An excellent duck terrine that requires little skill to prepare; it must however, be started 36 hours ahead for the flavour to mature.
The preparation, in term of man hours, isn't long, but to develop it's full flavour it needs to marinate before cooking and to cool and set for at least 8 hours afterwards.
Once cooked it will continue to improve for 2-3 days; and can be stored in the fridge for up to 10 days with no adverse effects.
It's particularly delicious served with "Onion Marmalade" and "Sweet and Sour Prunes".
Equipment: Food Processor; a terrine capable of holding 1.4 litres/2.5 pints of water or smaller ovenproof bowls - see instructions below.
1 * 2.25 kilo/5lb oven-ready Duck
140ml/¼ Cognac or Armagnac
140ml/¼ Sercial Madeira or Dry Sherry
2 tablespoons (30ml) Groundnut or Sunflower Oil
450g/1lb Unsmoked Streaky Bacon, with the rind removed
225g/½lb unsalted fresh Pork Belly; with the rind and small bones removed – then cut into cubes
225g/½lb Chicken Livers, drained; and the liver from the duck
2 big cloves of Garlic, peeled and finely-chopped
2 Bay Leaves
2 big pinches of Dried Thyme
1 medium Egg
Salt and freshly-ground Black Pepper
At least 36 hours, preferably more, before the terrine is to be served –
1. Remove the bag of giblets from the duck; save the liver from these, and throw the rest away.
2. Remove all the meat, including the fat and skin, from the duck; being careful to take out all the small bones. This is a very easy process and shouldn't take more than 10 minutes.
3. Cut this meat into 1cm/½in pieces, and put it into a big glass or stainless steel bowl.
4. Add the chopped belly pork, Cognac, Madeira/Sherry, Garlic and Herbs. Allow to marinate for a minimum of 4 hours at room temperature, or overnight in a fridge if you have time.
5. Line your chosen terrine or ovenproof dish with the streaky bacon, and set aside a few slices to cover the top. Any left over pieces should be chopped and added to your marinade mixture.
If you have to use 2 smaller terrines, don't despair – follow the instructions in the same way, but reduce the total cooking time by 30 minutes.
6. Drain the meat, reserving the marinade.
7. Heat the oil, over a medium heat, in a big saucepan, and fry the meat together with the herbs and chicken/duck livers until they are brown – stirring occasionally.
8. Allow the mixture to cool, then remove the bay leaves. Heat the oven to 160°/325°/Gas 3.
9. Chop the mixture in a food processor until coarsely-chopped – so not over smooth. Add the egg, the reserved marinade, ½ teaspoon (2ml) salt and a generous amount of freshly ground pepper and quickly process again.
10. Carefully pour the mixture into your prepared terrine, being careful not to disturb the bacon. Cover the top with the reserved bacon rashers.
11. Cover the container with the foil, loosely sealing the edges.
12. Place in a roasting tin to catch any fat and cook for 1 hour 40 minutes in the pre-heated oven.
13. Cool slightly, then remove the foil and replace any fat and liquid that has leaked into the roasting tin.
14. Put the terrine complete with surrounding tin in the fridge and carefully balance some tins on top, to act as compressing weights.
15. Leave to set for at least 8 hours.
Serve cut into slices.
Recipe taken from 'Foolproof Entertaining' by Simon Scrutton.