Pork shank and Spring herb terrine

This terrine differs from the Burgundian classic Jambon Persillée  in that it is made from fresh pork shanks instead of from smoked ham.  The inclusion of soft herbs give it a lightness that contrasts with many other terrines.

This recipe makes two (6 cup) terrines

Ingredients

4 fresh pork shanks
1 calves foot
1 tablespoon pink salt
1 gallon water
3/4 cup kosher salt
2 bay leaves
10 black peppercorns
Thyme sprigs
Parsley stems
8 cloves
1 onion, peeled
2 carrots, peeled
Handful of garlic, peeled and germ removed
1 cup Madeira
.5 liters dry white wine
1 bunch each chives, tarragon and Italian parsley
3 large shallots
4 oz Calvados
1/2 cup cider vinegar
5 sheets gelatin

Preparation

  1. Make the brine: combine the water, pink salt, salt, bay, peppercorns, cloves, thyme and parsley stems in a large pan. Bring to a boil, then let sit until room temperature. Cool Completely.
  2. Marinate the shanks: Put the pork shanks and the calves foot into the brine. Let sit overnight.
  3. Cook the shanks: Remove the shanks and foot from the brine, and put into a large pot. Strain the brine, discard the liquid and save the spices and herbs. Fill the pot with cold water to just cover the meat. Bring to a boil over high heat. Drain and refill with cold water to just cover the meat. Add the wine, Madeira, reserved spices and herbs from the brine, the onion, carrot and garlic. Bring to a boil, skim carefully and lower the heat to a gentle simmer. Simmer until the shanks are completely cooked and tender.
  4. Remove the shanks from the cooking liquid. Strain the liquid through a fine strainer, discard the spices, herbs and the calves' foot. Cool the liquid to 40 degrees F.
  5. Pick over the shanks removing all bone, fat , gristle and skin (note the skin can be dried and fried for cracklin's). Break up the shank meat so that the largest pieces are smaller than 3/4". Cool the meat.
  6. Prepare the aspic: Carefully remove all fat from the cold liquid. Put the liquid into a pot and reduce to 3 quarts over high heat. While the liquid is reducing, soak the gelatin in cold water. When the liquid is reduced, add the Calvados and season well with salt and black pepper. Remove the gelatin from the water, wring and add to the cooking liquid. Bring to a boil, then remove from the heat . Test the set of the aspic by chilling a small amount on a plate in the freezer. It should set but not be rubbery.
  7. Prepare the filling: Chop the chives finely. Stem and finely chop the tarragon and parsley. Wring the chopped herbs in a towel to dry. Peel and finely chop the shallots. Mix the herbs, shallots and vinegar with the shank meat. Season well with salt and black pepper. Line 2 terrines with plastic film.
  8. Fill the terrines with warm aspic and shank meat, beginning with a layer of warm aspic, then about 1 inch of meat, then aspic, etc. Do not pack the meat. It must be completely saturated with aspic and loose or the terrine will be crumbly. Finish the top of the terrine with a layer of aspic. Cool the terrines uncovered overnight.
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