Five tips for chopping your holiday cold meats



In the space of a few years, the charcuterie has become the playground for experienced cooking enthusiasts. The phenomenon started with the pie, continued with the making of sausages. The apprentice pork butchers started making Richelieu pâté (with foie gras), Saint-Hubert (with game), hure (terrine with pieces of an animal’s head) and even Belle Aurore, an impressive recipe imagined by Brillat-Savarin to pay tribute to his mother, a great cook. It is a very large pie whose shape resembles a pillow and containing a filling made from several kinds of meat and game: quail, pigeon, duck, foie gras, partridges, pheasant, wild rabbit, venison. , sweetbreads… Every year, a few days before Christmas, the Lyonnaise Reynon charcuterie in Lyon continues the tradition of this gargantuan pillow.

→ RECIPE. With the scallop, on the way to gluttony

The butchers have become true goldsmiths, composing terrines, pâtés and galantines structured like pieces of marquetry with inlays of decorations, harmonies of colors and contemporary, unusual shapes. The chefs follow suit and add creations to their restaurant menus that will make Saint-Antoine the Great, the patron saint of pork butchers, succumb.

The vegetable trend has also been invited to the party and cold meats now leave a good part to vegetables. Like the chicken terrine with beetroot and spring onions from the famous Parisian house Vérot.

The secret to successful terrines and pâtés, in my opinion, is in five points:

1. The right choice:

♦ Meats. To obtain a soft terrine, you need 50% of fat such as pork throat or fresh breast. For rabbit or veal terrines, it is preferable to choose bards or thin strips of fresh breast to line the mold.

♦ Spices. They should be of good quality, not stale. Preferably freshly ground spices, especially for pepper.

♦ Equipment. Choose a metal mold to bake the pies and a porcelain or clay terrine to bake the terrines.

2. The correct weighing:

♦ Seasoning. In general, you need 15 g of salt for a kilo of meat, 2 g of pepper, 2 g of optional spices (allspices, nutmeg, cloves or fennel), 15 cl of alcohol for the marinade according to the tastes.

3. The good times:

♦ Marinade for meats. At least one night to marinate the different meats to impregnate them with the aromas of alcohol and / or spices.

♦ Rest. Tasting a terrine is a moment that can be planned in advance because it is advisable to let the pâté or the terrine rest two days before serving them.

4. The right gesture:

♦ Hash. Apart from a few specific recipes, fat such as pork throat or fatty bacon must be very finely chopped. It is advisable to pass the meat several times through the fine grid.

♦ Mixing. This is an important step that should not be overlooked. It is essential to mix the stuffing for a long time to mix the different ingredients together.

5. Good cooking:

♦ In a bain-marie. When it comes to a terrine to prevent it from drying out too much during cooking.

♦ In a hot oven. At 220 ° C at the start so that the crust of the pâté is golden brown or the terrine browns lightly, then at 180 ° C to cook the meat stuffing to the core.

► In my library

Deli, certainly the most complete work (480 p.), the most detailed (18 chapters to talk about ballotine, pies, rillettes and pâtés) with step by step photos and recipes of Sébastien Zozaya, best worker in France living in Basque Country (Éd. Du Chêne, € 59.90).

In his Small treatise on pâté, Marie-France Bertaud delights into historical anecdotes, regional specialties, celebratory pâtés (such as Vendée Easter pâté or Yiddish fish pâté, gefilte fish), punctuating her recipes (Le Sureau, 14.50 €).

→ PRACTICAL. Lemon caviar, holiday pearls to discover

Véronique Chapacou reveals in The Rillettes, ten ways to prepare them (Ed. de l’Épure, € 9) original recipes based on beef, lamb, rabbit, or duck, etc.

Two other references published last year: Pie, from the very talented duo of Lastre without apostrophe, Marion Sonier and Yohan Lastre (Marabout, € 29) and The Big Book of charcuterie, three best workers in France, Arnaud Nicolas, Fabien Pairon and Christian Segui (Alain Ducasse, € 49).

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The recipes

► Pistachio chop

Recipe by Sébastien Zozaya, taken from Deli, “Lessons in step by step” collection, Ed. of Oak.

48 pig tongues
6 liters of brine (1)
1 kg of pistachios (600 g for the filling and 400 g for the decoration)
4 g of pepper
4 g of grated nutmeg
500 g of dry white wine

The proportions of this recipe are huge, use the rule of three to adapt them to the size of your containers and casserole dish.

Five days before: place the tongues in a large container and cover them with brine. Film and let stand for five days in the fridge. Then drain the tongues.

The same day: split each tongue lengthwise. The slit should be deep and even, without having completely severed the tongue. Garnish each split tongue with a row of pistachios. Then place them in a cast iron casserole dish. Between each layer, pepper and season with nutmeg. Arrange the tongues well aligned, evenly, to obtain a nice slice at the end. When the casserole is full to the brim, pour in the white wine. Then place a last layer of tongues, which must exceed the height of the casserole, then cover with cling film.

Place the cover. Wrap the casserole dish with its lid in several layers of cling film. Bake in a steam oven at 90 ° C for sixteen hours.

Right out of the oven, place a weight on top of the casserole dish to firmly pack the head. Cool for twenty-four hours. After resting, remove the cling film. Turn the casserole dish over and gently heat the sides with a blowtorch. Carefully unmold. Apply crushed pistachios all over the exterior of the head.

► My core pâté

Recipe by Sonia Ezgulian

4 organic apples
200 g of shortcrust pastry
400 g of minced pork loin
100 g minced pork throat
2 pinches of ground nutmeg
4 pinches of allspice blend
10 cl of Calvados
20 g butter
1 whole egg + 1 yolk
1 C. tablespoon of flour
Fine salt and freshly ground pepper

Peel the apples. Cut the flesh as close as possible to the cores without reaching the seeds.

Cut the flesh of two apples into small cubes (reserve the rest for a compote), sauté these diced apples for one minute in a pan with the butter and deglaze with the Calvados. When the alcohol has completely evaporated, remove from the heat.

With a fine grill, chop half the pork loin. In a bowl, combine the minced pork loin, the rest of the diced meat and the minced pork throat. Add the whole egg, flour, diced apples with Calvados, spices, salt and pepper. Mix for a long time to combine all the ingredients. Preheat the oven to 180 ° C.

On the lightly floured work surface, thinly spread the shortcrust pastry. Cut four discs 15 cm in diameter. Divide the stuffing into four parts, place it in the center of the dough discs and slide a core in the center of the stuffing. Bring the edges of the dough to the center and pinch to keep in shape, leaving the ends of the cores protruding.

Make decorations with the pasta trimmings and brush the whole with beaten egg yolk with a little water.

Bake the core pâtés for about ten minutes at 220 ° C then for twenty minutes at 180 ° C, serve them warm with a green salad.

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