A Loaf of Bread, a Jug Of Wine, And Meat In A Jar
April 29, 2017 5:02 PM   Subscribe

In an effort to step up my bag lunch and picnic game, and in response to a recent Francophile phase, I am seeking recipes for things like rillettes, potted meat, pates, and terrines. Hit me (a couple of specific preferences inside).

What I'd love to be able to do is to once a week, make up a couple different kinds of either potted meat, terrines, etc. and just have it waiting in the fridge; and then also have a few salads also in the fridge, a couple cheeses, and rolls on hand, so then "packing lunch for work" is simply a matter of grabbing a few containers ("A slice of the terrine today, that's packed...got a roll....got a tupperware of the salad...I'm good.") So I'm looking for recipes that can stand to be either doled out into single-serve containers and can sit in the fridge for a week, or terrines that can stand around for that long and have someone occasionally cut off a slice every other day or so. Most likely I would be the only one eating this, so not overly-huge quantities and being able to stand up to a while in a fridge are important.

I'd prefer to steer clear of organ meats for the time being - I tried making a chicken liver and brandy pate once and wasn't a fan, but I'm not yet sure whether it was the brandy or the chicken liver that was putting me off. However, I've had great luck with a pate with ground pork and bacon. I've also made brandade with salt cod and that worked well. Vegetable terrines and pates would be fine too (although the ones I've seen require constant refrigeration until right before serving, and I am not sure I'd be able to do that so I'm a bit nervous).

This recipe is pretty much exactly the kind of thing I'm looking for (and it's what put me in mind of this in the first place). Bonus points if you find something that can use leftover meat. Thanks!
posted by EmpressCallipygos to Food & Drink (10 answers total) 32 users marked this as a favorite
I don't have specific recipes, but a book recommendation: Charcuterie by Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn is likely to have lots of important info.
posted by quaking fajita at 5:51 PM on April 29, 2017 [3 favorites]

Best answer: This is a lot of labor if you are a perfectionist but you can do a messy job and it is still divine: Beet & Goat cheese terrine

Tastes better as it sits. Scale the recipe to your fridge/appetite size!
posted by love2potato at 6:55 PM on April 29, 2017 [3 favorites]

I love the rilettes from this cookbook.
posted by Ideefixe at 7:38 PM on April 29, 2017

What I do when I get in this kind of mood is make my regular meatloaf in a sheet cake pan, with some slices of salami arranged like fish scales to cover the top. Once it's done, I weigh it down with a bunch of dictionaries (that's why the sheet cake pan works better than the classic loaf pan). Et voila! You'll be surprised how close it gets to the real thing.
posted by 8603 at 7:39 PM on April 29, 2017

I've often thought of doing something similar but have't made it happen yet. I will be watching this thread with interest!

I've been eyeing this Country Terrine with Pistachios (google book link) from Sally Schneider's A New Way to Cook for a long time.

This requires sous-vide but it does claim to keep well and the directions are very detailed.
posted by bunderful at 7:44 PM on April 29, 2017 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I am a very lazy cook who loves to have rillettes around for basically exactly the purposes that you describe. I use pork or chicken, and do it about the same way for both. Chicken is always thighs, bone in, skins removed but set aside, and the pork is shoulder or butt, cut into chunks.

For either, I salt fairly heavily--maybe a tablespoon per pound? I have to admit that I don't measure it. I often toss the meat with salt, a bit of sugar, paprika, and garlic powder, then leave them sit in the fridge overnight. In the morning, any liquid gets poured off, as does any sludgy seasoning. I don't wash the meat or anything, but I sort of shake it off a little. Then it gets packed into a roaster. If it's a chicken, the skins go on top of the meat so that they'll render out all their delicious fat. Sometimes I tuck in other seasonings--thyme goes nicely, for example, or chunks of lemon. Sometimes the chicken gets a pinch of saffron or sumac. Then the roaster gets covered with foil, and then is tucked into a very low oven--like 250--for a long time, until the whole house smells like meat and my child has taken to demanding to know when they will ever be allowed to eat because they're starving and I never feed them. For pork, this is several hours; for chicken, it's more like 90 minutes to two hours. It's an imprecise science, though, and hard to fuck up. Rillettes are forgiving.

