Terrine de mère et de fille

terrine de mère et de fille

Sunday was the Fremantle Family Food Fiesta and Jeff the photographer and me decided to make an appearance with our loved ones on behalf of the mag. For those that like their fun highly organised, this was a treat with rules stretching to over two pages. The theme was the family’s favourite dish and this, with both of us having fairly bog standard Australian food childhoods, left us non-plussed. Unlike other foodies who could successfully write an essay within the given 50 minute period “Becoming a foodie was inevitable, discuss, giving examples with special emphasis on the period leading up to the event”. Pens down. My home food was neither especially bad or especially extraordinary, just food to feed a family with some variety with a supermarket 30 miles away. My mum though would always make a platter, or “plate”, for local dances and as these became kind of signature dishes for each family, I thought I’d recreate it, but in aspic. Not that it ever was in aspic but it’s a tasty enough allusion to the way we suspend and organise our memory.

It’s not an overly intimidating thing to make. All the work is creating the aspic. Unless you’re happy with commercial stocks, you’ll be making your own chicken stock. I ended up making a consomme and a good explanation of the hows and whys is here. A few things to think about. I used three teaspoons ofgelatine for 500ml of stock and added an extra teaspoon for hot weather. This balanced well – you don’t want it turning into chum but then again you don’t want something with the consistency of silastic. The stock should have its own gelatine from the bones and a good one gels in the fridge. If I’d done the chicken stock again, I would have a added a veal bone or tried to track down a calves foot. Failing this, maybe given a pig’s trotter a bit of a look.

As for the interior bits, I roasted a whole free-range chicken with sage, lemon, and butter. Butter and sage under the breast skin, lemon up the jacksie, and a good butter and seasoning all over. Shred.
Boiled four free-range eggs for 9 minutes and then refreshed in cold water to stop the cooking process. Working from memory, the fresher the eggs, the more likely you’re going to have a nice sharp junction between the yolk and the white.
Chopped up a small jar of gherkins and a small jar of small red cocktail onions.

I use a sharp rectangular bread tin-no need to oil or line with wrap. Pour a thin layer of aspic on the bottom and allow it to set (in the freezer if you keep a sharp eye on it) and then decorate with three egg halves and assorted shapes of gherkin and onion. Top with more chicken and chopped egg gherkin, chicken, and onion mix. I let it set again at the half way point to keep it all a bit loose and have a greater proportion of jelly. Fill again to a smidgen below the top and cover with aspic.
Get a piece of box the size of the tin, wrap it in foil, and place on top with a weight (eg bottle of beer) leave for 12 hours. Wipe fridge clean if you didn’t leave a smidgen of space on the top.
Cut around the sides with a sharp paring knife and if it doesn’t come out, just heat the top a little with some warm water.
Served with a surrounding salad of lettuce, carrot, gherkin, cheese cubes, cocktail onions, and flicks of pate. The best thing for cutting is a serrated cheese knife and if you make slow careful stroke, you should get a nice neat slice. Good stuff. The terrine is now my new official vehicle of food innovation.

250 people showed up for the lunch and there were some pretty speccy efforts with people bringing their finest for dining. I went along just to have fun and be there and then vowed revenge for next year – I’m thinking pig . Kudos to Jeff’s sausage rolls and chutney . Charmaine Solomon was there!

terrine de mère et de fille

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  1. Sue’s avatar

    Muahahha First post

    Mate – this is absolutely jellyficly terrifically fantastic. I’m in awe. And that thing about aspic being memory suspension – I quiver.

  2. Anthony’s avatar

    Hey Atrios fristy action going on.

    Jelleriffic and by melting it you release the memories. I’m kinda getting into the jelly thing now. Certainly getting there after this tragic effort

  3. Santos’s avatar

    blowtorch briefly around the sides of the tin, couple of firm pats, no mucking about.

    it’s almost hirstian in effort.

  4. Anthony’s avatar

    Ooh snap. I was thinking of taking it along but people lose their sense of occasion in bushfire season.

    Hirst set the standard.

  5. J’s avatar

    hi anthony, that looks very old school cool in a very jacques pepin/julia child sort of a la francaise fashion…a hairdryer on the next-to-highest heat setting always does it for me, although obviously, it doesn’t quite have the he-man cache of the blowtorch

  6. Anthony’s avatar

    Back in the day J

    Unsheathing the terrine was like gazing at a star and realising what you were looking at was the past.

