I’ve always enjoyed DuBreton’s organic ground pork from Quebec, and it made the perfect base for my stab at making Haslet.
Upon receiving some lovely organic DuBreton ground pork I decided to attempt to work on a slightly-less-than-traditional Lincolnshire Haslet.
For those unfamiliar with Haslet, it is an old English recipe that utilises ground pork, breadcrumbs, and herbs (notably sage) to produce a kind of meatloaf/terrine hybrid, and there are innumerable local variations upon this basic theme, historically found with the addition of offal, usually pig kidneys, and wrapped in caul fat. Modern incarnations often eschew these details.
In the UK it is often sold as a cold cut, or used in thick slices in sandwiches, but when just out of the oven it works best sliced hot and served with a piquant green salad (properly salted) and a healthy spoonful or two of cranberry or lingonberry (GO IKEA!) sauce.
I decided to go for a mixture of pork, grated apple, leeks, and some dried (then reconstituted) Trompettes De La Mort mushrooms that I picked up in a Spanish market and have been struggling to find a use for them for quite some time.
The resultant Haslet was a roaring success with the family, being awarded “best thing you have ever cooked” by our gourmand-to-be five-year-old son. ‘Ten thumbs up!”
It was just so damn juicy, flavourful, and delicious. Amazing.
Before lightly softening the washed leeks in a little olive oil I combined the DuBreton minced pork, grated apple, smoked/hot paprika, mustard powder, garlic, breadcrumbs, , fresh thyme, fresh oregano, fresh sage, fresh parsley, salt and pepper. Note the hastily prepared breadcrumbs using a toaster.
After adding the leeks I remembered those dried mushrooms from Spain, soaking in them in some warm water for 10 minutes before giving them a good stir to remove any grit/dirt (an issue I often have with dried mushrooms) before using a slotted spoon to retrieve them. I then chopped them into quite small pieces before mixing in and finishing off with a good splash of Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce. And why not?
The trick, as with meatloaf and terrine is preventing it from becoming dried out. Greasing up a loaf pan with an old stored butter wrapper (probably overkill with all the bacon to come) I lined it with rashers of double-smoked organic bacon and added the minced pork mix before covering with a few more rashers.
I took an educated guess on how long this should sit uncovered in a preheated 350 degree oven, and it appeared that 60 minutes was pretty much right on the nose. Because of the fat and water from the pork/leek mix you’ll find that the Haslet sweats quite a bit and the pan will be dangerously full of boiling fat/liquid, so be very careful when you remove from the oven. As a finishing touch I added a simple glaze of apple sauce and a touch of liquid smoke before putting it under the grill for a few minutes to crisp the bacon and apple glaze to perfection.
Once out of the oven I left the Haslet to sit under an aluminum tent for 10 mins before carefully pouring off the liquid and removing from the pan. I then served this in steaming hot thick slices with a salad of endive, radicchio, frisée, with an aged white wine vinaigrette augmented with a little crushed garlic to give it a little more bite. Season generously, especially with the salt. Then serve some cranberry/lingonberry sauce on the side. Quite simply delicious. Also excellent sliced cold in sandwiches made from a rustic loaf with lettuce and tomato (and one of those sauces!)
Edinburgh-born/Toronto-based Sommelier, consultant, writer, judge, and educator Jamie Drummond is the Director of Programs/Editor of Good Food Revolution… And perhaps he just made a terrine again? But we’ll call it Haslet.