Anyhow, then you go and check the meat, which may or may not be actually done. The pork should shred easily with a fork, and the chicken should pull easily from the bone. Remove the meat from the liquid--I think that you're meant to boil the liquid down at this point, but honestly, I never have that much, so never bother. Shred the meat. Depending on how you feel about it, you can leave it in fairly big shreds, just pulling it apart with hands and forks, or you can mash it with a potato masher, or take a mixer to it and have a very finely shredded meat. I tend to go with a combination of forks and potato masher. Re-incorporate the meat juice, blending well, and then pack--and I do mean pack, aggressively cramming it down and eliminating air bubbles--the mixture into very clean jars. Cover with a thick (half an inch?) layer of fat--ghee, or melted lard, or whatever--put on the lids, and tuck it into the fridge. I keep this for weeks, and as long as the fat's intact, it seems to be fine. It tastes better after a few days in the fridge.
posted by mishafletch at 8:32 PM on April 29, 2017 [14 favorites]

How's your French? I've been making this Québécois creton recipe lately and it's spot on. I put an extra tablespoon or two of bacon fat (I always have a jar on hand) when cooking and I blend a portion of it to get a less chunky texture. It's great and keeps for a month at least.
posted by furtive at 9:30 PM on April 29, 2017 [3 favorites]

Also, I've made mushroom-walnut pate quite a few times, usually loosely based on this recipe, and have really enjoyed it. The mushroom varieties should be taken as suggestions more than anything else. I like it best when my mushrooms brown up a bit, and find that it's best to take the shallots (let's be real: I just use onion) out before adding the mushrooms to the skillet. That way you can crank the heat and not burn your allium. Add a little white wine or a mild vinegar to compensate for losing a bit of mushroom liquid like this.

Also, who has roasted garlic puree just hanging out in the kitchen? Not me. I've just used normal garlic. It was fine.
posted by mishafletch at 9:33 PM on April 29, 2017 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I make lots and lots of rillettes and pates. Pork rillettes is seriously the easiest thing you can make at home. At an absolute minimum, you need:

-pork shoulder (I do this five pounds at a time. You can decrease it if you want, but it freezes so well you might as well make as much as you can.)
-lard (not olive oil! not canola oil! Any fat that's liquid at room temperature will not work.)

Cut the pork shoulder in to 2-inch cubes, salt generously, and then add it to a pot with enough lard to cover. Put in a 250 F oven until the meat is falling apart (if it looks like you could make pulled pork or carnitas out of it, you're done). Transfer the meat to a stand mixer and beat it until paste-like, and then add some of the cooking fat until the whole mixture appears moist enough and has a satisfying mouthfeel. Pack in to jars or crocks (for best storage, sanitize the jars and pack tightly to eliminate air bubbles), let it chill, and then seal the tops with additional lard (melt it and then paint a layer on the top). Will keep for a month or more in the fridge or indefinitely in the freezer.

Alternatively, you can poach the pork in stock (white veal stock is traditional) and use the stock to mix in with the beaten up meat, but I'd still have a little lard on hand to add some body. You may also want to add a small amount (like 1/4 tsp per 5 lbs meat) of pink salt for extra preservative power and to keep the color looking good. Also, if you have a slow cooker you can use that to cook the pork instead of the oven - I will actually render the lard in the slow cooker, strain out the solids, and then immediately make the rillette right there.
posted by backseatpilot at 11:33 AM on April 30, 2017

Response by poster: Loving what I'm having so far, but also coming in to add an important detail I should have included: book recommendations are sweet, but I'm trying to avoid them because I already have 100+ cookbooks and shouldn't buy any more just quite yet. (I mean, I'm sure I will eventually, but I'd at least like to attempt not to.)

Unless it's a book that's been out for a while so I have a chance of getting it at a library. Thanks.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:16 AM on May 2, 2017

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