Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Ham Hock and Cornichon Terrin

I've always wanted to make a terrine, after watching Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall making one. They do seem a lot of effort, but whenever I've had terrine in a restaurant I have also enjoyed it.

Making the terrine does take a long time- between 4-5 hours, though I'm not complaining as it gives me time to sit down with a glass of wine (or 2,3,hic), whilst waiting for it to cook and cool down.

Although I am saying you need 2kg of Ham Hock, it is actually difficult to get exactly 2kg. I needed two hocks as one wasn't enough and they came to over 2kg. Do not worry, as what is left over can go into making a great sandwich or two. Actually for me the meat didn't last long enough to make it to the bread as I was busy scoffing it as I went along. Well I needed something to soak up the wine didn't I? ;-)

When cooking the hock(s) you should boil them very rapidly for about 10 minutes and then reduce the heat so the water is barely bubbling. This is to ensure that the liquid stays clear. If the water is boiling too fast it will become cloudy.

  • 3 litres of water
  • 2kg ham hocks
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 2 sticks of celery, sliced
  • 1 large onion, cut in half
  • 10 black pepper corns
  • pack of flat leaf parsley
  • bouquet garni
  • 100g cornichons
  • gelatine
  • cling film
  • 900g loaf tin

Put the water into a large pan and add the ham hock(s), the carrots, celery and onion. From the pack of parsley take out a few sprigs and add to the water along with the peppercorns.

Bring to the boil and cook for about 10 minutes. Then reduce the heat so that the water is hardly moving and remove any scum that comes to the surface. Cook for at least three hours or until the meat is easily removed from the bone.

Once cooked remove the hock(s) and allow to cool down. Sieve the liquid into a jug and put it to one side to cool down also.

Once the meat has cooled down, remove as much fat as possible and pull the meat from the bone. With your hands pull the meat into shreds and place into a bowl.

Take the cornichons and rinse them, cut in half length ways and then chop into small pieces and add to the meat
Take the rest of the flat leaf parsley and blanch it in boiling water for about 15-20 seconds. Remove and chop finely (I used the stalks as well). Add it to the meat.

Take 500ml of the ham stock that was set aside and place it in a pan. Heat gently but do not let it boil as the gelatine might not set very well. I am using leaf gelatine and whilst the stock is warming up, I placed 4 leaves of the gelatine (check your instructions on the pack as it may be different) into cold water. After 5 minutes remove it and squeeze out any water then add it to the stock, stirring until the gelatine has melted. Remove from heat and let the mixture cool down.

Take a long piece of clingfilm and pull it over the loaf tin, pushing it into the sides and then back again, leaving an edge on both sides. Repeat this again, so that you have four layers in the tin.

Place the ham mixture into the loaf tin, pushing down to get as much in as possible.

If you haven't got a lid for your loaf tin, take a piece of cardboard, the same size as your loaf tin and wrap tin foil over it. It will be used to sit directly on the meat.

Once the ham stock is cooler, pour it into the loaf tin, being careful not to pour too fast, otherwise the liquid spills over the top.

Once the liquid has covered the ham completely, pull the cling film over the top to over it. Put the lid on top and place in the fridge for 12 hours. You need to add some weight on to the lid so that it presses the contents down. A couple of tins of beans (or similar) should do the trick.

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