I admit this is not the shortest recipe you will ever try but for special occasions it is well worth the effort. It’s not a hard recipe to do just one that takes time, but the payback is the wow factor when your dinner guests see this sophisticated appetizer on their plates. *Not forgetting the goose fat that is left over (after cooking the duck legs) will keep in a fridge for a long time and have lots of uses such as those Christmas to die for roast potatoes!
Ingredients (serves 8-10)
7 Duck legs
1 tbsp, of course, sea salt
2-3 sprigs of thyme
1 head of garlic, roughly chopped
454g (1lb) goose or duck fat
200g (8oz) Shiitake mushrooms
200g (8oz) Oyster mushrooms
100g (4oz) Flat mushrooms
*6-8 slices black forest ham
You will need a terrine dish approximately 300mm x 110mm (see bottom of this post)
- Dry off the duck legs with kitchen paper towel and place in a large bowl.
- Rub on the sea salt and leave for at least 4 hours in the fridge.
- In a thick-bottomed large saucepan add the goose fat, the sprigs of thyme, garlic and turn the heat on low.
- Brush off the salt from the duck legs and wipe dry on clean tea towel then carefully add them to the fat.
- Make sure that the duck is completely covered by the fat and bring to a low simmering point. Cook the duck gently for about two hours until the meat is almost falling off the bone.
- Remove the legs from the fat and allow to cool.
- In the meantime strain and save the fat for other uses*.
- Line your terrine dish with cling film then carefully lay the Black forest ham slices, overlapping them slightly. First lay 4 slices across, starting right in the corners of the terrine making sure the ends of the slices overhang the terrine. Lay the 2 remaining slices at each end of the terrine making sure there are no gaps and that there is also an equal overhang, then refrigerate.
- Remove the storks from the shitake and flat mushrooms and tear the oyster mushrooms into l-inch pieces if they are large.
- Sauté all the mushrooms in 1-2 Tbsps of duck/goose fat until lightly brown; season with salt and pepper as they cook. Remove the mushrooms from the pan and allow to cool.
- Pick the meat, off the duck legs and save in a clean bowl.
- Begin to layer about 1 inch (5mm) of the duck meat into the terrine, pack it down with a spoon then top with a thin layer of mushrooms, then repeat this process until you have filled your terrine.
- Seal terrine by closing the flaps of Black forest ham (close the 2 ends first). Wrap the whole terrine in cling film and weight the terrine down with something heavy to press it (use a couple of cans of food or weights).
- Refrigerate for at least 6 hours before turning it out.
Carefully unwrap the terrine and warm very slightly to turn the terrine out.
Slice carefully with a very sharp knife and serve with good quality spicy apple chutney
Decorate with any remaining wild mushrooms.
If you enjoy broadening your cooking skills then invest in a cast iron terrine dish.
It does not have to be La Creuset; there are some very good yet cheaper alternatives.
This terrine will easily last in your fridge for 5 days so you can enjoy the leftovers if there are any?
Ps. The zigzag on the plate is reduced balsamic vinegar. Just boiled down until syrupy then put into a squeezie bottle and chilled.
There are some things you can skimp on and some things you can’t. Using a decent cast iron terrine dish will avoid leakage, and won’t go out of shape. That said you don’t have to buy Le Creuset, but keep in mind you get what you pay for.
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© Kevin Ashton 2006-2015