    A hair dryer would just destroy me.

  7. Santos’s avatar

    i would like to see you end a recipe with the phrase “blow dry.”

    a RECIPE.

  8. Anthony’s avatar

    but then I like to rest for 15 minutes loosely covered with foil.

  9. Gracianne’s avatar

    Oh qu’elle est belle!

  10. Anthony’s avatar

    gelee belle-y !

  11. neil’s avatar

    A spectacular piece of Australiana suspended in time (jelly). Nice work. Good luck with the calves foot, the only way you will get one is to cut it off yourself, from some poor unsuspecting beast in the dead of night.

  12. Anthony’s avatar

    Yeah I wonder what happens to them all if they’re not being used to offend the meat’s not really from animals crowd? They can’t all go into pies.

    It’d be interesting if time were corporeal like jelly. Dr Karl was talking about a swimming pool full of (solid) jelly and that the person would drown because of the suction from it.

  13. neil’s avatar

    The calves feet are probably going into blood and bone. In order to leave the abattoir for human consumption, they have to be skinned and the abattoirs wont do it ’cause there’s no money in it. Your only chance would to become friendly with a Kosher butcher that skins his own, just don’t stand too close.

  14. Ange’s avatar

    The colors in this dish look fantastic

  15. Anthony’s avatar

    Ah blood and bone and the cycle of life goes on. Never knew that bout kosher butchers, any reason they go to the trouble?

    Thanks. Nice happy colours.

  16. neil’s avatar

    Not really sure mate. Once when I tried to track them down, my “old school” butcher told me about it. Maybe it’s along the line of waste not, want not, or perhaps it’s all part of the whole Kosher deal; the butcher did mention that they had to be salted as well. Next time I see him, I’ll ask.

  17. Anthony’s avatar

    Yeah the salt is something about having to remove all the blood but calves feet, hmmm.

  18. ejm’s avatar

    Excuse me for commenting so late on this. The terrine looks brilliant. At it reminds me of some of the fabulous pates en croute that we have gotten in France.

    Have you ever successfully made pate on croute? I understand how to insert a gelatine layer but we want to use a cream based chicken liver pate as well as a few other patterny sort of things…. How does one deal with the baking of the pastry AND not ruining the pate inside by overcooking it?


  19. Anthony’s avatar

    Hi Elizabeth

    Not late at all, that’s the beautiful thing about the internets.

    I haven’t done a pate en croute. The closest I’ve come to it is a filet de boeuf en croute a long while back. Most start raw so it cooks together in much the same way as a pie to achieve a happy balance. Maybe it’s not so much overcooking as drying out before the pastry is done.

  20. ejm’s avatar

    Here I am, replying late again (still?) but you are kind to pretend that it doesn’t matter.

    Well… rats. I had hoped that you had made a pate en croute.

    When you made your filet de boeuf en croute, was it like a Beef Wellington? (I know… I could just search your blog. But I’m lazy) I’ve only seen that prepared once eons ago. Wasn’t there foie gras between the roast and the pastry??

    And are you saying the most pates en croute(s) start raw?


  21. Anthony’s avatar


    Lucky I’ve got that side bar thingy which alerts me of recent comments or it’d be an oops didn’t respond to this one.

    It was like a beef wellington but I remember getting very sniffy when someone pointed that out. I made when the net was still a fishy catcherer but I’ll just go and check……………

    Ahh it was veal en coute that I made and it was covered in duxelles before being wrapped in pastry. The fillet is kind of par-roasted for 25 minutes before cooking in pastry. Beef does use fois gras but in the sauce.

    As for pates, I belive they do start raw although this may vary so only the recipe can tell.

  22. ejm’s avatar

    ah, sidebars showing recent comments are so handy.

    And now that you mention it, of course it is duxelles lining the pastry in beef wellington too…

    I too have a sneaking suspicion that pates start raw when done en croute. I guess it’s too much like summer for you now to make a pate en croute?

    Heh, it would be so handy if you would be the guinea pig and spoonfeed the recipe to me.


    (I promise I’ll leave this thread now.)

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