Hot Fish Terrine with Mace and Pink Peppercorns

I serve this terrine as a main course with a cheese sauce which I make slightly thinner than usual, adding threads of saffron and a clove of crushed garlic right at the beginning so that they infuse into the sauce as it cooks. New potatoes and either a green vegetable or salad are good accompaniments.

Ingredients

  • 425 g (14 oz) smoked haddock fillet, skinned and cut up roughly
  • 1 teaspoon ground mace
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg whites
  • 150 ml (¼ pint) double cream
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon leaves
  • 1 teaspoon pink peppercorns
  • 3–4 pinches cayenne pepper
  • 1 plaice fillet, 175-250 g (6-8 oz., skinned and cut into thin strips lengthwise
  • 1 salmon tail, 625-150 g (1¼–1½ lb., filleted, skinned and cut into 1.5–2.5 cm (¾-1 in) pieces
  • Salt

Method

Purée the smoked haddock in a food processor. Add the mace, then one at a time, the eggs and egg whites, whizzing very thoroughly after each addition. Gradually whizz in the cream. Turn the mixture into a bowl, stir in the tarragon and peppercorns and season with the cayenne pepper and salt. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Put a roasting tin of hot water in the oven and heat to 160°C, 325°F, Gas Mark 3.

Butter a 1.2 litre (2 pint) terrine dish generously and lay a piece of buttered greaseproof paper on the bottom, then layer the strips of plaice fillet across the terrine and up the sides, leaving a space between each strip. Stir the pieces of salmon fillet into the chilled haddock mixture and spoon into the terrine dish. Top with a piece of buttered foil, pressing the edges to seal. Pierce 2 holes in the top of the foil to let the steam escape.

Set the terrine dish in the roasting tin and cook for 60-70 minutes until the edges have slightly shrunk from the sides and a small knife inserted in the centre comes out clean. Remove the foil and pour off any liquid around the terrine. (You can use this in your cheese sauce.) Leave to stand for 5 minutes before turning out on to a warm serving dish.

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