March 11, 2010
1 Ratings
  • Serves 4-6
Author Notes

We promised “unconventional weapons” and here you go. What could be more “recessionist” than a humble meatloaf. Okay we tart it up a bit but stay within the old regulations. It is mind bending but it’s easy. We looked at a lot of old recipes going back almost fifty years and they all summarize almost the same way; fill a loaf pan and bake at 350 for 1 ½ hours. But we decided to go more terrine style. And we are splurging a bit on truffle oil and chanterelles.
I prefer to grind my own meat for a variety of reasons. One is that I’ve driven past Kettleman City, CA quite a number of times. If you’ve seen the film “Food Inc.” you will know what I’m talking about. I’m very troubled by the safety and quality of supermarket ground beef. One pound could incorporate parts of one hundred cows. If you grind it yourself you know that it is coming from one animal. You can also control the fat that way because you can see the marbling. Vegans go avert your eyes now.

Test Kitchen Notes

What a fantastic, fun terrine/meatloaf. I found Bricktop meaty, moist, herbal, uncomplicated. Fresh chanterelles were not available here so I reconstituted some dried and, once minced, they imbued the terrine with a wonderful woodsy flavor. I would add that I cut the meats into chunks and then froze the meat, the grinder attachment and blades for 1 hour before grinding. Per pierino's suggestion, I ground the meats twice, adding the garlic and eggs right into the grinder on the second round. I added the breadcrumbs by hand. A small ceramic bottle of pistachio oil proved to fit exactly, so stood in for both the Absolut bottle and the white truffle oil. I served this particular Bricktop cold, with cornichons and mustard, to rave reviews. Incredibly easy, if you have the grinder (and buy the puff pastry.) About twenty minutes total active time. - MrsWheelbarrow —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 1 pound ground rib eye or comparable cut (we like a bit of fat)
  • 1 pound ground pork (shoulder or loin)
  • 3 eggs (hold one egg back for the wash)
  • ¼ cup fresh pistachio nuts
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 6 ounces chanterelle mushrooms (see note to cook)
  • 1 large garlic clove peeled and chopped
  • ¼ cup unseasoned bread crumbs (there is a time for panko and a time for not, now is not the time)
  • White truffle oil
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • 1 sheet puffed pastry cut to fit your terrine
  1. With soft brush clean off dust from the mushroom. In a large bowl mix the beef, pork and eggs (lightly beaten) with your hands---yes really. Season lavishly with sea salt and coarse ground pepper. Squish in the bread crumbs, and of course include the pistachio nuts and garlic. Make sure everything is evenly distributed.
  2. Heat up your oven to 350 (no two ovens are calibrated exactly, so work with that). Meanwhile press half your meat loaf mix into a lubricated terrine. On top of this layer your chanterelles. Drizzle with truffle oil. Spread fresh thyme over this and follow with another layer of meat. Yes, I said “meat” vegan horde.
  3. Press it down as hard as you can. I’ve discovered that a bottle of Absolut vodka wrapped in cling wrap or foil works really well. We are after something like a pate` texture here. Smooth as opposed to coarse. This is why you grind your own meat.
  4. Drizzle a bit more truffle oil. Top with your puffed pastry sheet. Brush that with an egg wash of one egg and bit of water---you didn’t forget that other egg did you? Child safety warning: do not bake with the vodka bottle on top, something really terrible could happen.
  5. Into the oven it goes. It will need to cook for at least 1 hour to 1 1/2. The outside “croute” should be brown and crisped and the inside temperature should be about 150 when tested with an instant read.
  6. This is good either hot or cold. Serving cold, a little dressing works well with some olives or cornichons on the side.
  7. * Okay, food52 cooks; I know you have your KitchenAids. Go buy the grinder attachment. You will thank me later. Note you can make this identical dish by substituting dried and reconstituted porcini mushrooms for the chanterelles. For me they were in season and available for a reasonable price.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • boulangere
  • dymnyno
  • MrsWheelbarrow
  • Annelle
  • lastnightsdinner
Standup commis flâneur, and food historian. Pierino's background is in Italian and Spanish cooking but of late he's focused on frozen desserts. He is now finishing his cookbook, MALAVIDA! Can it get worse? Yes, it can. Visit the Malavida Brass Knuckle cooking page at Facebook and your posts are welcome there.

15 Reviews

boulangere October 7, 2011
Glad to find this. Making it this week with students with dried porcini. I mean the dried porcini go into the mix; the students do the mixing. We're a little short on Absolut, but we have some lovely bottles of Italian vinegars which I imagine will weigh things down nicely.
dymnyno March 25, 2010
I like this recipe better than the "winner". When recipes start using lots of sauces like blackberry blah bhah they sound like they belong at Olive Garden. I m disappointed that your staff is finding this type of recipe cookbook worthy. Pierino's is simple, creative and does't use a gimmick. This is a trend?
pierino March 25, 2010
Thanks ma'am. Some of my recipes are complicated but most are not. Chefs don't create: they work on stuff that has been done before. I'm not a chef so I don't create either. I just try to work with the best, seasonal ingredients I can find. In this case it happened to be chanterelle mushrooms.
And I appreciate MrsWheelbarrow's test and comments.
MrsWheelbarrow March 18, 2010
Question: what size terrine? Standard Le Creuset long rectangle? How long did the meatloaf hang out with the vodka bottle? Chanterelles here in the East are few and far between, but I'm planning to forage tomorrow. Have notified my terrine loving friends that there's a party in the making.
pierino March 18, 2010
I believe my own enameled cast iron terrine is Le Creuset, and yes it's a long rectangle about 12" long and maybe 3" or so deep. The meatloaf doesn't really "hang out" with the Absolute bottle, it's merely a convenient tool for pressing the filling down.

As far as mushrooms I suggested porcini because they are easy to find and carry flavor. But if you have other flavorful mushrooms by substitute with my permission. I just think that things like shitake and oyster mushrooms are fibrous bags of air that don't taste like anything. The only other key thing is the texture of the meat, which I grind twice. If you are having a butcher do it ask him to make it as smooth as possible. And thank you very much for testing. I'm flattered.
MrsWheelbarrow March 18, 2010
Grind once w/the large and once w/the small disk?
pierino March 18, 2010
Yes, both disks is a good method. Of course if you are Keller you would have someone do this twenty times.
Annelle March 12, 2010
lastnightsdinner March 12, 2010
I love this. I think my grinder attachment is going to get a workout real soon.
dymnyno March 11, 2010
I am confused about your Panko comment. .. are'nt they unseasoned bread crumbs?
pierino March 11, 2010
I use panko all the time if I'm breading something for frying. They are perfect for that. But if you are using bread crumbs as a thickening agent I believe the smaller crumb works best; kind of sandy and unseasoned. And of course you can make your own in a Cuisinart by grinding up old bread. That way texture is up to you.
dymnyno March 12, 2010
I thought that Panko were unseasoned bread crumbs ?? The Panko that I buy are very very small unseasoned bread crumbs.
pierino March 12, 2010
Yes, panko crumbs are unseasoned and I keep some around all the time. But the clever Japanese bake them for a single purpose and that is coating meats for frying. They are superb in that function (let's say veal milanese) but not so good for others. At least in my opinion they don't multi-task.
WinnieAb March 11, 2010
You are too much...this sounds really great!
pierino March 11, 2010
Because of all the rain we've had this year in California chantarelle mushrooms are a bargain at about $14 per pound. And ask yourself how much do they weigh? At other times they can go as high as $50 per pound. I also found fresh, raw pistachios at the farmers market. Go ahead, tweak away.