Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Actual Recipe: Duck Terrine with Pineapple Innuendo

By: Mr Robot
Duck terrine wrapped in bacon decorated with holly as a christmas starter
Not just any Duck Terrine: this is Robot Duck Terrine

We're not really in the business of posting recipes but as Christmas is looming I thought I'd offer up one of our festive staples, which I made up my very own self: my duck terrine with a pineapple relish type thing which Mrs R calls Slutney (salsa / chutney) and which her brother - admittedly a tad under the influence - christened Sexual Marmalade: a name I love though figured is probably sub-optimal as a title for search engine purposes.

Anyway, this is meaty, rich and fragrant and makes a jolly good starter. You will need:

For the terrine
Serves 6-8 as a starter, or 2 with no shame
  • 2 duck breast
  • 3 top quality sausages
  • 1 slice white bread, crumbed
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • About 8 rashers streaky bacon
  • 2 tbps port
  • 2 tbps brandy
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 5 cloves
  • 3 juniper berries
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • Pinch salt (edit: actually a pinch OF salt. Don't steal salt, kids)

Finely chop the duck breast – I like to do one in tiny pieces and other about 3-5mm chunks: partly for the varied texture but also because all that chopping gets to be a pain in the arse, frankly.

A note on the sausages: you want the best you can get, fairly traditional but not overly flavoured or herbed. You don't want Cumberland for this. Lincolnshire maybe, at a push. I know which ones I want from my local butcher (Walter Rose & Son Old English, if you care) and at worst you can intend to make this terrine purely as an excuse to try all the sausages. I know I would.

Terrine filling: finely chopped duck with sausage meat and orange zest
Duck, sausage, orange, brandy, port, optional dribble

Take the skin off the sausages and break the meat up. Put in a large bowl with the duck meat, breadcrumbs, port, brandy, orange zest & egg. 

Blitz the spices in a blender or coffee grinder to a fine power and add to the meat mix. Squidge it all really well until all the liquid is fully incorporated.

Pepper, coriander, clove and juniper in a spice blender.
Gratuitous spice shot

Rub the terrine dish with butter. Use the back of a knife to stretch the bacon, and use it to line the terrine with plenty hanging over the edges.

Pile the mix in, and wrap the bacon ends over the top. Doesn't have to be that pretty because this will be on the bottom when you serve.

Full terrine dish with bacon wrapped across the filling
Ducks in blankets

Cover with lid or foil, and put in a roasting tin or oven-proof dish. Pour hot water into the tin to come about halfway up the terrine dish. Put your bain-marie (for it is she) in preheated low oven, about gas 3, for an hour and a half.

Once it's cooked, press the terrine overnight: make a flat lid of thin wood / double thickness cardboard covered with foil. Weight it down with heavy books, tins etc. MAKE SURE you’ve still got it inside a roasting tin or something – lots of juice will get squished out.

Terrine being pressed under two tins and a large cookbook
Other unruly-haired chefs are available. Probably.

Remove from the terrine dish and gently scrape off any excess jelly with the back of a knife.

Serve with crusty bread, leaf salad, and chutney or Sexual Marmalade.

For the Sexual Marmalade
(by which I think my dear brother-in-law meant "sexy" but as I say he was somewhat tired and emotional)
Diced pineapple, cinnamon stick, coriander seed, chilli
Fruity... Hot... Juicy... Stick(y)... Seed.... What???

  • 1 big / 2 little tin(s) in of pineapple rings or chunks in juice
  • White wine vinegar
  • Caster sugar
  • Salt & pepper
  • 6-10 Coriander seeds
  • Cinnamon stick
  • Small chilli (optional)

This is all about getting a balance through tasting and tweaking so calling it a recipe is a bit of a lie but anyway.

Chop the pineapple into about 1/2cm dice and set aside.

Mix the pineapple juice with a tablespoon or so of vinegar and have a taste. You’re looking for a sweet/sour tang. Too sweet? Add a touch more vinegar. Gone too far? Balance it with a bit of caster sugar. Keep going in small dabs ‘til you’re happy. Don't forget to season with salt & pepper too.

Once you're happy with the basic flavour, put into a small pan with the pineapple and spices. Bring to the boil and then turn down to a lively simmer. Cook through until the liquid has reduced to nearly (but not quite) a glaze. You’re looking for a sort of loose chutney consistency. Keep tasting as it reduces though, since the flavour profile may change a bit. If the chilli is coming through too much, counter it with a bit more sugar.

Pineapple simmering in a pan with juice, cinnamon and chilli

Set aside to cool and remove the chilli and cinnamon stick – you can pick out the coriander seed too if you like, but I prefer to leave it in for little taste explosions.

These are ideal to make a day or two ahead since they'll only get better for maturing. Serve up a good slab or two of terrine and a dollop of you-know-what, crack open the fino and don a paper hat. It's Christmas after all....

Duck terrine, pineapple chutney, served on a wooden board

All images (c) PP Gettins

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