Ham Hock Terrine
Recipe from 'Kitchen Secrets' by Raymond Blanc. Click here to purchase book.
I simply love this rustic terrine. It has also got many other advantages: it is inexpensive, you will get 12 portions, costing approximately 50p each; it will be delicious; it can be prepared two days in advance and will look attractive with the cut slice displaying a mosaic of vegetables, herbs and ham. And no guilt because the ham terrine is virtually fat free.
|For the terrine|
|1 large (or 2 smaller)||Ham Hocks (approx 1.5kg)|
|1||Pig’s trotter, sliced down the length (optional: will add flavour and natural gelatine)|
|1 Bouquet garni||2 bay leaves, 5g parsley, 2g thyme, tied together|
|100g||Carrot (*1), 1/4 lengthways|
|2 (100g)||Celery sticks, halved|
|100g||White onion, peeled, cut into 6 wedges|
|1.5||Sheets leaf gelatine (27.7cm)|
|40ml||White wine vinegar|
|35g||Flat leaf parsley|
|For the soused vegetables|
|80ml||White wine vinegar|
|6 pinches||Sea salt|
|2 pinches||Freshly ground white pepper|
|160g||Baby onion, peeled with root intact|
|70g||Cauliflower, cut into small florets|
|60g||Small gherkins, rinsed|
|10g||Dill sprigs, chopped|
To cook the meat for the terrine
Put the ham hock(s) and pig’s trotter in to a large stockpot or saucepan, cover with the cold water and bring to the boil, skimming to remove the impurities (*1). Let it bubble gently for 1 minute. Turn down the heat to a gentle simmer, add the bouquet garni and peppercorns and put the lid on, leaving a slight gap (*2). Cook for 3–4 hours, adding all the vegetables 45 minutes before the end of the cooking time. The cooking time will depend on the size of the hock(s); the meat should be tender enough to pull the small bone out easily. Once cooked, lift out the meat onto a board and leave until cool enough to handle. Strain the liquor through a sieve set over a large pan, reserving the vegetables. Soak the gelatine leaves in a shallow dish of cold water to soften for 5 minutes or so. Bring the strained liquor to a simmer and take off the heat. Drain the gelatine and stir into the hot liquor with the wine vinegar. Reserve 400ml for the terrine (any excess can be used as a broth with noodles).
To prepare the terrine
Peel off the rind and fat from the ham hocks. Cut off and discard the fat from the rind; cut the rind into 1cm pieces (*3). Flake the meat from the hock into a bowl, reserving 3 large pieces. Add the rind to the flaked meat. No additional seasoning should be needed as the hock’s cure provides enough. Set aside a quarter of the meat and rind mixture; mix the drained vegetables into the rest. Blanch the parsley in boiling water for 15 seconds, drain, pat dry and chop roughly, then mix into the meat and vegetable mixture.
To build the terrine
Line the terrine with two layers of cling film for extra support, leaving a 10cm overhang all around (to wrap the terrine once formed). Pack the meat and vegetable mixture into the terrine, placing the 3 reserved pieces of ham hock in the centre, then top with the reserved meat and rind mix (*4). Pour in enough of the warm cooking liquor to come to the level of the mixture, then press down lightly so a thin layer of liquor covers the meat and vegetables. Gently fold the overhanging cling film over to cover the top and place in the fridge overnight to set (*5).
To prepare the soused vegetables
Put the water, wine vinegar, honey, thyme, bay leaf and seasoning into a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Add the onions and carrot and simmer gently for 20 minutes, then add the cauliflower and tarragon and simmer for a further 10 minutes. Take off the heat, add the gherkins and pour into a bowl set over ice to cool quickly. Once cooled, add the chopped dill and store in airtight jars until needed.
To firm up the terrine
When set, carefully remove the terrine from the mould and wrap tightly in an extra two layers of cling film (*6). Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Remove the cling film from the terrine, place on a board and cut into slices. Put the soused vegetables in a pot and serve on the side, along with a basket of freshly toasted pain de campagne or warm French bread.
Recipe from 'Kitchen Secrets' by Raymond Blanc, published by Bloomsbury.
Recipe © Raymond Blanc 2011.
Photograph © Jean Cazals 2011.