Rabbit & Pork Belly Terrine with Roasted Pomegranate Cippolines and Grapes - recipe takes time but can be made in stages
Peggy Lampman | Contributor
Disclaimer: The following recipe takes that priceless element that we all so desperately crave about now: time. This precious commodity can't be purchased, and I'd venture to say a paté such as this can't be purchased at a local deli as well.
Sure you can purchase patés in abundance, but enlighten me if you know of a vendor who makes scratch-made patés — verités — these days. But don't let that frighten you from making it; terrines are really just meat loaves, kicked up several notches.
You may purchase the rabbit and pork belly from Sparrow Meats in Kerrytown. I ordered it a week in advance giving them instructions to grind the meat for classic French-styled country paté. (They get these types of requests frequently.) It’s hard to find dried juniper berries; but not so if you’re in Kerrytown. The Spice Merchants (upstairs from Sparrow Meats) sells them crushed and whole, as well as any other spices your cupboard may lack. Everyday Wines stocks half-bottles of Madeira.
Terrines need to sit in the refrigerator 48 hours to develop their flavor profile. They hold up a good week or so after that. If you make the Rabbit Terrine one day, you can make the crostini the next (those keep a week in a tin, too) and the Roasted Ciopollini Onion and Grapes with Pomegranate Syrup also seems to improve with age.
Click here for a slide-show with a visual preparation description.
Active Time: 50 minutes
Bake Time: 80-85 minutes
Rest Time (refrigerated): 48 hours
Number of servings (yield): 1 terrine
1/2 cup finely chopped onion (1 small onion)
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon ground juniper berries
1/2 teaspoon ground fennel seeds
1/2 cup Madeira
2- 2 1/2 pounds ground rabbit (include livers) and pork belly mixture*
1/4-1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
1/4-1/2 tablespoon ground pepper
1/3 cup (shelled) coarsely chopped pistachios
3 slices raw bacon
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Place onion, garlic, thyme, juniper berries, fennel and Madiera in a heavy bottomed pan. Bring to a boil and cook until Madiera has been absorbed. Let cool.
Sprinkle 1/4 tablespoon of kosher salt and 1/4 tablespoon pepper over rabbit and thoroughly combine. Fry a pinch in a sauté pan and taste. Add additional salt and pepper to mixture if desired. (I used 1/2 tablespoon of each.)
3. Thoroughly combine onion mixture with meat mixture and pistachios; make sure pistachios are well-distributed into the meat. Press meat mixture into a lightly oiled terrine. Place bacon lengthwise over meat mixture. Cut parchment to fit over terrine and press into mixture. Wrap tightly in foil and place in another baking dish, larger than the terrine, which is filled 3/4 with hot water.
4. Bake on center rack of oven until it reaches an internal temperature of 160-170 degrees, about 80-90 minutes.(Temping unfortunately causes a bit of flavorful juices to escape. If you’re confident your oven temperature is accurate, bake the terrine 80-85 minutes and you should be in fine shape.) 5. When cool enough to handle, remove foil and pour off excess fat. (The flavorful juices may be used later for a sauce or soup.) Recover terrine with foil and weight terrine down with a plate, cans or weights. Refrigerate two days for flavors to combine. Slice and serve with baguette slices or crostini; accompanied with cornichons, coarse mustards or Roasted Pomegranate Cippolines and Grapes (recipe follows).
*A reputable charcuterie or butcher can provide this for you (I purchased my mixture from Bob Sparrow in Kerrytown, giving him advance notice). I requested two boned rabbits, their livers, and a couple of slabs of pork belly be put into the mincer. This worked out to be about 2 & 1/4 pounds of total meat.
Ingredients for Roasted Pomegranate Cippolini and Grapes
(This mixture may be made 2-3 days in advance to serving.)
Total Roasting Times: 45-60 minutes
Number of servings (yield): 2 packed cups
Active Time: 10 minutes
3 cups washed, small, seedless red grapes, plus an additional small bunch of grapes for garnish, if desired
16 small cippolini onions
1/2 cup pomegranate molasses, divided
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Line a cooking sheet with parchment paper, oiled foil or a silpat.
Coat grapes with 1/4 cup of molasses. Brush additional molasses over bunch of grapes, if using.
3. Roast on middle rack of oven until just shriveled but not collapsed, 20-35 minutes, depending on size. Remove from oven and reserve.
4. Coat cippolinis with remaining molasses and season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Change paper or foil if burnt. Roast 10 minutes. Remove from oven and, with prongs, turn over. Continue roasting until onions are well-browned, just tender and caramelized, an additional 10-20 minutes, depending on size.
5. When onions are cool enough to handle, separate layers with fingers and cut larger onions in half.
6. Combine onions with grapes.
Peggy Lampman is a real-time food writer and photographer posting daily feeds on her website and in the Food & Grocery section of Annarbor.com. You may also e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.