PIG EARS ?!
yes, they're in there...that pretty little unassuming stripe is EAR.
introduce yourself slowly...bit by bit... to the "Nose to Tail" concept. take the easier softer route and disguise your pig parts in a fancy terrine...sneak it in to your next charcuterie platter...or present as a creative hors d'oeuvre that will amaze your guests.
OR, if you're already gung-ho for "tip to toe"...simply enjoy this delicious Asian style terrine with some pickled ginger, garlic chili sauce or a pinch of wasabi...yummm
PIG EAR and PORK TERRINE
i sort of made this up, so if i've left something out please let me know and i'll fix it asap
FOR THE EARS
basically the most important part is the ear...cooking the ears. i've posted about cooking pig ears in the past as seen ear...woops i mean HERE ...sorry, there's too many jokes readily available when talking ears. there are a few details like removing any hairs and the pre-boil that can't be missed, please check the link.
(i know it looks scary, but i thought i better show you a photo of what you'll be dealing with...)
in a nut shell you need to cook 3 - 4 pig ears in an Asian flavored stock found HERE (without the Duck, of course). simmer for about 3 hours or until they are very fork tender. carefully pull out the ears and strain the broth through some cheese cloth. let the ears (lay flat) and broth cool (separately) and get to room temp while you are preparing the ground pork.
FOR THE GROUND PORK
1 1/2 lbs of lean ground pork
2 - 3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 - 3 Tbsp fresh ginger, diced small
1/2 onion, diced
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 - 2 tsp sesame chili oil...or just sesame oil
a dash of cayenne
salt and pepper to taste
in a skillet with olive oil, saute the onions garlic and ginger until fragrant. add ground pork...while pork is cooking separate so it is not in chunks and add the soy sauce and sesame oil...cook completely...salt and pepper to taste. flavor and seasoning are very important in every part of a terrine.
let this cool a bit for easier handling. process the pork mixture until it gets to a fine spreadable texture...not as far as a smooth pate, but you don't want any lumps or chunks. you will want to add a little of the stock in to make a spreadable mixture...again, taste for seasoning when done.
FOR THE TERRINE
line a medium loaf pan with plastic wrap. i used a glass pyrex loaf dish. use enough wrap to over hang the sides. i suggest you lightly oil the dish before trying to get the plastic wrap all the way in.
lay a few long chives down on the bottom for decoration.
put about an inch of the ground pork mixture evenly on the bottom...then press lightly a layer of ears cut to fit as one layer. then spread another layer of ground pork...another layer of ears, again, cut to fit for a whole layer. end with a layer of pork mixture. note...sprinkle a few small bits of chives in the layers for a little color.
now this next step is terrine 101, but if you don't know it can get messy so be prepared for overflow...
pour a little of the stock over the filled terrine. a little at a time until it looks well moistened, but not saturated. cut a rectangle out of cardboard that will fit the inside of the terrine...cover the cardboard with plastic. use the cardboard to press down and release any extra liquid (stock) and air pockets. this will most likely overflow a little. i like my terrines tight and well set with no air bubbles or gelatinous areas so i let set with some weight on the terrine...a foil covered brick works well...or some heavy cans. then refrigerate for a few hours until completely chilled.
to unmold you might need to run a little warm water over the outside...if all turns out well, you should be able to flip the terrine out on a platter and peel off the plastic wrap to reveal a beautiful Pig Ear and Pork Terrine. cut with a VERY sharp knife and serve with pickled ginger, chinese mustard, garlic chili sauce or maybe some wasabi.