Danger, danger, Will Robinson. This dish contains ingredients that could clash with wine, creating a shrill, jarring, unpleasant tartness. White wine vinegar; with yet more vinegar in the cornichons, the onions and the mustard: it's a minefield for the gastronome. But you can't make pickled pork and parsley terrine, the classic French bistro dish, without all these ingredients. Luckily, the French wine region of Alsace provides the solution: pinot gris. Traditionally, gris grapes were harvested late in Alsace and the white wine they produced was rich in flavour and low in acidity. The modern trend, in France, Australia and New Zealand, is for drier wines but the fatter style would be better with this dish: the lack of acidity in the wine won't clash with the vinegar, and the medium-weight grapey sweetness balances the acetic sharpness perfectly. There's also a ripe golden apple-like flavour in good gris that complements the pork perfectly. - MAX ALLEN
The only wine to hold its own against the strong flavours of vinegar, onion and mustard is the highly prized pinot gris.
- 2 pickled pork hocks (1.5kg each, see note)
- 2 onions, coarsely chopped
- 2 carrots, coarsely chopped
- 2 fresh bay leaves
- 4 thyme sprigs
- 2 flat-leaf parsley sprigs
- 2 tsp white peppercorns
- 3 golden shallots, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 cups (loosely packed) flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
- 80 ml dry white wine, such as pinot gris
- 60 ml white wine vinegar (¼ cup)
- To serve: sliced baguette, cornichons, pickled onions and Dijon mustard
- 1Place hocks in a large saucepan, cover with cold water, boil over medium-high heat and drain. Return hocks to pan, add onion, carrot, bay leaves, herb sprigs, peppercorns and enough cold water to cover, bring to the boil over medium-high heat, reduce heat to low and simmer until meat is tender and falling from the bone (1½ to 2 hours). Remove hocks from cooking liquid and cool, then remove meat from hocks, discarding skin, bone and gristle, and finely shred meat.
- 2Strain cooking liquid through a muslin-lined sieve into a saucepan and reserve 2 litres (discard solids and remaining liquid). Bring to the boil and cook over high heat until reduced by half (30-35 minutes). Cool, then add shallot, garlic and chopped parsley.
- 3Combine shredded meat, wine and vinegar in a large bowl and season to taste. Add reduced stock and stir to combine. Spoon into a plastic wrap-lined 10cm x 23cm terrine mould or loaf pan, smoothing top, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight to set.
- 4Turn pork and parsley terrine onto a cutting board, slice and serve with baguette, cornichons, pickled onions and mustard to the side.
Note Pickled pork hocks are available from most quality butchers but may need to be ordered ahead. You'll need to begin this recipe a day ahead. Drink suggestion by Max Allen