Michael Manners is one of Australia’s most celebrated chefs and has always been a great friend and supporter of our farm and venison. It was a freezing, drizzly winters’ day last week when Alice and I visited him at his Molong home. We found Michael making terrines in the kitchen and his clever wife Josephine Jagger-Manners at the easel painting.
Unfortunately the quiet industry of this scene was interrupted as soon as we stepped inside. I left the door open a fraction too long allowing the dogs to sneak in, whereupon Alice stirred them up so they jumped all over forbidden couches.
Ever the hostess, (during their restaurant years Josephine would run the floor and Michael the kitchen), Josephine quickly calmed the dogs, gathered Alice up and set her to work on her own painting while Michael and I talked terrines.
For over 45 years Michael has been promoting local produce through his restaurants in Sydney (Upstairs), the Blue Mountains (Glenella then Table Manners) and then Orange (Selkirks). These days he caters for private functions and makes beautiful charcuterie and ready-made meals to order, through his Manners and Borg line (the Borg referring to our very own super butcher here in Orange, Michael Borg). Between her own painting, Josephine also teaches art and craft classes and can be contacted here.
Michael Manners Pork and Prune Terrine
This is delicious served with drinks or on a picnic with some nice bread and a few cornichons. The salt and pepper quantities given here may seem a little heavy handed but as Michael says, this terrine is to be eaten cold so needs extra seasoning. Michael’s rule of thumb is 15g salt per kilogram, 3g per kilogram of pepper and 1g per kilogram of nutmeg.
100mls brandy 500g coarsely minced pork
150g diced chicken breast
150g minced veal
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp ground pepper
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup thyme and tarragon leaves, finely chopped
Soak the prunes in the brandy overnight (not in the fridge). Preheat the oven to 150C and line a loaf tin either with caul fat or baking paper. Mix all ingredients (except the brandy-soaked prunes) together in a large bowl, combining well. Pack half of this mixture into the prepared loaf tin, lay the prunes across this and then cover them with the remaining terrine mixture. Wrap up either with the caul fat or baking paper then cover tightly with foil. Place the loaf tin in a large baking tray and pour boiling water all around to make a ‘bain marie’ so that the water comes about 3/4 up the sides of your loaf tin.
Bake for 1 hour, if you have a meat thermometer, an internal temperature of 80C is what we are after.