Pork fillet, sausage, walnuts, apricots, white wine.
In TAKE 5 AND COOK – THE DINNER BOOK, I have a French-inspired recipe for pork fillet stuffed with walnuts and prunes. I didn’t call it a terrine, but I always think of it as such – and it is one of my favorite things to make for entertaining because it looks so fabulous and works every time. I have catered for a number of years on and off, but I don’t really see myself as a caterer. I much prefer to be responsible for the whole process – entertaining on my own terms. I did cater a lunch for 12 the other day, though, and made a version of the stuffed pork fillet with apricots instead of prunes. I used dried apricots, but also halved fresh ones, sprinkling with chopped rosemary, sugar and olive oil – then briefly grilled them before serving with the terrine as an accompaniment. They were perfect with it.
Slice two pork fillets in half and fit one of the halves into the base of a greased terrine making, adjustments as necessary (but aim for as few pieces as possible). Season.
Squeeze the filling out of two of the best quality coarse sausages you can find. I use Toulouse sausages made by my local butcher – I love them. Press the filling evenly over the fillet. Scatter about 1 cup of walnut halves over, and fill in all the gaps with a cup of dried apricots (soaked briefly in boiling water to rehydrate somewhat). Squish over the filling of another 2 sausages, then add the other fillet to cover the top completely. Season and pour over about a cup of white wine.
Bake for an hour. After cooking, cover and weigh down with cans – alternatively, I sometimes use a “kitchen brick” (a clean brick which I keep for such purposes). Leave in the fridge overnight. The next day, it will tip out easily and cut beautifully. You will be a star.
By the way, if you are serving 12 people, you will need about one and a half of terrines – so it’s best to make double. Leftovers will keep very well for a number of days.