Citizens – as you know, I always strive to bring back authentic recipes of true nuanced flavor to your table.
There is an old-world elegance that pates and terrines bring to a meal, especially when homemade. Of these, there is a sub-group called timbales which are actually very easy to make and add the true Gilded Age touch to any dinner as an appetizer portion. They are baked in a timbale mold (available at any kitchen supply store) or a small cup and only take minutes to prepare, once you have all the ingredients in place.
This recipe for Pistachio Timbale with Sautéed Pheasant – Timbale de pistaches au sauté de faisan – is one of my favorites and comes from one of my most treasured old cookbooks designed for professional chefs. Titled simply “Pates and Terrines”, it is co-authored by Friedrich W. Ehlert with 3 other chefs of the most accomplished European traditions and dates back to 1984. If you ever see it in a used bookstore – buy it!
Enjoy, my Citizens – and feel free to substitute Chicken, Duck or Turkey for the Pheasant if you are so inclined! :)
Battle on – The Generalissimo
¾ lb lean boneless pork
salt and ground white pepper
2 egg whites
¾ cup flour panada, sieved (flour mixed with equal parts of water or stock)
1 cup pistachios
½ cup whole milk
1 cup whipped cream
1 cup cream
1 cup pheasant essence (reduced pheasant stock)
¼ lb lean pheasant meat
1 tablespoon oil
butter for greasing molds
4 8-oz timbale molds
Cut the trimmed pork into strips and season it. Grind twice through the finest blade of a meat grinder. Gradually beat in the lightly-beaten egg whites and then the sieved panada.
Puree the pistachios with the milk in a blender and work into the forcemeat.
Sieve the forcemeat through a fine strainer and beat in the whipped cream a spoonful at a time.
Reduce the cream until thick, then strain it into the hot pheasant essence and season. Dice the pheasant meat and seal it in oil. Remove from the skillet , drain and add to the sauce. Stir in well and leave to cool.
Coat the buttered timbale molds with about three-quarters of the forcemeat. Fill with the sautéed pheasant and cover with the remaining forcemeat. Cook in a water bath for about 15 minutes, regulating the oven so that the water temperature does not exceed 176 degrees. (JH note – a water bath is placing the timbale molds in a pan half-filled with water so the water comes up to near the tops of the timbale molds. This helps regulate the temperature while they are cooking in the oven.)
(JH addition – I would serve this with a sauce made from demi-glace with a touch of cognac and pepper)