I’ve always been a fan of Christmas and Christmas traditions, and the past few years have created a new one; the “What will Heston bring out this year?” tradition. We’ve had two types of mince pie, we’ve had two types of Christmas pud, this year brings a third – a chocolate one and it sounds horrid, but it also brings Earl Grey Stollen ( I bet you can’t taste the Earl Grey), and canapé versions of Chicken, Ham and Leek Pie, Party Fish Pies, Prawn Mousse Shot, Chilli with Corn Muffins and the terrine which I am talking about today. They all sound pretty good and these are on top of all the other Christmas stuff he has.
Generally speaking I’m not a big fan of terrines, and they’d be far from my first choice on a menu. I think of them as the thing a restaurant makes to use up whatever meat they have sitting around, they are more a leftovers convenience than something you’d choose to make. That’s just me though, I know many people feel differently.
The terrine has two slices each in their own little pack, they do look alarmingly like dog food with a bit of colour added. There are two pinky slabs of pressed pork with flecks of peppers and herbs running through. In fairness that is just how terrines look – Heston hasn’t strayed from the path, he’s just conformed.
I peeled back the cellophane and it was like someone had just farted in my face. Forgive the crassness, but I am not exaggerating and I cannot think of a more accurate way to describe what happened. Farty dog food is not the best way to start a meal, but I boldly marched on.
I cut a piece of terrine and put it on a cracker, it was dense, the pork all chunky and fibrous and the smell mellowed into a more appealing smokiness. Perhaps it wouldn’t be too bad after all. The texture was really good, it wasn’t over processed and had chunks of ham alongside the broken down pulled apart pork, it was a satisfying meaty mouthful. Unfortunately that is where the positives end, because it didn’t taste too good. In fact it tasted just like cheap hot dog sausages. If I could distil the flavour and remove texture from the equation I don’t think I’d know the difference. It’s a shame really because there are plenty of ingredients in the mix; chilli, thyme, horseradish, mustard, turmeric, the list goes on and all those flavours come together to create hotdog.
Heston your misses are far less frequent than your hits, so I remain hopeful for your other Christmas offerings (except the Chocolate Christmas Pud) but this time it’s a disappointment.
Heston from Waitrose Ham Hock and Piccalilli Terrine 120g for £3.29