A perfect and pretty starter for Easter lunch. Make it a few days before you need to save on time and gain on flavour.
Easter is just around the corner, and I am busy finalising the Easter menu for my special family meal. I have decided to cook lamb again this year, but with a Gallic twist and the recipe I am following is for French Slow Roast Lamb with Herbs and Garlic.
This easy recipe for slow cooked lamb also makes an “instant” red wine gravy that is infused with fresh herbs and garlic and is perfect for a busy Easter Sunday. I will serve the lamb with oven roasted veggies
, fresh steamed Savoy cabbage and some home-made mint sauce too, of course.
As well as the lamb, dessert has also been sorted out - I am going for another easy recipe, Pots au Chocolat
, based on my recipe for Irish Cream Chocolate Mousse
but made with two types of chocolate and decorated with Easter bunnies and mini chocolate eggs; it’s bound to be a hit with my family and friends. I will also be serving a cheese board
and as my menu is French inspired, I’ll slip a few French classics on the board as well as some favourite British cheeses too.
That only leaves me with a starter to plan, and what is better than a Pâté or terrine to kick off a French style Easter menu. I love Pâté (and terrines), but sometimes they can be very “offal” rich and quite overpowering; as my menu is quite light, I have decided to adapt a classic recipe for duck terrine and lighten it up by adding turkey meat and bacon. I have made this recipe many times, and it’s perfect for summer luncheons and picnics, is fragrant with herbs and fresh orange and makes a wonderful “offal free” Pâté style meat loaf, or terrine as I call it.
The recipe is very simple and the terrine can be made up to 2 days before you need it, which gives the flavours time to mingle and meld together for a wonderful meaty, low-fat terrine – perfect for a light starter for Easter lunch. As well as the amazing taste and flavours, this terrine is also very pretty as it is decorated with a marmalade glaze, fresh orange slices and bay leaves. This recipe makes one large terrine that serves up to 8 to 12 people, or as I prefer, several smaller terrines that can be frozen with no ill effects, making it a very “time friendly” recipe for busy cooks.
The recipe for my updated Gressingham Duck and Orange Terrine is shared below and I hope that you try it out this Easter and you and your family enjoy it as much as we do!
(12 slices when made in one large 2lb loaf tin)
Gressingham Duck and Orange Terrine
8 slices of Bayonne ham
750g Gressingham duck breast meat, trimmed of all fat
350g turkey breast meat
150g smoked lardons, or streaky bacon slices that have been cut into small pieces
Juice and grated rind of 1 large orange
6 small pink shallots, peeled and finely diced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely diced
Sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
¼ teaspoon ground mace, or nutmeg
3 tablespoons Cognac, or brandy
Sieved orange marmalade to glaze
Orange slices to decorate
Fresh bay leaves to decorate
1. Pre-heat oven to 180C/375F/Gas 5
2. Line a 2lb loaf tin, or an assortment of smaller terrines, with the Bayonne ham, making sure that there is some excess ham hanging over the edges.
3. Cut the duck and turkey breast into small chunks and then chop it in a food processor; you need it minced but not too finely. Add the lardons if they are too big too and pulse them all together.
4. Put the minced duck, turkey and bacon into a large bowl and add the rest of the ingredients, excepting the marmalade, orange slices and bay leaves. Mix well to amalgamate all the ingredients together and then spoon the mixture into the ham lined tin or terrine dishes. Fold the ham over the mixture and pat it all down so there are no air holes.
5. Place the tin/terrine dishes in a large oven proof tray and half fill it with boiling water, to act as a “bain marie”. Cover with tinfoil and cook for 1 and half hours, or until the meat has shrunk away from the sides and is opaque and cooked.
6. Take the terrine out of the tray of water and as soon as it has cooled down, drain the excess juices out of each terrine. Allow to go cold and then decorate with warm, sieved marmalade as a glaze, and orange slices and fresh bay leaves.
7. Serve cold cut into slices with salad, bread, mustard and pickles. Also makes a fabulous sandwich filling.
To freeze, cover the undecorated terrines with cling film and then tinfoil and defrost for at least 6 hours before decorate and serve as before.
Inspired? For more Gressingham Duck recipes visit Great British Chefs collection.