Cooking for Christmas Dinners can be stressful so its good to keep things simple. Some planning and preparation in advance goes a long way to ensure that you spend time with family and friends rather than the kitchen.
Having just made this delicious and simple pate for an event tomorrow I know what I will be serving as a first course for our family Christmas meal. It has all the elements of our cooking ethos: local sourcing, belly pork and streaky bacon from Moss Valley Fine Foods with locally foraged windfall apples from this years bumper harvest.
The egg whites in the recipe I think have helped give it a lovely light texture but the flavours still come through good and strong. Serve if you are lucky enough to be in Sheffield with fine bread from Cat Lane Bakery, Forge Bakery or Seven Hills or as we did with bread from the fabulous Welbeck Bakehouse.
Makes up to 24 good slices
750g belly or shoulder of pork minced
4 local apples grated
1/2 cup brandy
1/2 cup apple juice
1 egg white lightly beaten
Plenty of salt and Pepper
6 slices of streaky bacon minced (or kept whole to line terrine)
6 bay leaves
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well (I said it was simple), leaving the mixture to rest for an hour in the fridge. To make slightly differently the streaky bacon can be left out and then used to line the terrine. However, I simply added the minced bacon into the mix for a simpler and possibly more flavourful result.
Next push the mixture into a terrine dish, loaf pan or simply a heat proof bowl placing the bay leaves on top. Place into a baking tray and add water which has just boiled to come half way up your chosen vessel/s. Bake at 120 degrees C until the core temperature is at least 76 degrees. Allow to cool for half and hour and then refrigerate until required.
When ready to serve simple turn out and slice. Popping the vessel into a bowl of hot water to lossen the fat can help in the extraction process. Some of the excess fat can be drained away but the jelly like parts are really delicious.