Life is a picnic

In Recipes on January 25, 2012 at 5:44 am

Fine weather in Melbourne last week made me think of picnics.  My first thought was of the bush or the beach but  not really having the time or the inclination to travel an hour or two to get there my thoughts turned, instead, to our beautiful inner city parks.  Recently my daughter and her friends discovered a lovely old park in Albert Park on St Vincents Place.  With its big old shady trees and green lawns I thought it was the perfect place to host a picnic.

For this picnic I thought I would make a classic picnic dish – pork and pistachio terrine.  This would be supplemented by a couple of caramelised onion and feta tarts, some chicken sandwiches and Stephanie’s English Curd Tart made by my excellent daughter.  Others brought salads, cheesecake and iced tea.  On the day the sunshine was a bit too intense but armed with food, ice, eskies and having found a big old shady tree, we were not too troubled by it.  A relaxing day was had by all.

Pork and Pistachio Terrine

Pork and Pistachio Terrine


600g good quality pork mince (get your butcher to mince it for you from the belly or shoulder)

2oog lean veal mince

250g chicken livers (trimmed and finely chopped)

15 thin slices flat pancetta

1 onion (finely diced)

200ml red wine

2 tbs cognac, brandy or port

1/2 tsp all spice

6 – 8 juniper berries (crushed)

3 – 4 tsp quatre epices*

3 – 4 tbs chopped fresh herbs (sage, thyme, parsley, marjoram, basil etc.)

60g pistachio kernels

sea salt

butter for greasing

1 terrine dish or loaf tin with about a 1kg capacity


Gently fry the onions in a little oil or butter until translucent, add red wine and reduce down until almost all the liquid has disappeared.   Set aside to cool.  Using clean hands, mix the meats, spices, herbs, cognac, onions and pistachios thoroughly.  Cover and refrigerate for  a couple of hours or longer if possible.  Grease your terrine dish or loaf tin, then line with the flat pancetta slices leaving the edges of the slices hanging over the sides to be folded over later.  Remove meat mixture from the refrigerator and gently press the meat mixture into the tin.  Place in a bain marie filled with the water to come halfway up the sides of the terrine dish or loaf tin.  Place in a pre-heated 200c oven for 20 mins.  Cover with foil and reduce heat to 170c and cook for a further 45 mins to an hour or until the juices run clear when pierced with a skewer.  Remove terrine from oven and bain marie, carefully pour off any fat or juices that have accumulated and let cool slightly.  Cover with baking paper, place a piece of cardboard on top and weight with three 400g cans from your cupboard.  Refrigerate overnight.  Turn terrine out onto a plate and serve with crusty bread and cornichons – a relish would be good too.

Stephanie’s English Curd Tart

A hazard of picnics and barbeques alike, the vital implement forgotten!  Naturally we forgot the cake slide so we could get the pieces out but  ‘necessity being the mother of invention’ we managed by sliding a large knife underneath each piece.

Pear, Parmesan and Rocket Salad

I usually use balsamic vinegar in the dressing but this one had red wine vinegar and it was just as good and didn’t discolour the pears as much.


A delicious and seriously naughty cheesecake

This cheesecake was incredibly sweet and rich.  Everything a cheesecake should be in fact.

Refreshing iced tea

A brilliant idea on a hot day.  Something adult, tasty and non-alcoholic.  I loved the addition of lychees.

* quatre epices (four spices)

2 tsp white peppercorns (crushed)

1 tsp grated nutmeg

1 tsp ground cloves

1 tsp ground ginger

Mix together

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: