Classic Terrine

2006.Jul.15 Saturday · 0 comments

in Casa SaltShaker, Food & Recipes

Buenos Aires – It shouldn’t be any surprise that classics, especially in the culinary world, are often among the best food experiences. You can get as excited as you want about foams, gels, and airs cooked up in a laboratory. They’re all well and good, but ethereal as many of them may be, there are moments when you want something that reminds you just exactly where it all came from. Last night was supposed to be a selection of my takes on some classic French dishes, celebrating Bastille Day and all that. Unfortunately, over the two days prior to the dinner, two parties cancelled for Casa SaltShaker (a let-down after all our excitement earlier in the week with the press we received, but it was bound to happen), leaving us with one person headed our way. Awkwardness in the making. He decided he’d come next week and bring a friend. I’ll reschedule the French dinner for another time.

However, some things, especially many classics, need to be prepared in advance. One of those was a Boudin Blanc Terrine with an Onion Marmalade. Based on the classic pork or veal sausage, the flavors of the terrine are simple – delicate, with hints of herbs and spices floating in the background. The marmalade a beautiful counterpoint, with touches of sweet and sour. Both are incredibly easy to make, a testament to the amount of work that went into their creation. I didn’t make many changes to the classic recipes, a few of my own touches here and there. I can’t help myself.

Boudin Blanc Terrine with Onion Marmalade

onions for onion marmaladeBoth dishes, while a touch time consuming, are, as I said, easy to make. They’re also both best made a day or two in advance, in fact, the terrine has to be started about a day and half minimum ahead of time or you’ll never get it done correctly.


2 tablespoons of butter
1 pound of mixed onions – I used roughly equal parts shallots, red, and white onions
1 tablespoon of brown sugar
pinch of salt

Sliced onions for marmaladeThinly slice and saute the onions in the butter and sugar over low heat, cooking until completely soft and lightly golden.

1 cup of red wine
2 ounces of red wine vinegar
salt and black pepper to taste

Add the wine and vinegar to the mixture, turn up the heat slightly and cook until the liquid is completely absorbed. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Let cool. This will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week with no problem.


Onion marmalade1 cup of heavy cream
½ cup of milk
1 onion
3 shallots
5 teaspoons of salt
3 bay leaves (fresh if you can find them)
1 clove garlic
4 cloves
1 teaspoon white pepper
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon thyme leaves

Coarsely chop the onions, shallots, and garlic, and add to the rest of the ingredients in a small saucepan. Heat over low heat until just starting to simmer. Remove from heat and let the flavors infuse overnight. Strain the liquid, pressing the solids to extract as much flavor as you can.

1½ pounds of pork shoulder (you can subsitute veal or chicken if you prefer)
3 eggs
6 tablespoons of flour
¼ cup of port

Boudin Blanc Terrine with Onion MarmaladeTrim the pork shoulder of any sinew and any major bits of fat. Leave some fat on it, which will help baste the terrine internally as it cooks. Cut in small pieces to make it easier to process. Process in a food processor with the eggs, flour, port, and the strained cream mixture. Line a standard sized bread loaf pan with plastic wrap. Pour the mixture into the lined pan, packing it in well so that it fills in the corners. To help with that, pick up the pan an inch or two and sort of slam it down on your countertop or cutting board several times. That will also help get the air pockets out. Fold the overhanging plastic wrap over the top, then tightly cover the whole thing with foil. Put the loaf pan in a larger pan, preferably of almost equal or higher depth. Fill the larger pan with boiling water up to about ½” from the top of the loaf pan. Put in a 325°F oven and bake for 1½ hours. You can check it for doneness by inserting a sharp knife through the foil and pulling it out – when the terrine is done it will come out clean, but 90 minutes will generally do it. Remove the foil and let the terrine cool on a rack. Chill it for at least several hours to firm it up a bit. You can serve this cold, room temperature (my preference), or warmed, with a bit of the onion marmalade. Garnish with a bay leaf if you have fresh ones or nice looking dried ones.


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