrine protects it, a bit like confit. The most important thing about terrines are good recipes and good meats. Since this dish is served cold, you don't want to skimp on salt. If you plan to eat the terrine within a week, and you can't get the fat to line it with, you can use anything else...

7:55 PM, November 16, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Absolutly lovely terrine Lucy. Last terrine I made was pork with dried cherries and a tenderloin inlay. I am so looking forward to the duck version. I still have not getten around to making one with rabbit or duck.

8:50 PM, November 16, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great tutorial. You always make it looks so easy. I see this and I think "hey I can do that!" You always motivate me to try new things. Thank you :)

11:03 AM, November 17, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lucy - I'm very happy to have discovered your lovely blog. I had no idea. Moby.

9:59 AM, November 18, 2006  
Blogger Katie said...

They are both 'a thing of beauty'. It inspires me to try to make one - I would love the rabbit, mon mari the duck. Maybe that will be my holiday project this year. Thanks for the step-by step.

1:01 PM, November 18, 2006  
Blogger L Vanel said...

Thanks for your comments, everyone. Franchini, the best tin is a large loaf pan.

11:18 AM, November 19, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This looks wonderful! Could you please give me the recipe? Thanks.

12:51 AM, July 25, 2008  
Blogger L Vanel said...

Dear Anon, Sure! The recipe can be found in Richard Olney's book called Simple French Food. Have fun!

6:08 AM, July 25, 2008  
Anonymous Joao Roberto said...

Lucy, congratulations. A blog like yours is a rarity among so many others that we see every day. How we say in Brazilian Portuguese : Uma beleza. Parabéns João Roberto.

1:24 PM, May 11, 2009  

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