Everyone loves a good terrine, right? That’s what I thought. That’s why I put this scrumptious little number as part of the starter for my supper club back in October. I put the terrine in an espresso cup, served it with some squash, orange and ginger soup and mini Yorkshire puddings and that was it- Bob’s your Uncle and a thank-you very much. The terrine is a bit of a faff, so save it for something special, but it definitely stays within the £20 a week budget, as ham hock is the knuckle of the pig, so it’s one of the cheapest bits you can buy. 2kg shouldn’t cost more than a fiver from a good butcher.
A terrine is really just a coarse pâté so you don’t have to be too neat or exact with the measurements, but I would say go easy on the star anise. I’m a big fan and so was a bit heavy handed and it did taste a little too perfumed for my liking, but each to their own. Also, don’t be freaked out by using gelatine, it’s way easier than you think and there’s quite a lot of natural gelatine from the hock anyway.
I adapted this recipe from the BBC website, it makes a loaf tin sized amount.
2 largish Ham hocks weighing between 1.5-2kg together, smoked if you desire
3 small onions
2 large carrots
2 sticks of celery inc. leaves (be careful, over celerying is easy because you’re reluctant to put it in anything else, don’t be tempted to use more, I just fill the other sticks with peanut butter and feed to house-mates)
500ml dry cider, such as Henney’s
1 tspn Bouillon powder
2 large bay leaves (or 3 smaller ones)
2 star anise
10 black peppercorns
¼ tspn sea salt
Good handful fresh thyme
1 ½ tbspn wholegrain mustard
Lots of flat leaf parsley roughly chopped
Capers, to serve (optional)
- Put your hocks in one of the largest pans you can find and add all the other ingredients with the exception of the mustard and the parsley. Feel free to vary the quantities based on your personal preference, but these are reliable guidelines.
- Poke everything a bit so it’s nice and snug and top up with boiling water so everything is covered.
- Put a lid on the pan, turn up the heat so it’s boiling and bubbling and you’re salivating from the smell.
- Then turn down the heat, keeping the lid on, and leave for 2 ½ hours. This is really important.
- Keep an eye on it and maybe poke a bit more every so often, to make sure everything is in order.
- When the time is up, fish out the hocks and put to one side to cool down. Then strain the rest of this amazing stock, putting the liquid back in the pan and you can do what you like with the veg (I roasted them a bit and served them as an accompaniment to a Sunday Roast, after getting rid of the whole spices)
- Now get down and dirty. Not like that! Please. I meant strip the hocks and separate the sinew and fat from the salty, flaky meaty bits.
- Put what’s edible in a big bowl, add the mustard and parsley and stir to make sure everything is evenly distributed.
- Reduce the stock and soak 4 leaves of gelatine in cold water.
- Whilst this is happening, line a loaf tine with cling film, leaving excess round the edges so that you can fold it over the top easily.
- Put the hammustardparsley mix in the tin and compact lightly.
- Measure out around 400ml of stock in a jug, squeeze excess water from the gelatine leaves and dissolve them in the stock by stirring until all remnants are gone.
- Pour into the loaf tin, but you probably won’t need all of it, just pour in enough so it is level with the meat but not covering completely.
- Fold the cling film over and refrigerate for about eight hours or overnight.
- This is great on stale toast with even more mustard and crisp glass of white.