Archive for December, 2011


I have been asked to put up some of my ROADKILL recipes.   There are lots so I will start with one of my favourites… TERRINE!!

It has humble beginnings as a hearty meal for French labourers, but is now served in upscale restaurants as a starter.

Wild Game Terrine was one of the dishes I served up on Come Dine With Me earlier this year, alongside Curried Pheasant & Quinoa Roadkill Pies.  I served two dishes as I wanted to spark a debate if my guests wouldn’t eat the roadkill, but would eat the butcher bought meat.  My question was – so whats the difference?  It was the same wild animal, the difference being one had been delliberatly shot with a gun, the other had been accidentally hit by a car!  If it was a question of ethics, which one was the most humane?  If it was a question of freshness, one had been hit by a car within a few hours, the other had been hung for over a week in the butchers shop…. which one would you eat? 

As it happened they devoured them, and loved it all!    Phewwww!! 

I hope you enjoy the following recipes!

 

Wild Game Terrine with Foraged Fruit Chutney & Toasted Brioche

Since the meat mixture is best marinated and left in the fridge for a day, then cooked and cooled the next day and then left up to two days for proper pressing to occur, terrine is a time-consuming dish.

Roadkill/ Meat Ingredients 

  • 1 pheasant
  • 1 rabbit
  • 1 organic (if possible) pigs trotter 

 

(Or whatever nature provides when using road-kill – however, the trotters are hard to find on the road!! LOL.) Use the breasts of pheasant, pigeon (or other bird) and saddles of rabbit or hare for the terrine; throw the rest of the game meat and bones into the stock pan, cook, cool and pick clean the bones, you can freeze the meat bits for later to use in another recipe – or, include them in this dish). 

Also think about including… 

  • Herbs and fruits of your choice – for example; parsley, lovage, thyme and Autumnal fruits such as plums, apple or apricots!  Be creative!!

 

For the forcemeat  – This is a cold pressed terrine!

  • Chosen cuts of cooked meat, or/ and cold meat picked off the carcasses of pre-boiled game
  • livers from all the game (optional) fry off/ cook first 
  • 1 handful fresh breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp (lemon) thyme, finely chopped
  • 1 tbs red wine or brandy
  • salt and pepper
  • trotter jelly
  • coriander leaves
  • 6 juniper berries

(My own special touch…If I don’t use bacon to line the tin, and use a jelly, say, from a pigs head, ham hock or trotters, I occasionally like to decorate the top (first layer in the tin) with a few foraged edible leaves, like lovage.  I love using offal, I once tried a terrine using a pig’s uterus and trotters, it was incredible!  I called it the ‘Foot & Fadge’ – opposite.)

 

Method 

Day One…

  1. Marinate the choice cuts of the game (saddles, breasts and thighs) in a generous splash of red wine (you could also throw in a few teaspoons of soft brown sugar if you want).
  2. Make a pork ‘binding’ jelly.  This can be made a day in advance by boiling the trotter or hock in a sauce pan, then simmering on a low heat for 3 hours, until the skin dissolves and the knuckles separate. 

The gelatine removed from the meat is used as a preserving & jellying agent (as in the making of pork pies).  Nowadays artificial gelatine is often added, but I prefer the traditional method.

Day Two…

  1. Mix (in a blender) the cooked meat, cooked livers, breadcrumbs, egg, parsley, thyme, juniper berries, wine/ brandy, season with the salt and pepper and mix together thoroughly with 4 or 5 tbsp of melted trotter jelly.  This is the forcemeat.
  2. Cut the marinated game meat into long strips about 2 fingers thick.
  3. Fry the game in oil/ butter until nicely browned, do not overcook the meat.
  4. Grease a 1lb loaf tin or glazed earthenware terrine dish with the butter. 
  5. Press some herb leaves to the buttered base for decoration.  Be creative!!  Pour on a little of the warm, liquid jelly to bind the first layer!  Allow to cool and set.
  6. When set, add a layer of forcemeat followed by a layer of game meat, and repeat this action until the game is gone.  Again, when layout of the meat strips, be mindful, think about the finished pattern when it is cut into slices.  Finish with a layer of the forcemeat.
  7. Terrines must be pressed as they cool to release trapped air.  This makes for a smooth texture and they’re easier to slice.  Find a piece of wood or plastic that fits snugly inside the terrine dish and weigh it down with a house brick (wrap in cling-film or foil in case it is a bit dirty).  If you have a spare loaf tin the same size, use that with a brick inside it.  Put the terrine in the fridge for 24 hours.

