Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Vive la France!
Just in time for today’s Bastille Day – the French National Holiday – Butcher’s Salumiere Kris Doll had the Jambon Persillée ready. A specialty of the French region of Burgundy, this parsley seasoned ham terrine is simple country food. It’s salty and bold in flavor and tastes great as part of a charcuterie plate or sliced with mustard and pickled pearl onion on a baguette, with a glass of crisp white wine.
But how do you actually make such a ham in parslied aspic? Kris Doll explains the process: You brine ham hocks for 2 days, and then braise the hocks with a basic mirepoix (onion, celery + carrots) + clove for about 3 hours. The cooked meat is then picked off the bone; the cooking liquid strained a couple of times to get a glass clear broth. The last step before the ‘big layering’ begins, is combining part of the meat with lots of fresh parsley, garlic + shallots in a food processor with some of the strained cooking liquid to form a coarse paste.
Now the art begins: Spread the bottom of the terrine (= the classic rectangular shaped ceramic or cast iron mold) with the ‘ham paste’, add a layer of the loose, picked meat and the some cooking liquid. Repeat this process, finishing off with a layer of paste. Then you pour more cooking liquid over the ‘meat lasagne’ to make sure all the gaps between the loose meat get filled and the terrine will hold together nicely.
The cooking liquid by the way is enriched with gelatin to support the naturally occurring collagen and form a firm aspic, once the terrine is chilled.
Last but not least the terrine is covered and baked in a water bath at 275 degrees for about 45 minutes. You uncover it and stick it in the fridge over night. Et voilà, le jambon persillée!