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.
In cooking, timbale – derived from the French word for ‘drum’ – also known as Timballo, can refer to either a kind of pan used for baking, or the food that is cooked inside such a pan.
Timbale pans can be large (such as that used to bake a panettone), or they can be small enough to be single-portion (like a tartlet pan). Timbales typically narrow toward the bottom. Bundt pans, angelfood cake pans, and springform pans can be substituted for purpose-made timbale bakeware.
As a dish, a timbale is a “deep dish” filling completely enclosed in a crust. The crust can be sheet pastry, slices of bread, rice, even slices of vegetable. Sartu di Riso is a rice crust timbale. Timballo di Melanzana uses overlapping strips of eggplant.
The filling can be a wide range of pre-cooked meats, sausages, cheeses, vegetables, and shaped pastas combined with herbs and spices and red or white “gravy”, thickened with breadcrumbs if necessary. The assembled dish is then baked to brown the crust and heat the filling to serving temperature.
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!
Battle on – The GeneralissimoPrint
- 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. (TFD 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.)
- (TFD addition – I would serve this with a sauce made from demi-glace with a touch of cognac and pepper).
- Calories: 679.87 kcal
- Sugar: 7.8 g
- Sodium: 872.8 mg
- Fat: 53.44 g
- Saturated Fat: 22.72 g
- Trans Fat: 0.25 g
- Carbohydrates: 15.71 g
- Fiber: 3.17 g
- Protein: 37.06 g
- Cholesterol: 180.03 mg
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