Day Three…

  1. To serve, remove from the tin, guide the knife around the edges and tap upside down on a chopping board to release.  If it doesn’t come out, pour some boiling water into a baking tin and warm the terrine for 10 seconds at a time, so the jelly begins to melt inside, but not so much that it melts the bulk of the terrine. When released, chill again and slice thickly while cold with a very sharp knife, clean the blade between slices.  Arrange on a plate with the chutney and warm brioche.

 

For the Foraged Fruit Chutney: 

Gathering the fruits, jars, and the time consuming job of peeling, stoning and chopping is often made easier and more fun by working as a team.  We all then get to share the end product. This was originally my amazing friend Tina’s recipe.  She doesn’t really use weights and measures, but to make it easy she gave a ‘guess-timation’. 

 

Ingredients 

  • 1 lb small yellow wild plums
  • 10 fl oz white wine vinegar
  • 1 onion – finely chopped
  • ½ tspn pepper
  • 3 whole dried chillies
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 10 black pepper corns
  • ½ tspn cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp celery seeds
  • Honey to taste

 Method 

  1. Wash, slice and de-stone your chosen foraged fruits.
  2. Put all the spices in a muslin bag.  You can make one by cutting a large circle of muslin, putting all the ingredients in the middle and tying securely with a piece of uncoloured/ clean/ unbleached cotton or string. 
  3. Gently soften the chopped onions in a little butter.
  4. Put the vinegar in the pan and add the plums and spice-bag.  Bring to the boil, and then simmer until soft – about 15 mins is okay.
  5. Add honey to taste.
  6. Pour into hot, sterilised jars if preserving.  Try not to use the dishwasher to sterilise your jars, it makes them smell.

…serve with lightly toasted slices of Brioche or toast

 

You can experiment with all of this in your own way of course…nothing is carved in stone when it comes to these kinds of recipes!  It depends on what nature offers you at the time and your personal tastes!   This terrine was made out of a pigs ear and a trotter!  It was a beautiful thing to look at, and tasted damn good too, dipped in a chinese style sauce made from soy with ginger, garlic and spring onions…. mmmmmm!  It was called “The Silk Purse Terrine”!

Enjoy!!

 

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My normal ‘bread & butter’ work takes the form of community art projects and school commissions.  This does not normally involve the taxidermy side of things.  I use my wide and varied range of skills to facilitate art installations for schools that involve the school children and sometimes also the wider community. I have a talent for most aspects of hands-on creation. I think fast and on my feet! 
 

I do not create solo exhibitions, as I prefer collaborative projects.  I enjoy being part of the growth process you get when you pool the energies of groups of people.  I love to observe transformations in levels of awareness — be that creative; spiritual; mental; emotional or physical.  I ‘push’ people to go beyond the boundaries they set themselves and that includes me too!

