Pates and Terrines at the School of Artisan Food

{GIFTED} A few months ago I was invited to take a course at the School of Artisan Food. I ummed and ahhed over the list of fantastic courses for a few days until I decided on the pates and terrines course which happened last weekend. I have never made a terrine and have only made trout pate so I was excited to see what actually goes into making each of the different types.

The School of Artisan food is a registered charity and has been open since 2009 and over 5,000 short course participants have soared through the doors since.

With courses ranging from British pies, French baking, Ice Cream making and curing and smoking (to name just a microscopic few) there is something that every foodie, no matter your level of skill to enjoy. The school even runs courses for children! They offer gift vouchers perfect for parents, friends and partners so that they can choose their own experience. The vouchers range from only £25 too.

School of Artisan Food

So on a crisp, cold December Sunday I travelled the 30 odd miles from Nottingham city centre to the beautiful School of Artisan Food located in the Welbeck Estate, within Sherwood Forest. The drive through the Welbeck Estate was beautiful with so many beautiful buildings to gaze upon.

There we were met by Chris and Tom, our teachers for the day. A butcher and chef by trade, these guys were going to teach us to make 7 different pates and terrines throughout the day. These were:

  • Salmon terrine
  • Chicken and wild mushroom terrine
  • Vegetable terrine
  • Chicken liver pâté
  • Pork rillettes
  • Ham hock and piccalilli
  • Game Terrine

As soon as I saw pork rillettes I sent a picture of the recipe straight to my housemate. She is French and we recently spent a week with her dad in France gorging on rillettes so we have said we will try the recipe at home soon.

Demonstrations from Tom were very handy in helping us to understand techniques to make everything run smoothly, such as:

  • Buy a probe so that you can accurately test temperatures of your terrine and pate to ensure it doesn’t over or under cook
  • How to make perfect pork belly (definitely the best thing about this course!)
  • Stretching the bacon with the flat of a knife to make it thinner and more able to stretch over the terrine tin
  • Doubling up on cling film to stop it sticking to itself – this was a revelation and I can’t believe no one told me this before!
  • How to layer bacon over a terrine tin to  ensure it cooks evenly and doesn’t become too thick
  • How to use Xanthum gum to create a vegan vegetable terrine
  • Which chicken livers were healthy and could be used and which bits we should throw away
  • How to cook the most delicious ham hock and how to season it correctly (using star anise and pepper)
  • How to tie a knot at the end of a roulade to ensure no water gets in to the cling film and it cooks evenly

I also, bizarrely, had the opportunity to skin and remove the giblets from a pheasant. We made a  game terrine consisting of pheasants shot on Welbeck Estate and venison meat. There were lots of pheasants to prepare and we were asked if we wanted a go. I haven’t ever done this before and didn’t know when I would get an opportunity to try so with the guidance of Chris I prepared the pheasant. As you can probably tell by my face it was tough. There were a lot more feathers left on mine than there was Chris’s! It was really interesting to see how it was done but I don’t think I will repeat it anytime soon!

The course was incredibly informative and we also got a recipe book to take home with us to replicate them again. If you have an interest in learning to make any of the above terrines or pates I strongly recommend you book on to the course. A 2020 date have been added and is 16th May. I will definitely be attempting both the ham hock and the pork rillettes again. These were my favourite of the course and to be honest, seemed the most simple to make without guidance. Both Chris and Tom were engaging, helpful and very knowledgeable. Everyone on the course had a different speed of learning and the patience they showed to each student was great. Sometimes people that are more methodical may feel rushed but I don’t think anyone on the course felt hassled to complete the recipe in a certain time frame.

Lunch at School of Artisan Food

I also have to shout out the catering team at the school who put on a lovely lunch for all the students. We had a beautiful butternut squash salad, scotch eggs, sliced gammon ham, potato wedges, quiches and beautiful bread. I want to come for the lunch, let alone the course! They also sell a range of books in the cafe too, well worth a look.

I would highly recommend taking a course at the School of Artisan Food. The tutors are incredible and the courses themselves are great value for money. From half and full day short courses to three day cheese making, five day advanced bread making and even a full time, six month Atrisan Baking advanced diploma, there is something for everyone at the Artisan School of Food. Get yourself booked on to one of the courses HERE.

My course was complimentary in exchange for a review. I wholeheartedly loved the course and hope to go back soon to try my hand at something else.

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