Raclette

raclette1_lefermier_140116“Raclette” is a type of cheese, it is a semi soft cow milk cheese shaped in a 6kg wheel. Raclette cheese originated in the French speaking part of the Alpine area in the Valais Canton. If you believe the legend, it was discovered by local farmers who had set camp in the valley for the night and left some of the cheeses on stones near the fire. The cheese of course melted and some farmer scraped it of the rock to not waste any and he thought it was delicious. It quickly became a tradition amongst farmers in the region and the cheese became known for its melting abilities. It is a simple concept and the heartiness of the melted cheese on the potatoes makes it the ideal comfort.

raclette2_lefermier_140116It is loved by many in France, Switzerland and Germany. Traditionally it is a dish that includes melted cheese, boiled potatoes, cornichons, mustards, pickles and a plater of charcuterie such as prosciutto, ham of the bone and salami. If you want to find the perfect wine to match  your raclette i suggest you visit  www.airoldifinewines.com.au   .

raclette3_lefermier_140116For my Raclette i use a “Tefal” raclette grill that you can find on amazon, or you can also melt the cheese over the potatoes in a hot oven. To give you an idea of how much you need to prepare, for 6 people i cooked 12 medium size potatoes and bought 3 slices of each meat ( hot salami, mild salami, ham of the bone and Australian prosciutto). I also put together a platter with Dijon mustard, Grain mustard and Cornichons and served a green salad from my garden!raclette4_lefermier_140116

 

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Duck and Cèpe Mushroom Terrine

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It’s summer here in Oz. And to me, as a Frenchman summer means one thing – the season of outdoor aperitif. There are few things I relish more than basking in long, hazy, afternoon shadows cast by the summer sun, sipping on an ice-cold drink and grazing a selection of culinary accoutrements.

When it comes to my favourite nibbles, the Italians get full marks for simplistic perfection with their claim to the melon and prosciutto combo and the Caprese salad. But if you’re looking for something a little heartier but no heavy, the French terrine is an ideal solution.

Yes, they do take more preparation, but your usual terrine mold will make enough that you can eat it over a few days or feed a lot of people at once with impressive flair. Serve it cold from the fridge, sliced, with a side of cornichons and your preferred crusty bread. Parfait!

Duck and Cèpe Mushroom Terrine

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Ingredients:

  • 200g cepe mushroom (You can find these dried at good continental providores)
  • 800g duck meat
  • 2 deboned quails
  • 400g pork shoulder
  • 300g streaky bacon
  • 4 shallots
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 50ml port
  • 50ml brandy
  • 1 bunch thyme
  • 2 Tablespoon green pepper (in brine)
  • ½ jar of cornichons (baby cucumbers)

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Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  2. Dice the shallots, crush the garlic, chop the thyme and keep aside.
  3. Soak the mushroom in warm water for 10 minutes then strain them.
  4. Heat a large frying pan with olive oil. Cut the quail in 4 pieces and season with salt and pepper. Seal the quail in the pan on all sides for a few seconds, until slightly golden. Take the quail out of the frying pan and keep aside.
  5. Then, in the same pan cook the shallots, garlic and thyme for a couple of minutes on medium heat. Add the mushrooms and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the port, brandy and flambé it. Put the mushroom mix in the fridge to completely cool it down.
  6. Mince the pork, bacon and duck meat with the coarse grind attachment on your kitchen aid (or other mixer). If you do not have a mincer you can ask your butcher to mince it for you.
  7. In a terrine mold start with a layer of minced meat, press it down, then add the quail, another layer of meat, the mushroom and finish off with meat.
  8. Place the terrine mold in a deep roasting tray and pour hot water into the tray until it sits halfway up the outside of the terrine mold.
  9. Cook the terrine for 2 hours then cool the terrine down in the mold in the fridge overnight.
  10. When ready to serve, remove from the mold and slice into 2cm (or ½ inch) thick pieces.Duc

Country Terrine

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Terrine and patés have been around for a very long time. Egyptians used to fatten geese with dried figs and use their fat oozing organs like the liver for example to make patés and terrine. Paté became very popular in France  around the 15th  century. By the 16th century the fattened goose liver paté, paté de Perigeux paté de la Contades was very popular. The pate de La Contades originaly contained no truffle until 1789 when a chef from the Perigord in the south west of France arrived in Strasbourg and introduced the concept which still continues today. Patés are a spreadable paste of meat, herbs, spices, wine or liquor and served with toast for texture. Terrine is a glazed terracotta mould  often of oval shape. Terrine mixture are chunky and consist mainly of feathered game such as quail, pheasant and venison, the mixture are then baked. The fat on top preserve the terrines and prevent them from drying out on top.

 

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Recipe:

–          1 Tbsp caster sugar

–          50 ml rum

–          50 ml port

–          6 tbsp olive oil

–          4 onion coarsely chopped

–          4 shallots coarsely chopped

–          3 garlic cloves gratted

–          400 g pork belly minced

–          300 g pork shoulder minced

–          300 g pigs liver or chicken liver minced

–          2 eggs

–          100 ml double cream

–          5 fresh parsley sprigs

–          2 fresh thyme sprigs

–          1 bay leaves

–          6-8 strips of bacon

–          100 g chanterelles mushroom ( dried or fresh)

Method:  Preheat the oven at  180 degree celcius• Mix together the sugar, rum and port together in a small bowl, stirring the sugar until dissolve• Heat the olive oil int a pan, add the onions, garlic, shallots and chanterelles mushroom ( soaked in warm water if using dried mushrooms), cook over low heat stirring occasionally  for about 10 minutes  until lightly brown• Stir in the rum mixture, heat for a few seconds and ignite• When the flames have died down, cook until caramelized then remove from heat.

Mix together the meat, eggs and cream. Add the onions, shallots and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Mix the chopped parsley with  the thyme leave  and stir in• Make a lattice pattern (cross)at  the bottom of the mould then spoon  the mixture in the  terrine mould  put the bayleaves on top and repeat the pattern on to finish• Put the terrine in a roasting tray, pour in boiling water to come about half way up the sides and bake for two hours. Leave the terrine to stand for 48 hours before serving.

You can enjoy this terrine with a fresh baguette, fig bread, cornichons or other pickles.

Bon Appetit .

Le Fermier