Make this delicious recipe as a starter and your guests will be thrilled. The secret according to charcutier Romeo Baudouin 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.
- 300 g boneless rabbit meat, diced
- 100 g rabbit livers, cleaned and diced
- 300 g trimmed pork cheek, 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 (optional)
- 100 g caul fat
- 5 gold-strength gelatine leaves
- 250 ml chicken stock
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
You will need to begin this recipe 2 days ahead.
Combine the rabbit, liver, pork cheek, pork fat, salt, pepper, armagnac and wine in a large bowl. Leave to marinate in the refrigerator overnight.
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.
Preheat the oven to 200°C. 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). 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. 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.
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. Bake until the internal temperature of the terrine reaches 75°C when tested with a meat thermometer (about 2½ hours). Leave the terrine to cool.
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. Refrigerate the terrine for 24 hours before serving in slices with cornichons and crusty bread.