Things porcine have played a big part in the past week, not the least being how many times John Elliott last weekend said “pig’s arse” after being told that West Coast was the better team on the night. I smiled (all right, I laughed) every time I thought about it … well, Carlton’s year is done and dusted.
Pork was also mentioned in dispatches from my son Liam in Vanuatu. He now has a pet pig — affectionately known as Jeffrey — to go with the two dogs, Stu and Angus (Why do you ask, Two Dogs …?), the cat (called Cat) and the no-name python (which he caught in the backyard).
Pork was also on the menu at home. I had a hankering to make a terrine and, after touring the food arcade at the market to see what looked good, I opted for some coarsely minced pork fillet, another fillet cut into about five centimetre chunks, and a chicken fillet.
I (mostly) used a recipe from Stephanie Alexander’sThe Cook’s Companion, which includes spices, pistachios and cognac. Too easy with a couple of small changes: prosciutto (rather than hard back fat) and the said chicken fillet. The full recipe is at the bottom section of my blog.
After marinading the mixture overnight, I cooked it — in a terrine dish covered in foil and in a baking tray with water coming hallway up the dish, cooled it and then weighted it down (with some cans of tomatoes and a very heavy pestle) in the fridge overnight. It became the mainstay of a bloody good lunch in the sun on Sunday (did I mention that it was the day after Carlton copped it up the freckle?) and there was plenty left.
A couple of slices of terrine, some fetta-stuffed olives, some cornichons, some coriander and chilli pesto, a small(ish) piece of brie, some toasted garlic-and-shallot sourdough and a terrific salad of rocket, nashi pear and some curls (use a vegetable peeler) of parmigiano reggiano, and topped with some lemon-infused olive oil.
It made a beautiful day even better. That task was further enhanced with some ever-reliable Chateau Tahbilk Shiraz.
I have many great memories of visiting the winery over the years and of its wines, which tend to make it into my place every couple of weeks or so. It’s one of the oldest family-run vineyards in Australia and the Purbrick family’s love for all things grape shows through in the bottle.
The 2008 shiraz is a good example. In the glass, it’s really dark (think the mood of Carlton supporters) and on the nose (no, that’s not a John Elliott joke). It’s chockers with berry smells, pepper (the label suggests that there is some liquorice there, but I couldn’t find it) and lots of chocolate. In the mouth, it’s spicy, has a nice oakiness, easy tannins and it hangs about.
It’s a healthy 14.5% alcohol, has a screwtop and will set you back $21 or thereabouts. The winemaker’s note says: “The 2008 shiraz is everything you would be looking for in an Estate release from a very good year for reds.”
It’s pretty hard to argue with that. It went perfectly with the food and helped continue the pork theme … i.e. I was as happy as a pig in … OK, you get the drift.