Wild Boar Terrine

Terrine has always scared me.  Not from an eating standpoint, mind you, but from a making standpoint.

I really can’t tell you why, though.  Somewhere in the distant past, I recall seeing a recipe that took days to make.  I’ll be damned if I can find it now, though.  Maybe, like the bogey-man, it was all in my head.  Of course, given my slight proclivity for OCD-ish behavior, I’ll spend several hours trying to hunt down that recipe as soon as I’m done with this…

My neuroses notwithstanding, I have managed to overcome that fear, first taking the small step of using a simplified version to stuff mushrooms (portabella mushrooms stuffed with a tarragon-chicken mousseline).  Then, having found success there, I jumped straight into wild boar.

The only challenge, really, is that boar is a bit on the…gamey side. But if you’ve got a basic understanding of what tastes good with wild game, that poses no real obstacle.

Wild Boar TerrineDSC_8145

What You Need

  • 1 lb. ground boar meat
  • 10 oz. cream
  • 1 egg
  • 3 oz. cognac
  • 6 oz. amontillado
  • 1/3 cup roasted pistachios (shelled)
  • 1 tbsp. minced rosemary
  • 1 tbsp. juniper berries (dried)
  • 2 tsp. dried currants
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

What To Do with It

Preheat an oven to 300.

Burn the brandy and add the amontillado.  Reduce to about 2 tbsp. It will be thick, but stop short of syrupy.

Put the pistachios in a food processor and pulse until they’re well-chopped (you can also use a chef’s knife, but since you’re going to use the processor later, anyhow, might as well be quick about it).

Speaking of…add the ground boar, cream and egg and blend about 15 seconds.  Add the rest of the ingredients, along with a little salt and pepper, and zap it again.

Put a small skillet on the stove. Take about a teaspoon of your meat mixture and fry it up.  Now taste it and adjust seasonings (e.g. salt and pepper) if necessary.

Line a terrine mold (if you have one) or a large ramekin (or even several little ones) with plastic wrap.  Leave enough on the edges to cover the meat.  Now put the meat in the mold, fold over the tails of the plastic wrap, and set the mold in a water bath (that is, another pan with water in it).  Cook until the internal temperature is 155.  Depending on your cooking vessel, this may take 35 minutes, it may take over an hour (using a terrine mold, I cooked my last batch about an hour and 15 minutes, using a large ramekin, it took about 45).

Remove and let cool to the point you can handle it (about 120 degrees).  Now put a pressure plate on top of the meat (or if you’re using a ramekin, cut out and wrap in foil cardboard just large enough to fit snugly inside the ramekin), and put a 2 lb. weight on top.  Refrigerate overnight.

I like to serve this with cornichons, croutons made from pain de campagne, and a somewhat tart preserve, such as rhubarb.