Hi /r/food! After a childhood growing up with 2 multiple-job working parents – I never had the opportunity to learn to cook well. For the last little while at the age of 23, I’ve been challenging myself as much as possible by taking on difficult projects.
My latest was a rabbit and pistachio terrine that turned out beautifully and (as you can tell by the photos) has been a massive hit. I meant to take pictures of it for you before everyone started eating it, but it seems I was too late. In the photos you can see the last remaining quarter.
I apologise for the grubby plate – I had to quickly snap these photos before the last of it was devoured by ravenous coworkers.
I took it along to a bbq for a starter and served it with some pickle relish. Though I’ve realised this one tastes a bit better on its own – perhaps even with some bread.
The original recipe comes from here, though I halved it and did some improvising. From the recipe I’ll provide here you’ll get about 20 slices which you can cut in half to serve 20 people for an hors d’oeuvre or leave the slices whole to be served with pickles and crusty bread as an entree for 10.
I know the recipe I’ve provided seems a little long, though it really isn’t very hard. I’ve just provided some extra detail and information for those who aren’t very experienced cooks:
- 1 Litre loaf pan
- 6cm+ deep baking dish
- Aluminum Foil
- Small chopping board (bigger than the loaf pan)
- Some phone books, bricks or heavy cans
- Small-medium sized pot/saucepan
- Large mixing bowl
- A few paper towels
- 80gm shelled unsalted pistachios (try to get these as fresh as possible. Pistachios seem to turn into hard black horrible things when left too long on a store shelf and you don’t want them in your terrine… nor do you want to waste time inspecting every individual pistachio you’re putting in)
- 300gm thinly sliced rindless streaky bacon (I used speck which was annoying to line the pan with because it was slightly less malleable, but it worked in the end)
- 100gm pork mince
- 100gm veal mince (you can often get pork and veal mince already prepared together, this worked fine for me)
- 50gm pork fat (your butcher will probably give this to you for free or really cheaply – though you usually have to ask for it specially)
- 800gm boned rabbit (do a google search and find out who sells rabbit around your area. I was lucky to live nearby to a butcher that displayed rabbit, though your butcher can always order it if they don’t usually sell it. Call ahead and also ask if they can bone it for you. Boning’s a bitch)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves of garlic (I really like garlic – if you don’t, use 1 clove)
- 1 white onion
- 1/2 bunch of thyme, leaves picked
- 4-5 ice cubes
- Salt and white pepper to taste
Firstly, get your onion and garlic and chop them as finely as you can. If the pieces are too big, they can break up the terrine once finished and sliced. If you’re worried about this – use about a third less of the onions and garlic. Heat the olive oil in the saucepan over a medium-high heat then add the onion and garlic – stirring to coat with the oil.
While that’s cooking for 5 minutes (or until the onion becomes translucent) you can prepare the pistachios. Put them into a heat friendly jug/bowl and pour boiling water over them. While they’re sitting in there for 1-2 minutes – put some ice and cold water into another bowl/jug. Drain the pistachios and put them into the cold water. I left mine in the water until soon before adding them to the terrine, though other blanching instructions will tell you to dry them in the oven. I didn’t do this because I wanted them to become soft for slicing after the cooking process – though if a more seasoned cook finds this illogical, do whatever you think is best.
Once your onions look done, take them off the heat and stir in the thyme. Transfer them to another container and leave them on the benchtop to cool.
Preheat your oven to 150 C (300F) and get ready for the fun part. Take your strips of bacon and line the loaf pan, so that there is a slight overlap and no holes. There should be about 6-7 cm of overhang at the top, leave that sitting over the sides for the moment. This is the point where you set it aesthetically – as this will be the outer layer of your terrine – so be as neat as you want it to turn out. If your bacon is too short (like mine was) feel free to add a few extra strips over any holes on the bottom. If you’re having trouble making the bacon stay where you want it to, add a very small amount of butter to the pan to make it stick (as you have probably ascertained… this is not a health conscious dish)
At this point, drain your pistachios and leave them in the strainer while you prepare the other ingredients. Chop up the pork fat into 1cm-ish pieces. Coarsely chop the rabbit into slightly larger pieces – the size is dependent on how visible you would like it to be – I went for 3-4cm pieces. Add the fat, rabbit, veal/pork mince, onion/garlic mixture and pistachios to the mixing bowl. Add as much salt and pepper as you want, mine worked out to be about 3-4 teaspoons of each – though I think more would have been better.
Use your hands to mix as the ingredients together. Once thoroughly mixed, add it to the loaf pan. Don’t overfill the pan though. Cover the top of the mixture with the overhang of bacon – again, feel free to add some extra strips to cover any holes. Cover the pan with aluminum foil.
Line the bottom of the baking tray with some paper towels and place the loaf pan on top. Boil some water and pour it into the baking tray until it comes about half-way up the loaf pan.
Put into the oven for 1 hour 45 minutes. Once cooked, remove it from the oven and place on the bench for one hour to bring it to room temperature. Then, with the foil still on top, place it in the fridge on some paper towels and put a chopping board on top. Put whatever weights you’ve chosen to use on the chopping board and leave overnight. I left mine in there for 2 days – I don’t think it made a difference, it was just a timing thing. I didn’t put any paper towels underneath though and when I took it out, I found a puddle of fat had overflowed and cooled on the shelf. Not good. This is why I suggest paper towels.
To remove it, you have 2 options: you can run a knife around the outside and shake slightly over a plate, or place in warm water for 3 minutes before upturning onto a plate. I went with the knife option as I was concerned about destroying the integrity of the lovely jelly that had formed around the terrine.
Now it’s done! Slice it with a sharp knife to serve. Enjoy!