Have you ever made head cheese from scratch? Let alone tasted it before? Here is a straight up French classic: this parsley ham hock terrine, also known as jambon persillé or French parsley ham head cheese. In the UK it goes by the name of brawn by the way!
I love making recipes from scratch.
How about you?
And especially recipes of stuff you would normally buy ready made in the supermarket.
But how about a little research on the internet and getting my hands dirty this weekend? Both the hubs and I love, love, love this parsley ham hock terrine jambon persillé, also known as French parsley head cheese…
Head Cheese or Brawn
Whenever we are in France on a road trip…
We always make sure that we buy lunches in the supermarket.
And those lunches always contain fresh French baguettes. Duck rillettes. Pâté en croûte or oven baked paté in puff pastry. A soft cheese like Rocamadour or Saint-Marcellin.
A harder cheese like Cantal or Abondance.
And a thick slice of this jambon persillé or parsley ham hock terrine!
Best French Parsley Ham Hock Terrine (Jambon Persillé)
However you need pig’s trotters for this ham hock terrine recipe.
And where we used to live no butcher had ever thought of even selling it. Here in Spain trotters are very often for sale so here’s my chance!
I truly loved preparing this dish.
What a challenge this is!
The portion you end up with is not that big but more than enough for the two of us. Make sure you cut the head cheese up using a very sharp knife or you risk tearing it apart.
We have a meat slicer here at home, worked like a charm.
Cold Cut Platter
I served this ham hock terrine as an entree for my English neighbours one day.
It was only then that I learned that they don’t call it ‘head cheese’ in the UK but ‘brawn’.
I thought that I should mention that right here as well!
What do you say?
Apparently Gordon Ramsey and Mary Berry also have their version of this ham hock terrine…
Do you love cooking with ham hocks?
Then you should also check out my 15 bean soup with shredded ham hock! Oh that one is a delicious winter classic and a family favorite here at home!
Best French Parsley Ham Hock Terrine
Making a meat terrine from scratch? Here is a French classic: this parsley ham hock terrine, aka jambon persillé, head cheese or brawn!
- 3 lbs ham hock (1,3 kg)
- 1 large pig trotter
- 7 cups water (1,75 l)
- 1 stalk fresh celery chopped
- 1 medium fresh carrot chopped
- 5 garlic cloves peeled
- ½ small onion peeled
- 5 bay leaves
- 2 cloves
- 6 dried juniper berries
- 1 tbsp black peppercorns
- 4 handfuls fresh parsley chopped
- 3 tbsp red wine vinegar or lemon juice
- 2 tbsp salt
Add the ham hock, pig trotter, bay leaves, chopped celery, carrot, onion, garlic, cloves, peppercorns and juniper berries to a large pan. Season with a good dash of salt.
Add the water. The ingredients should be fully submerged. Place the pan over high heat and bring the ingredients to a boil for 10 minutes. Then turn the heat lower and put a lid on the pan. Cook the ham and trotter for 2 hours.
Then turn the heat off and let it all cool. Remove the ham hock and trotter. Strain the broth and discard the cooked vegetables.
Pour 3 cups (720 ml) of the broth in a pan again and bring it to a boil.
Let the broth reduce by half. It should thicken a little. In the meantime pick the meat off the ham hock. There is no meat in the trotter. Discard any skin, bones, cartilage and fat. In the end I had 1 ⅓ lbs (600 g) of meat.
Shred the boiled ham roughly. Combine the shredded ham and parsley in a mixing bowl. Add pepper and salt to taste.
Then coat a small baking dish with several layers of cling film and fill it with the ham and parsley mixture. Press well.
Then pour the reduced ham broth on top. Let the broth sink slowly. It can take some minutes until the broth has reached the bottom of the dish.
Let it all cool for an hour at room temperature. Then wrap the cling film hanging from the sides around the ham hock terrine and put it in the fridge to set. Place a heavy weight on top of it. Let the terrine rest in the fridge for 24 to 48 hours. Unwrap and slice it up into thick slices. Serve cold.