Let’s talk bucket lists. You know, the list of things you want to do once in your lifetime, like climbing Mount Everest or a round-the-world-sailing trip. Or, if you want to have a bigger chance of actually realizing your list, your list might have things on it like ‘run 10 km in one hour’ or ‘visit Paris’ (yep, checked that box already!).
I don’t have a bucket list in the traditional sense of it, but I do have food bucket list. I haven’t written anything down, and to be frank, my list changes a lot and is never-ending. I don’t expect there will ever be a day where I can say; I’ve cooked and baked enough, there’s nothing to experiment anymore, from now on it’s cheese sandwiches everyday. There’s always more to explore, new combinations to try or ‘difficult’ food to be prepared!
Trying something for the very first time and having an outcome just like you hoped, is such a great experience. Sometimes I wonder if I can do it, sometimes things seem too difficult a task to get an edible result, so the reward is even bigger when you take your food out of the oven and tadaaa…it’s perfect! (or almost perfect, let’s not be too picky, shall we?)
Making my own pepper terrine was such a food bucket list challenge. One that I told myself I couldn’t do, not without a proper terrine form. So the day I stumbled on a pretty white, not too expensive form, I knew the time had come. And you know what? Making a terrine wasn’t as hard as I had imagined. I was a bit scared of grounding the meat, since I don’t have a high speed blender or kitchen robot in my Paris kitchen, just a regular blender. But it turned out that a normal blender works fine, the meat chopping was easy and after you’ve done all the chopping, it’s merely a question of throwing all the ingredients together, filling the terrine form and baking it on low heat for an hour and a half.
So, there, I’ve checked another box on my list. Time to think of a good replacement to fill the empty spot.
PS Bought too much pork belly? Turn it into a delicious Honey mustard roasted pork belly
- Butter, 1 tsp
- Shallot, 1, chopped
- Pork belly, 350 gr (12 oz)
- Pork meat, 500 gr (1 pound + 2 oz)
- Chicken liver, 150 gr (1/3 pound)
- Pepper, freshly ground, 1 tsp
- Salt, 1 tsp
- Red Port wine, splash
- Cognac (brandy), splash
- Egg, 1
- Preserved peppercorns (the ones that come in a glass jar), 2 tbsp
- Bacon, 8 strips
- Melt the butter in a pan and bake the shallot on low heat until soft
- Set aside and leave to cool
- Cut any hard skin off the pork belly, and remove bones
- Chop all the meats in big chunks and let your kitchen robot or blender (I used a blender, worked fine) chop the meat finely/grind it. Be careful not to chop it too fine, we want to make a rustic terrine, not a smooth paté
- Grease a terrine and preheat the oven to 120 C / 250 F
- Line the terrine with the bacon
- Mix the ground meat with the shallot, pepper, salt, porto wine, cognac, egg and the peppercorns
- Put this mixture in the terrine and press well
- Place the lid on top and put the terrine in a big baking tray
- Add boiling water to the tray (not the terrine, the bottom of the terrine should stand in a layer of hot water, you're baking it au bain marie)
- Bake for 1.5 hour
- Leave to cool and store in the fridge, it tastes even better the next day