This month’s challenge was to make the Pork Terrine with Pork Tenderloin Inlay from Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing by Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn.
This month, let me just say, I was uninspired. Between lengthy travel for both my Darling Husband (DH) and I, this month’s goal was just to co-habitate in the same place at the same time. After that, it was to dial back the craziness of the past few weeks and take a breather. So, this month snook up on us. I usually have my debut dish planned within days of the challenge release, and plans on exactly how it is going to go shortly thereafter. This month I left the shopping to the very last minute, and the preparation until 2 days before “go time”.
It didn’t help that this is was a reinvigorating the classics rather than a preservation challenge, which are becoming my favorites.
Easy. I had leftover fat from the last challenge. My butcher knows the now-monthly needing pork shoulder drill, and he always has some on hand. The ham I picked up elsewhere, and the pork loin is a staple ingredient in South Florida, so it was no trouble at all to find.
Easy. Super easy. Like took under an hour easy. My DH is a pork grinding pro at this point, and managed to rock out the ground portion in no time. The pureeing took a little doing, since my poor food processor was packed to the gills, but I added a splash of cold water and things came together nicely.
My final assembly was again on the ghetto side. I completely forgot to check whether I had leftover little meatloaf pans from last month’s terrine, so I ended up using the only loaf pan I have — a silicone model. Hey, it might not look like high French haute cuisine, but whatever works, right? Maybe someday I will invest in an actual terrine, but for now, ghetto rigged is the way to go.
We served the debut with a side of Garlicky Lentils. This side made the perfect accompaniment; in fact, the bites taken with the lentils were much better and more flavorful than the bites taken alone.
On its own, this terrine is a bit bland. The forcemeat texture is on the less than pleasant side, too. It’s not horrible–and the tenderloin is great–but it’s not our favorite. Aspic (or congealed pork juice) kind of freaks me out to tell the truth. It’s good, but not my favorite thing to picture while I am eating and that was all I could think about.