I cannot believe how the year is rushing to an end. I feel completely unprepared for the coming festivities. In fact, I am. I haven’t made my Christmas cake yet and now it may be too late – I like giving it at least a month of brandy love in the dark before I eat it. But I’m not bothered. Maybe this year I’ll simply buy it because the one thing I have promised myself, is zero Christmas entertaining stress.

If it cannot be made beforehand and keep well, it’s not going to be on my table. And preferably it should not just keep well, but improve with standing. This terrine falls into that category. I adore any pâté, but for me a terrine is pretty much the ultimate. What’s the difference between a pâté and a terrine? Well a terrine is a pâté, but there are things that set it apart from other pâtés. For starters, a terrine has a moulded rectangular shape. It mostly has a yummy outer layer, like a blankie of bacon, and the texture is different – terrines are often a bit coarser.

This terrine is every meat lover’s dream. How could it not be, what with pork banger meat, pork mince and chicken liver? I’m not shy with the flavourings either. We’re talking sage, rosemary, thyme, garlic and brandy! All terribly French. But then I give it a deliciously South African twist, by lining the terrine with thin slices of preserved green fig.

I waste nothing, and turn the green fig syrup into fig jelly. And because I think a sour note would also not be amiss, I make a fast apricot and basil puree. It’s not strictly necessary, well OK not at all, but it’s Christmas, so a bit of OTT is OK.

All you need is…

250g pork banger meat, simply squeeze it out of the casings
250g pork mince
250g chicken livers, chopped in relatively small blocks
1 tbs finely chopped sage
1 tsp finely chopped rosemary
1 tsp thyme leaves
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
2 tbs finely chopped flatleaf parsley
third of a tsp salt
1.5 tsp green peppercorns, chopped
3 tbs brandy
1 bottle preserved green figs (the one from Koo is perfect for this)
2 packs streaky bacon

Mix together all the terrine ingredients except the green figs and bacon. Draw the back of a knife over the bacon strips to stretch them. Line a rectangular bread pan or Pyrex dish (of about 22cm x 12cm) with the bacon. Slice the green figs and cover the bottom of the bacon layer with the figs. Spoon in the meat mixture and fold the bacon strips over to seal it. Cover with tinfoil and place in a bain marie with 5cm water. Bake in a 160 degree Celsius oven for about 2 hours until cooked through. This terrine gets better as it stands. Make it at least 24 hours before serving, better yet 48.

If you want to make a jelly from the fig syrup, simply buy some of those glassy-looking gelatine sheets (Woolworths stocks it). Follow the package instructions for a firm set and use the correct amount of gelatine for your syrup. Do not be tempted to stretch the syrup by adding water as it dilutes the gorgeous figgy taste too much. Line a shallow rectangular dish with cling film and pour in the jelly. Place in fridge to set. To serve, simply turn it over, remove the cling film and cut into small blocks. If you want to make a slightly sour puree to serve with it as well, simply blitz together a tin of apricots and its juices with a handful of basil leaves to form a puree.

Plate up a slice of terrine, a dot or two of apricot puree and a few blocks of fig jelly and you’ve got yourself a pretty elegant little starter. And why not add some micro leaves and edible flowers too. A crusty baguette and a glass of good wine is all this asks for.

serves

10

prep

30 min

cook

2 hrs

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tips, tricks and trivia

More ideas for this terrine

1) A bit of crunch contrast is always nice. Toast some whole hazelnuts and add them to your terrine. It’s gorgeous when you slice it.

2) Leave out the figs and follow the rest of the recipe as per normal. Then reintroduce the fruitiness by topping the whole terrine with thin slices of preserved orange before serving.

3) If your pockets are deep, swap the bacon for pancetta.

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enjoy with

This is a French terrine with a South African touch. So to pair with it, why not a South African wine with a French touch? I am of course talking of Glenelly estate. This premium wine estate was founded in 2003 by May de Lencquesaing in Stellenbosch’s Idas Valley. Former owner of the famous Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, she quickly realised the potential of Glenelly, and set out to produce award-winning wines in this little piece of heaven.

My choice with this terrine is their just-released Estate Reserve Chardonnay 2017. The one thing that typifies Glenelly wines for me is the manner in which they marry Old World vinification with the greater fruit-forward showiness of New World wines. This Chardonnay is no exception. The 2016 was a highly awarded wine scoring, amongst other accolades, no less than a stellar 95-point rating by Tim Atkin pre-release. I guess time will tell how the boffins view the 2017 that I opened. The grapes for the 2017 were whole bunch pressed and the juice transferred to new and second fill barrels. The wine was naturally fermented and then left on its lees for 10 months.

As can be expected of a Chardonnay that saw some first fill wood and a total of 11 months spent in barrel, there are pronounced butterscotch and vanilla notes. On the palate expect citrus and stone fruit with a long finish. This is not a light, drink-by-the-pool summer wine. It is complex and intense and made for savouring with food.

Glenelly

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