Diary of a Foodie

Pork Terrine with Pickled Turnips

Diary of a Foodie: Season Two: North Carolina: BBQ and Beyond

Serves10 (light lunch) or 16 (first course)
  • Active Time:1 1/2 hr
  • Start to Finish:15 hr
January 2008
  • 4 pounds fresh pigs' feet, halved lengthwise
  • 6 pounds meaty fresh pork shanks
  • 1 whole head garlic, halved crosswise
  • 10 black peppercorns (preferably Vietnamese), divided
  • 5 star anise, divided
  • 2 (4-inch) cinnamon sticks, divided
  • 1 3/4 cups dry white wine, divided
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce, divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt, or to taste
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unflavored gelatin (from three 1/4-oz packages)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper (preferably Vietnamese)
  • 1/2 banana leaf
  • Cover pigs' feet and shanks with water by 1 1/2 inches in pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Simmer 5 minutes, then skim foam. Add garlic, 5 peppercorns, 2 star anise, 1 cinnamon stick, 1 cup white wine, 1/2 cup fish sauce, and 2 teaspoons fine sea salt. Simmer, covered, until meat pulls away from bones easily, 3 1/4 to 3 3/4 hours.
  • Cool pigs' feet and shanks in liquid, uncovered, 1 hour, then transfer shanks to a large bowl to cool, discarding feet. Strain broth through a fine-mesh sieve into a large pot, discarding solids. Put 4 cups broth in a 2-quart saucepan and reserve remainder for another use.
  • When shanks are cool enough to handle, pull meat from bones, discarding skin and fat. Reserve 2 pounds (about 6 cups) of the best meat for the terrine, reserving any remaining meat for another use. Cut meat for terrine into 3/4-inch cubes.
  • Bring broth to a boil with remaining 5 peppercorns, 3 star anise, and cinnamon stick. Reduce heat and simmer gently, covered, until spices are fragrant (their flavor should be present but not overwhelming), about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in sugar, 1/4 cup white wine, and 2 tablespoons fish sauce until sugar has dissolved. Strain broth through sieve into a large bowl.
  • Cool 1 cup broth completely in a metal bowl set in an ice bath, then sprinkle gelatin over it and let soften 10 minutes. Stir gelatin mixture into warm broth until dissolved.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 12-inch heavy nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers, then cook half of pork cubes, stirring occasionally, until golden and transfer to a large bowl. Repeat with remaining tablespoon oil and pork. Season meat with salt and cool.
  • Add pepper to pork along with remaining 1/2 cup wine and 1/4 cup fish sauce, tossing to coat well. Marinate pork 15 minutes and season with salt if necessary (since terrine will be served cold, it needs to be assertively seasoned, but remember that fish sauce is salty).
  • Rinse banana leaf and pat dry. Line a 1 1/2-quart terrine or a 9- by 5- by 3-inch loaf pan with banana leaf, trimming where necessary and allowing enough excess leaf to fold over top once set. Spoon meat into terrine (do not pack tightly). Slowly ladle broth into terrine to cover meat. Chill terrine, covered, until set, 6 to 8 hours.
  • Run a thin knife around edge of terrine to loosen, then lift out of terrine using banana leaf. Discard banana leaf.
Cooks' Note: Meat can be cooked 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Chill broth, without gelatin, separately, uncovered, until cool, then covered.
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