I personally own several terrines – that’s right I don’t just talk the talk. They are a regular part of my dishware. They serve different purposes on different occasions. One of my small terrines I have used to stock my sea salt, which I have by my side for all my seasoning while cooking. I also use the smaller ones for table service to present my sauces and side dishes such as rice, quinoa, vegetables etc.
The large terrines I use all Winter for preparing my heartier meals – It’s not because there is a large fish on the cover of the terrine that it need be reserved only for fish dishes – dare to be different! I may use a dish just because it is the right size and adds an element of decoration to my dinner table.
My recipe for a Sunday lunch with family or a Saturday dinner with friends starts at the market:
At my butcher, I buy good quality meat for stew, (beef, lamb or veal), at my fruit and vegetable stand, I buy potatoes, large carrots, turnips, curly cabbage, three leeks, one or two large onions, & a boquet garni. I cut the pieces of meat into bite size pieces. I peel and chop them into small pieces and mix everything in my terrine. I add some sea salt and freshly ground pepper. If I have chosen lamb, I may add a clove of garlic. I cover my terrine with aluminum foil. I let it marinade for an hour or two or even the whole night. The cover of the terrine is only for the presentation of my dish at the table.
Without preheating my oven, I place my terrine in the oven without the cover; I cook it at 200ºC (390ºF) for 2 hours or longer depending on the cut of meat. I check my preparation from time to time.
When the dish is cooked, I take out my terrine, remove the aluminum foil, I place the cover of my terrine on top, ready to serve at the table. I ensure that there is salt at the table in my smaller terrine along with a pepper mill. I’ll serve it up with a green salad some red wine and the perfect meal is set. I love Burgundy wine personally so my wine of choice might be a pinot noir “village” or an haute côte de nuit.
As is tradition, I could be following the meal with a cheese plate accompanied by rustic bread. And with this I would serve a superior wine.
In Winter, for dessert, I love to serve up a simple tarte aux pommes (apple tart) or tarte aux poires (pear tart), paired with a sweet wine like a gewürztraminer form Alsace.
I don’t follow recipes to the letter like you would have to do for pastry. Generally, I will read several recipes and try to grasp the essence of the recipe and what is most important. Then with the ingredients I have on hand or what I can substitute, I create my own variation.
I hope that I have given you the desire to dust off your terrines and put them to use from oven to table, serving up your delicious creations. While doing the dishes, I’m convinced that you will fondly recall the meal you have enjoyed with your family or friends and be delighted with your acquisition. If you don’t already have a terrine, we’d be happy to help you enter this world of traditional French cuisine, with a vast choice from terrines with pigs, rabbits, fish or the rare woodcock . . .
Interested in ordering a terrine? View our current selection with sizes and prices, here