Making Do

Since the gratification of the pigs’ head terrine was necessarily of the delayed variety, I was planning a stop on the way home to grab some of the good ground beef with which to make chili. Kidney beans were already a-soakin’, so it was all worked out. Then my intrepid editor handed me a nice packet of venison loin, and thus saved me a detour. It was a perfect happy delicious coincidence. I called home and Christine put the beans in the pressure cooker and fired it up.

So upon my return I gave the meat a quick sear and added it to the beans with a bunch of seasonings and a can of crushed tomatoes. After about an hour of gentle simmering, we had ourselves a pretty seriously good dinner. There was enough left that we had ourselves an even better lunch the next day; the pity of all these stewy dishes is that most of us never have the time or foresight to make them 24 hours ahead of time.

Then, on Tuesday I swung by the restaurant to see Rich and Maya and Brian again (his office is next door, lucky man) and pick up my half terrine. We sampled it there, cold, with a glass of Picpoul, and then I rushed home with our share and some provisions to complete the meal. It could have been more elegant, but I was wiped out from a party the night before (which I’ll post about if our host emails me the picture I took with his camera.)

So it ended up super-simple: the terrine, gently warmed, with toasted crusty baguette, good mustard, and some of Debi’s sauerkraut. I had planned to make banh mi with it, since head cheese is not something we often find ourselves in possession of, but I just didn’t have it in me. Honestly, this was pretty damn good, and we just about polished it off. To make up for my phone-in, the next morning I took the last bit and made a sandwich on the end of the baguette with the terrine, bacon, kimchi, and lettuce that was not the worst breakfast ever made or eaten in this world.

4 comments to Making Do

  • We Are Never Full

    it looks so good, but i want some description of the flavor… was it really pork-flavored (aka “porky” as you know) or did it taste like offal? me needs some description.

  • Heather

    Eating it on a sammich is how you make up for a phone-in (of what is already a perfect picnic lunch, sans sunshine and birdsong)? Isn’t that just six of one, half a dozen of the other?

    Really, all that terrine needs is a spoon.

  • Ken Albala

    AH! You’ve made head cheese. I am seething with jealousy. It only occured to me where this came from when I scrolled down to the previous post. Did you follow anyone’s directions or just go to? It doesn’t look like you let it set and sliced it, but more rilletish? I should just read the former post more carefully. Looks brilliant!

  • peter

    Amy: It was pretty straight-up porky (which I know is just how you like it.)

    Blanche: What can I say. I’ve been off my game lately.

    Ken: No directions, just winging it. It ended up more on the rilletish end of the spectrum, because none of us wanted too much jiggly aspic. I would add more finely chopped skin to help it set up firmly next time.

Yours Truly



I'm a painter who happens to also spend a lot of time growing, making, and writing about food. I'm particularly interested in the intersection of frugal peasant cooking techniques and haute improvisation. And I have a really great personality.

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