The lashing wind and rain over the recent Bank Holiday took many by surprise but it was lovely to see evidence on social media of the great British public, stoically sitting in beer gardens across the land, with umbrellas aloft and not giving two figs about the weather pouring from above.
Humbling even and to be frank, as I looked out of the kitchen window yesterday, I felt slightly disappointed in myself. Next doors' trampoline had just flown over the fence and embedded itself into our cherry tree and I just kept thinking - 'I should be out there, doing my bit, drinking beer.'
Actually, no. I wasn't thinking of anything like that at all. Largely because I procured some minced pork shoulder and Cumberland streaky bacon from Tom at the shop on Friday, and was in the process of bathing and drawing in the rich aromas coming from the oven. A terrine had been assembled and packed into my favourite brass tin, and was bubbling away in Mary's bathwater.
I'd much rather take that over gallantly supping away at a never-ending and increasingly watery craft IPA from East London.
Terrines of course aren't just to be made and eaten on cold days. They are equally good in the summer, to take out on picnics and to wolf down at the beach. In the words in Mr Richard H. Turner himself - 'A rough French-style terrine is great for a light supper, with chunks of bread, some pickles and a glass or two of your favourite red.' Which in turn conjures up warm evenings on the patio, with soft music and the sprinkler going on the background.
We're not quite there. Rather than the gentle pitter patter of water on grass, I think we've got some more howling to get through yet. But rather than brave the elements this week, why not give this dish a try? It is loosely based on Chef's Country Pâté recipe from Hog. I omitted the liver from the original and chopped up a leek that was just going on the turn. And instead of apple brandy, I gave the porcine mix a swig of port.
Versatility is key here. As is the decision to stay indoors. Even when your mates keep texting every ten minutes and asking 'WHERE ARE YOU??!'
- First, put the breadcrumbs into a bowl and in a nonstick frying pan, sweat down the chopped onion, garlic and sliced leek gently in oil until everything is softened.
- Turn up the heat a touch and then add the port, followed by the cream. Reduce a touch and then pour the mixture over the breadcrumbs and leave to cool.
- Add the pork mince to to breadcrumbs, along with the quatre épices, salt, pepper, herbs and eggs and mix together well.
- Test the mixture by frying a small portion and tasting it, adjusting the seasoning if necessary.
- Heat the oven to 160°C and line a terrine mould with the streaky bacon, leaving enough to overhanging to wrap over the top (Chef's tip: if you can line the terrine first with heatproof cling, even better.)
- Place the terrine into a roasting tray and pour in hot water from the kettle to come two-thirds of the way up the side of the terrine.
- Bake for 1 and half hours, until an internal temperature of 70°C is reached.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool, the refrigerate for 48 hours before eating (I lasted 24 hours).