Traditionally, a pate was a fine savory meat filling wrapped in pastry, baked and serve hot or cold. A terrine was considered more basic, containing coarsely ground and highly seasoned meats baked in a water bath in an earthware mold and generally served cold. The dishware used is also called a terrine, derived from the French word terre, meaning earth.
Today, the term pate and terrine are used almost interchangeably.
Terrine cookware comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. Pates that are not baked in a crust can be prepared in standard metal loaf pans of any shape, although rectangular ones make portioning easier. Here we have listed a few recommendations for terrine cookware
Terrines are forcemeats baked in a mold without a crust. The mold can be traditional earthenware or some other appropriate metal, enamel or glass mold. Any type of forcemeat can be used to make a terrine. The terrine can be as simple as a baking dish filled with a forcemeat and baked until done. A more attractive terrine can be constructed by layering the forcemeat with garnishes to create a mosaic effect when sliced.
A terrine can even be layered with different forcemeats such as pink salmon mousseline layered with white pike mousseline.
Procedure for Preparing Terrine
- Prepare the desired forcemeat and garnishes. Keep refrigerated.
- Line a mold with thin slices of backfat (Such as bacon, pork fat), blanched leafy vegetables or another appropriate liner. The lining should overlap slightly, completely covering the inside of the mold and extending over the edges of the mold. A good measurement is about 1 inch.
- Fill the terrine with the forcemeat and garnishes, being careful not to create air pockets. Tap the mold several times on a solid surface to remove any air pockets that have formed.
- Fold the liner over the forcemeat and, if necessary, use additional pieces of fat/backfat to completely cover the surface
- If you so desire, garnish the top of the terrine with herbs that were used in the forcemeat
- Cover the terrine with its lid or aluminum foil and bake in a water bath at 350’F in the oven. Regular the temperature so the water stays between 77’C-82’C (170’F – 180’F). The water bath may be replaced by cooking terrines in a combitherm oven with steam, but you will only see these in high-end commercial kitchens.
- Cook the terrine so the internal temperature reaches 60’C (140’F) for meat-based forcemeats, 55’C (170’F) for fish or vegetable based forcemeats.
- Remove the terrine from the oven and cool slightly.
Several types of terrines are not made from traditional forcemeats. Many others are not made from forcemeats at all. But nevertheless, they are called terrines because they are molded or cooked in the earthenware mold called a terrine. These include liver (and foie gras) terrines, vegetable terrines, brawns or aspic terrines, mousses, rillettes, and confits.
Liver terrines are popular and easy to make and you can find them usually in your local grocery store. Pureed poultry, pork or veal livers are mixed with eggs, seasonings and a panada of cream and bread, then baked in a backfat or bacon-lined terrine. Although most liver puree easily in a food processor, a smoother finished product is achieved if the livers are forced through the drum sieve after you puree them.
Foie Gras Terrine
Foie gras terrines are made wth fattened geese or duck livers called foie gras. Foie gras is unique, even among other poultry livers, in that it consists almost entirely of fat. It requires special attention during cooking. It is an expensive cut and best left for those well-seasoned in terrine creation.
Vegetable terrine can be made with a relatively low-fat content and are becoming increasingly popular as they are much less intimidating as the classic terrines. Beautiful vegetable terrines are made by lining a terrine with a blanched leafy vegetable such as spinach, then alternating layers of two or three separately prepared vegetable fillings to create contrasting colors and flavors. A unique and different style of the vegetable terrine is made by suspending brightly colored vegetables in mousseline forcemeat.
Brawn or Aspic Terrine
Brawns are aspic terrines are made by simmering gelatinous cuts of meat in a rich stock with wine and flavorings. The stock is enriched with gelatin and flavor from the meat, creating an unclarified aspic jelly. The meat is then pulled from the bone, diced and packed into the terrine mold. The stock is reduced to concentrate its gelatin content and strained. Then poured over the meat inside the terrine. After it has set, it is removed from the mold and sliced. The finished product is a classic and flavorful dish.
A more elegant appearing brawn is made by lining a terrine mold with aspic jelly, arranging a layer of garnish along with the mold bottom, adding aspic jelly to cover the garnish and repeating until the mold is full.
A mousse can be sweet or savory. A savory mousse — which is not a mousseline forcemeat — is made from fully cooked meats, poultry, fish, shellfish or vegetables that are pureed and combined with a bechamel or other sauce, bound with gelatin and lightened with whipped cream. A
Rillettes and Confits
Rillettes and confits are actually preserved meats. Rillettes are prepared by seasoning and slow-cooking pork or fatty poultry such as duck or goose in generous amounts of their own fat until the meat falls off the bone. The warm meat is then mashed and combined with a portion of the cooking fat. The mixture is then packed into a crock or terrine and rendered fat is strained over the top to seal it. Rillettes are eating cold as a spread.
Confit is prepared in a similar manner except before cooking, the meat or poultry is often lightly salt-cured to draw out some moisture. The confit is then cooked until very tender but not falling apart. Confits are generally served hot. Like rillettes, confits can be preserved by sealing them with a layer of fat.
Although it is sometimes incorrectly called chicken liver pate, chopped chicken liver is prepared in a similar fashion to a rillette.