I love dressing up and exploring alter egos, especially with friends.  Festivals, camps and just travelling in general are a great opportunity to go ‘wild’ and experiment with being someone else for a while — great if you are at a time in your life when you need to reinvent yourself!  Every year, if I’m around, I make/put on a costume and perform with my buddies at Artists Ltd.  We are an artists’ collective and enjoy working in a range of different mediums, from bone carving to theatre, painting to music — join up and be part of it, there is FREE gallery space waiting for you!  www.artists.ltd.uk

“My Roadkill Art…. hmmmm!  Yes, well… “

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SHAMANIC ROADKILL CAPE - Made from recycled materials feathers from the capes of seven golden roadkill pheasants - 2 years in the making, completed at NOMADIC VILLAGE 2012, modelled beautifully by Visual & Shamanic Artist KATIE SURRIDGE of London. Pigs ears and trotters with goji berries - silk purse "Kali's Pants" - aka - "Nice Beaver"  'TOTAL BOLLOCKS' - ROADKILL BADGER TALISMAN - ANTI BADGER-CULL CAMPAIGN  Hernes Horn H2840039

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My taxidermy projects are quite personal, and not really for sale.  They do not form part of my general paid art work (community works or school projects) so I tend to keep these separate from each other.  That said, I may take on a commission for a special person or idea if I have the time, as with the story of the testicle earrings!

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I usually exhibit my work at festivals, as part of a performance, or personally in my home (where-ever that may be) as a shamanic fetish/object with a specific purpose or meaning.  Often these objects have a slightly dark sense of humour injected into them and a much deeper meaning than one might imagine.

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This short 5 minute film for Woodlands TV gives you a visual taster, lol.

“Tribal Arts and Cafts in the Woodlands” – Episode 6 of 6

Roadkill Pheasant Cape

Roadkill Pheasant Cape

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So… Yeah, the earrings, lol.  It is quite a funny story and I was asked to tell it recently, so seeing as I had to type it out anyway, I thought I would stick it on here too.

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Squirrel Testicle Earings

Squirrel Testicle Earrings

The story of the Testicle Earrings!

I was at a friend’s party in London few years ago and got talking to one of the other girls there that I had not met before.  To be honest, I only knew two other people there.  She was telling us about how her boyfriend had proposed recently.  She had suffered a fidelity betrayal by her previous partner and was still furious and hurt that he had cheated on her.  Afraid this might happen again with her new man, but wanting very much to marry him, she told him that she would only marry him if he agreed that if he ‘was’ ever unfaithful to her – she could “wear his bollocks for earrings!!”

He agreed.  Thinking she was joking.  They made a date to marry later that year in Las Vegas.

The group of friends laughed at the story, and joked that it would be funny to wear a pair of human testicle earrings for the wedding day, as a reminder of his promise, but that it would be impossible to buy a pair of real testicle earrings.  I had been pretty quiet until this point when  I said “I’ve got a spare pair of testicles!!”.

The group just stared at me with jaws dropping, and laughed.  I laughed and said “No really, I have… some squirrel ones”.  One of my friends then proceeded to tell the group that I was an artist, and about the kind of things I had made and how I lived my life.  They were amazed.  I was commissioned by the bride there and then to make her these earrings.  I reassured her that they would not be hairy, lol.

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Skinning a squirrel to taxidermy in my studio.

Skinning a squirrel to taxidermy in my studio.

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I set about making the earrings from the actual testicles, not the scrotum.  I had saved them from a previous taxidermy project using a local roadkill casualty.  Luckily squirrel testicles are quite large in comparison to the size of the animal so looked good as droplet ear adornments.

squirrel with balls

These little objects can be quite ‘oily’ when drying so the process took longer than anticipated.  They were dried repeatedly and cured in salt for a long period of time, and then I sealed the remaining oil inside using a tough acrylic varnish.  I try not to use heavy chemicals in my work.  They were sprayed silver, varnished again, mounted in silver fittings and beautifully gift wrapped for the bride in time for the wedding.

The group of friends today still talk about the story.  I hope I helped cure with humour a huge amount of suffering by a fellow sister, and make a sensitive issue easier to talk about for a young couple on the path to new relationship.  I also hoped that it be a dark but humorous warning to the ‘love-rats’ out there that think cheating on your woman comes without consequences.

Best they be warned!  We will have “your bollocks for earrings!”

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