February 2007

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pork terrine

Duck Liver and Pork Terrine

A terrine is a nice enough way to get back into cooking and it gave me a good reason to give my 70’s moulinex a bit of a run. Porky joy yes and I decided to partner it with apples (sauce) and figs (always nice with prosciutto). Pork belly because it needs some fat. Duck liver because there wasn’t any pork liver available.


Ingredients are approximate: 500gm of pork belly; 500gm of pork meat (taken from chops); 500gm of duck liver; 1 cup of bread; 2 Granny Smith apples (peeled, cored and finely chopped); 5 dried figs (soaked in 1/3 cup of calvados) – not fresh sadly; 1/2 cup cream; a few chives and a few sage leaves (finely chopped); salt and pepper. 8 rashers of bacon. Sprig of thyme for non sequitur garnish.

Run the meat, liver, and bread through the mincer. Finish with the bread, it doesn’t make cleaning any easier but it does mean you don’t have to scrape out bits of viscera. Actually best keep the whole thing a bit quiet, I had it all packed up by the time Toni got back. Liver looks the mincer had an unfortunate incident involving some surprisingly cheap seafood.
Mix all the ingredients together. Line a bread tin (or a terrine if you’ve got one) with foil and then give it a good oiling. Line the tin widthways with strips of bacon, fill with the mix and then drape the strips over. Cover with baking paper – greased with butter.
Cook in a steam bath in a 180C oven for two hours.
To make a steam bath, get a roasting pan and fill it with warm water so it reaches 2/3 of the way up the terrine. Fergus Henderson has a nice hint to place a teatowel on the bottom of the roasting tin so the bottom of the terrine isn’t in direct contact with the oven heat.
Take it out, place a weight on it and leave for 2-3 days (yes you’ll have to wait).

Very rich, the amount of liver brought it close to being pate. There was room to be a bit bolder with the amount of fig. A very filling entree that will keep guest happy for an hour. Served with local Pickled Pink Apple and Roasted Beetroot Relish, which is very nice and offset the terrine nicely – too nicely in fact, you don’t want the thing you didn’t make outshining the thing you did.

Arrosto di Agnello al Ginepro

There is lamb and then there’s lamb. According to Marcella Hazan, my 80’s authority on Italian cooking, there the spring lamb, abbachio, taken straight from the teat and the there’s your regular ‘mature’ lamb which we usually have. For mutton, it must feel like not only somebody not knowing your fave ever band but then realising they hadn’t even been born – shoot me now.
So for the mature lamb, it gets the casserole in her recipe for Arrosto di Agnello al Ginepro – lamb roasted with juniper berries. Juniper berries seem quite the thing, or at least they were when I last checked. Anyway, this recipe is, as they say in Italian, unfuckupableio.

1 leg of lamb; 1 tbs chopped carrot; 2 tbs of chopped onion; 1 tbs chopped celery; 250ml dry white wine; 2 crushed cloves of garlic; sprig of fresh rosemary; 2 tsp juniper berries; salt and pepper.

Put everything into a heavy casserole and simmer covered on a low heat for 2 hours. Turn the leg every 45 minutes. Then increase the heat slightly, put the lid askew and simmer for another 90 minutes. The juices should reduce down to a nice thick jus and the meat should be cooked and very tender.
Let the leg rest under foil.
Spoon off as much fat as possible, strain the jus, and then you can extend it a bit by returning it to the casserole after you’ve deglazed the casserole with a glass of red.
Very tender and very understated on the juniper.

Served with sausage and black eyed beans and a salad.
The sausage and blacked eye beans is just the onion/celery/carrot/garlic mirepoix upstairs – sauteed in olive oil in a casserole dish. Tin of tomatoes added with juice and simmered for 20 minutes. Then 4 or 5 pricked continental sausages added and simmered for a further 15 minutes. Then 4-5 cups of black eyed beans. Top up with water, bring to a simmer, cover and leave in a 180C oven for 90 minutes – check liquid levels occasionally. Season.


Crostata di Uva

Thank you Mrs Medici – my 90’s authority on Italian cooking. A very uncomplicated tart – even the custard doesn’t bother with vanilla. Very dependent on getting beautiful fresh crisp and cool white grapes. Just a sweet shortcrust pastry made with the zest of one lemon and cooked into a tart shell. Then make a three yolk custard, adding a tablespoon of flour to the milk as a thickener. Pour the cooled custard into the chilled tart shell then fill with grapes

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Apple Mousse

Ooooh isn’t it nice and green. This is part of dessert recipe by Neal Jackson that’s going in the mag. This particular pic isn’t because I did shot glasses last time (as pics, not drinking vessels). A few things:
Food styling breaks my heart. I suspect it may be because I’m not that good at it and give up in a gah! of hamfistedness. I feel like King Kong adjusting Jessica Lange’s dress. If anybody has got a book on dessert decorating they can recommend….
The recipe itself is a great example to how complexity can be generated out of a few elements. Were you to find yourself trapped in a kitchen (I’m not sure how – blizzard maybe, surrounded by light-sensitive mutant albinos) with a large bag of apples, sugar, flour, eggs, butter, cream, a bottle of calvados and a few sticks of gelatine. Out of this you make apple and calvados jelly, glazed poached apple, apple glaze, and an apple mousse with sponge cake that combines egg yolks, apple puree, apple juice, whipped cream and egg whites.
Taking the most part of a Friday evening, I’d suggest going to see a band instead or something, maybe leave it for an afternoon perhaps.
Bugger me if it isn’t tasty though.

*And if you find yourself trapped in a garage with a guitar and a practice amp – twelve bar blues baby! Tonic, Sub-dominant, Dominant. 1 4 5. D G A; E A B; A D E… Why didn’t I think of this before?

doesn't get much better than this? no I didn't think so

If the apotheosis of the Australia Day weekend is wearing the Australian flag like some kind of gormless synthetic textile superman, then it officially does dingoes. However, there is fun to be had on the back of a boat moored off Rottnest, where the captain pops off and comes back with crays. Most decent, very Australian.

Crayfish/Western Rock Lobster with Garlic Butter
1 large boat
1 obliging friend
3 crayfish
2 local purple garlic clove, crushed
some celery leaves, chopped
splash of hot chili sauce
1 fistful of butter

Send crayfish to sleep in the chest freezer then slice in half. Clean out the head.
Allow butter to melt in the sun and then smoosh in the garlic, celery, and sauce.
Pop crayfish meat down on the BBQ to sear, then flip over and liberally baste with butter. Eat with mango salsa and frosty cold beer.
I don’t recall enjoying crayfish this much since I was in Playas de Rosarito with a mariachi band for accompaniment.