I know you’re just dying inside to know how my terrines turned out.
Well, after poaching them in a water bath (the oven was 350, the water 180 and the internal temp of the terrine a precise 155) and weighting them with bricks, setting them in the cooler overnight and poking them with curiosity, the terrines finally popped their molds today.
It was a bit of a vexing sight, actually, to see these terrines naked without their protective barriers keeping them in shape. They were…well, let’s be honest here. They were mounds of poached meat.
Let me sum up this whole terrine thing. A terrine is a fancy meatloaf and an aspic is a savory Jell-O.
Now that I have that off my chest, I can say I pleasantly surprised at how they turned out. Our mushroom terrine, in its happy little triangle mold, was actually quite beautiful–creamy pink at the top, eggshell white the middle and earthy grey at the bottom–all in all quite fancy.
Our rabbit terrine was even prettier. Studded with pistachios, almonds and hazelnuts along with tender slivers of rabbit tenderloin, it looked like a treasure chest of meat wrapped in bacon.
Of course, from the outside, they weren’t very pretty, and the gelatinous residue left in the terrine mold was unappetizing, despite the chef’s insistence it was “delicious and good for your bones!” (I tried it. It was cold, congealed and slimy. I pride myself on trying everything at least once, but I won’t put that stuff in my mouth again.)
And, last but not least, our heirloom tomato aspic. We carefully removed it from the mold, propped it upright as it wiggled towards freedom and tried to gingerly cut it without tearing its gelatinous innards apart. We mostly succeeded.
This is, of course, Le Cordon Bleu, where it’s a big deal to make a big deal out of French food, so we designed a giant garde manger spread using an aspic platter as a centerpiece (made simply like a Jell-O stained glass, colored gelatin can become an art form). We handmade our own mustards, which were potent and vibrant and pack a real whollop. I will share the recipe, slightly modified after trial and error, below.
And I’m sure you want to know what everything looked like, right? Of course you do! Well, here it is: our platter of Garde Mange Goodness.
And now, as I promised, a kick-butt mustard recipe. And I really do mean that–this stuff is potent. It only takes a little, but it goes a long way and you’ll love it. Just trust me.
2/3 c ark beer
2/3 c dry mustard
dash white pepper
1/8 t allspice
1/2 t Worcestershire sauce
1T packed brown sugar
2T white wine vinegar
1T caraway seeds
1. Combine all ingredients except the caraway seeds, mixing to combine thoroughly.
2. In a double broiler (a bowl over boiling water) cook the mixture, stirring constantly until smooth and thick. Taste, adjust seasonings.
3. Add caraway seeds, combine well.
4. Stores well refrigerated for up to two weeks.
This powerful mustard will help any terrine go down. (Not that I didn’t love the terrines… I just found the mushroom terrine a bit chalky. I’m not a fan of poached meat, I guess.) Let’s face it: they’re kind of a genius idea, and a huge moneymaker.
And who doesn’t like the idea of meat Jell-O?