Monday, March 2, 2015

Rabbit terrine

I've made a few terrines now and it's especially good when shared with friends and family. I love being in control of the mincing since I received a sausage mincer attachment for my birthday. Great present sis.

With a trip to Tathra on the agenda, my contribution was going to be a rabbit terrine. I sourced my ingredients from Vic's Meats, Fish Markets and they happily deboned the rabbit and kept the livers for me to use. If you can't get your hands on pork cheek, then go with pork shoulder. I also love making a pork terrine with pistachios but that will be for another post.

The secret to making this terrine according to charcutier Romeo Baudouin from Victor Churchill, Woollahra, is to have the right balance of lean meat and fat in the mixture, and also to weigh out the meats after you have trimmed them to ensure you have the right ratio of mixture to salt. Full of flavour with armagnac, wine, shallots and herbs, the terrine is fabulous served with cornichons and good sourdough.

Serves 10-12


300 g boneless rabbit meat, diced
100 g rabbit livers, cleaned and diced
300 g trimmed pork cheek (or pork shoulder), diced
300 g skinless pork fat (ideally from the loin), diced
18 g sea salt
2 g freshly ground black pepper (about 1 teaspoon)
1 tbsp armagnac
1 tbsp white wine

100 g French shallots, finely diced
¼ bunch flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
¼ bunch tarragon, finely chopped
¼ bunch chervil, finely chopped
¼ bunch chives, finely chopped 
100 g egg whites (from 3–4 eggs)
6 thin slices of lardo or pancetta (I used 18 slices of pancetta)
100 g caul fat (I actually don't use this and use additional pancetta to wrap the mix)

Glaze (optional)
5 gold-strength gelatine leaves
250 ml chicken stock


Marinating overnight
1. Combine the rabbit, liver, pork cheek, pork fat, salt, pepper, armagnac and wine in a large bowl. Leave to marinate in the refrigerator overnight.

2. The next day, push the meat through the coarse plate of a mincer into another large bowl. Add the shallots and herbs and mix well with your hands, then mix in the egg whites.

3. Preheat the oven to 200°C.

4. Line the base of a terrine dish with the lardo or pancetta, if using. Take handfuls of the meat mixture and throw them into the terrine from a short distance, to ensure the meat goes into the dish without any air pockets (which can oxidise the terrine).
Unmoulded terrine

5. Continue doing this until you have put all the meat in the terrine. Use damp hands to smooth the top of the terrine and slightly mound it up like a loaf of bread. Then cover the top with extra pancetta to keep the shape of the terrine. (If you use the caul fat- Cover the terrine with a layer of caul fat, trimming the fat to just bigger than the dish. Tuck the edges of fat down the sides of the terrine to thoroughly encase it. The caul fat helps to keep the shape of the terrine.)

6. Place the terrine in a deep dish and bake in the oven until the top has nicely coloured to brown (about 20 minutes). Pour boiling water into the dish to surround the terrine and come halfway up the sides, and reduce the oven temperature to 100°C.

7. Bake until the internal temperature of the terrine reaches 75°C when tested with a meat thermometer (about 2-2½ hours). Leave the terrine to cool.

8. To make the glaze, soak the gelatine leaves in a bowl of cold water for 5–10 minutes. Bring the stock to the boil in a saucepan. Take the gelatine from the bowl, squeeze out the excess water, and stir into the hot stock until dissolved. Leave to cool until the mixture starts to thicken and set, then pour over the terrine.

9. Refrigerate the terrine for 24 hours before serving in slices.

10. Will last for up to 2 weeks in the fridge if it lasts that long.

My delicious rabbit terrine

Handy Hints

Start a day in advance to marinate the meat.
Serve terrine up with cornichons, pickled celery and crusty bread

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