Pig's head terrine with parsnip toffee, pear, cumin and watercress

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A pig's head terrine is served with parsnip 'four ways' in this rustic offal dish from chef, Paul Foster. Source the pig's head from your local butcher for this challenging recipe.

First published in 2015




Braised pig's head

Parsnip purée

Parsnip toffee

  • 250g of parsnip
  • milk
  • 200g of caster sugar
  • 30ml of water
  • 200g of double cream
  • sea salt

Raw parsnip

Parsnip crisps


  • Blow torch
  • Sugar thermometer


Blowtorch the face of the pig to remove any hairs
Place the sugar in a pan over a medium-high heat and allow to melt until a medium caramel forms
  • 1000g of sugar
Add the thyme, crushed garlic and the pig's head. Add enough hot water to cover. Simmer gently for 4 hours or until soft and tender
Use a large slotted spoon or set of strong tongs to remove the pigs head from the pan. Allow to cool slightly
While still warm, pick off all the meat, skin and fat and place into a large bowl with the grain mustard and sea salt. Beat with a wooden spoon until all the soft meat, fat and skin emulsifies with the mustard
Line a 1 inch deep, non-stick tray with cling film. Pour the mixture into the tray, cover with another layer of cling film. Place another tray of the same size on top to press and set the mix. Leave in the fridge for 8 hours until firm
For the parsnip purée, peel and chop the parsnip finely. Sweat in the butter over a medium heat. Once soft, deglaze with the grapefruit juice and blend into a smooth purée. Season to taste and set aside until required
For the toffee, cut the parsnip into small chunks and cook gently in milk until tender. Strain discard the milk and set aside 200g of the cooked parsnip until required
Heat the sugar and water to 185°C. Heat the cream in a separate pan and pour into the sugar mixture, while whisking continuously
  • 200g of caster sugar
  • 30ml of water
  • 200g of double cream
Remove from the heat and allow to cool a little. While still warm, add to the cooked parsnip and blend into a smooth purée. Pass through a fine strainer and season to taste with sea salt
For the raw parsnip, peel the parsnip and shave wafer thin on a mandolin, drizzle with lemon juice, maple syrup and sea salt and leave in the fridge to breakdown, soften and marinate for 1 hour
For the parsnip crisps, peel and slice the parsnips wafer thin on a mandolin and fry in the vegetable oil at 130°C until very crisp. Drain on absorbent kitchen paper and sprinkle with ground cumin and season with sea salt, keep in an airtight container until required
Slice the terrine into a 2cm thick rectangle (twice the size of a matchbox). Place in a very low oven and allow to warm so that the fat melts
Cut the pear into chunks and season with sea salt
Brush each plate with parsnip toffee, a spoonful of the parsnip purée, 2 pieces of raw parsnip and 2 parsnip crisps. Arrange a slice of the terrine onto each plate. Finish with a few chunks of pear and 2 sprigs of watercress. Serve immediately
First published in 2015

Focused, skilled and intelligent, Paul Foster works with the materials he has around him to create extraordinary dishes which sing with a vibrancy perfectly in tune with their surroundings.

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