Fast Food, Slow Food


My baker was really starting to slack.

He was supposed to bake for a New Year’s eve party. I would make pate, he would make bread, our hostess would “ouh” and “ah”. A 911 call came in. As a member of a local rescue squad, he responded. I guess that’s as good an excuse as one can get… That night, the hostess got Cardamom Custard Tartelettes, Pear & Quince Jam Tartelettes and a bottle of homemade peach liqueur. She still “ouh”-ed et “ah”-ed and promptly whisked the bottle away whispering, “if you don’t mind, I won’t serve that tonight”. I don’t mind.

So, my baker would bake for New Year’s Day and I would serve the Pate that day. Another 911 calls came in on New Year’s day morning, and so I served Hoppin’ John and Garlicky Vinegared Mustard Greens instead.

Eventually, a batch of country baguettes was baked the day after New Year’s day. By then, the Venison and Pork Terrine (made of all local ingredients, except for the Juniper berries) had nicely mellowed. The mache and lettuce, although battered by several days of cold temperatures (below 15 F/ -9C), are still yielding enough for a few big bowls of salad.

So this is lunch for the next few days. Grab & sit. No pan to wash. Fast food at its best.

Verdict: While the baguettes taste wonderful, the Terrine could have been salted more. It’s a good thing I had a jar of Spicy Plum Chutney from the Virginia Chutney Company on hand: the chutney, locally made in Washington, VA, really complemented the terrine very well, and helped to forget that I had under salted it. Hey, I am still developing the recipe. I don’t mind making more (I will) to perfect the recipe – as long as there is baguette to try it with. Nobody minds being guinea pigs for terrines & pates in the house. Mustard greens doesn’t  quite get the same welcome. I don’t understand…

Note for the Locavore Log: mache & lettuce greens for the salad, pork & venison used for the pateas well as some of the pickles immedatiately local; flour for the bread… I wish!

3 thoughts on “Fast Food, Slow Food”

  • Every dish you mentioned in this post sounds wonderful. I have never made a terrine but have always wanted to. I made a pate recently and despite all of the glowing reviews on Epicurious, I found it dreadful. I have had wonderful pates in the past. Do they ever contain anything other than chicken liver? The one I had was overwhelmingly “Liver-y” despite the addition of spices and shallots.

    And by the way, peach liquer? Oh my gosh does that sound delicious!

  • Hello Matt. Most people (even I) use the term terrine & pate interchangeably: originally pate means encased in paste/dough (the meaning of pate in French) and terrine meant cooked in an earthware vessel. Today, as I say, people often use either term and they really mean “a terrine” (even though it’s no longer cooked in an earthware vessel, but probably in a pyrex loaf pan).

    Liver (chicken, rabbit, veal or pork) is often used as a binding agent, or for contrast in the texture but the flavor should mellow out and not overwhelm the terrine – unless one is of course making a liver terrine.

    I will post my Venison & Pork terrine recipe soon. But in the meantime, here are three recipes from Saveur Magazine which I have made, and which were very good. The rabbit one does not have extra liver, but the liver from the rabbit, so very little, but it really helps to bind the terrine and the flavors. Madame Caters Terrine does contains quite a bit of of pork liver – but not exclusively, and it’s a fairly easy recipe, that gives good results ( I definitively recommend pastured raised and finished pork, as I think their liver really taste better). The duck pate can be made with duck liver instead of the chicken liver called for in the recipe – and that is what I do – if you can get your hand on a whole duck. You can use the duck bones & wings to make a stock that’s great for Pho and the legs can be roasted. Also it’s better if you can get uncured bacon, the taste of the terrine will remain “purer”. Good luck Matt. It’s fun, and it is good eating.

  • All three of the Saveur terrines look far more delicious than the one I made. I think I prefer the addition of the extra ingredients rather than just liver alone. Thank you for the help!

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