Note: This is step 2 of the multistep Momofuku bánh mi recipe.
The ham terrine, like the chicken liver terrine, is yet another ugly, but tasty offering from the Momofuku cookbook. Sandwich insides are the perfect place for these terrines, because no matter how good they taste, coming up with an appetizing way to plate is a bit of a challenge.
It might lack the looks, but the ham terrine doesn’t fall short on flavour: bay leaves, star anise, cinnamon, and garlic give the pork a fragrant, Vietnamese flavour.
Momofuku ham terrine is “like a ghetto-simplified and lightly Vietnamesed jambon persillé.” The difference: jambon persillé uses gelatine to hold it’s shape while, Chang’s terrine is held together by pork fat.
There’s a lot of pork in Momofuku. My parents don’t eat beef (and haven’t for many years) so growing up, I ate an inordinate amount of pork. Not eating beef in my family meant that instead of beef burgers, we had pork burgers, meat lasange was made with pork ragu, and instead of beef stew, we ate a pork version. You’d think as a result of all that pork eating, I’d be sick of the stuff, but really, I love pork.
Even still, I’ve eaten more pork since starting this cookbook than I have since I first moved out.
The ham terrine starts with fresh ham, which is brought to a simmer on the stove top then put in the oven for two hours. When the meat is super-tender, it’s strained out and then cooled before you separate the meat and fat.
The fat and garlic is then blended in a food processor until it’s a smooth paste. Each chunk of meat is dipped in the fat, put into whatever you’re making your terrine in and then the terrine is weighed down and chilled in the fridge overnight.
The ham terrine is earthy, meaty, and slick with pork fat and garlic. Not like anything I’ve ever had on a bánh mi before, but like Chang says, “the list of things that [can't] be stuffed into a bánh mi is shorter that the list of things that can.”