Jambon persillé aka Ham hock & parsley terrine

Jambon persillé aka ham & parsley terrine

deutsches Rezept wie immer am Ende

Ham in jelly or Sülze is quite common in Germany; you can buy it and other cold cuts at any butcher or Delikatessen (deli). I had never even thought about giving it a try myself. Odd, since I like to do exactly that sort of thing and a terrine is a fantastic starter or main course, plus, it offers quite an impressive appearance on a table or earns ‘Ohs! & Ahs!’ when revealed that it is indeed homemade and presented with a proud Ta-daa! Something in the raised venison pie, homemade paté, ice cream-bomb or macaron-tower category, a veritable centre piece (I can’t call it a showstopper, the expression makes me cringe). And, despite the long-winded instructions, this is an easy & relatively quick (hands-on-work-time-wise) version, good to prepare even days in advance.

If you have been to Burgundy or somewhere close, the classic starter Jambon persillé is omnipresent and we fell in love with it when we, ahem, my husband ordered it in Beaune. It was so good, that I can’t remember what my starter was (a rare occurrence). Scouring through the books for methods & quantities, there are many impressive and authentic recipes, which include making the jelly from scratch by boiling trotters, a whole ham next to army quantities of ham hocks etc. All nice and worth a try when faced with a bout of bad weather and masses of people to feed but to begin with, a more modest preparation or operation is the key.

To fill a small terrine (mine is a red ceramic dish with a lid from Emile Henry for about 600ml or a little more than 1 US pint) one ham hock is quite enough and yields 6 to 8 portions. I used Polpo’s easy ham hock & parsley terrine recipe as a blue-print to experiment with and came up with my version which is made with Eisbein, a German cured ham hock (it goes without saying that is was from an old breed and non factory farmed pig) for a more intense flavour. More aromatics are added to the cooking liquor, which I find makes an even better jellied stock when reduced further. Lots more parsley for a vivid green terrine, too.


Jambon persillé or Ham hock & parsley terrine

Yields about 6-8 portions depending on their size. Adapted from Russel Norman’s Polpo. A Venetian Cookbook (of sorts) though changed it quite a bit. Use a small ceramic terrine or dish of any shape, which holds around ½ litre to 600ml (2 ½ cups).


1 cured ham hock (German: Eisbein) or uncured ham hock
1 onion, halved
2 carrots, halved
2 celery sticks, halved
1 leek, halved
1 small bunch flat-leaf parsley; stalks & leaves separated
1 bay leaf
a few black peppercorns
1 shallot, finely minced
4 teaspoons (20ml) red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon coarse Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard or 1 teaspoon English mustard
white pepper
4 teaspoons (20ml) port
9 leaves (15g) leaf gelatine

Add Eisbein (or ham hock), onion, carrots, celery, leek, parsley stalks, bay leaf & peppercorns to a large pot or stock pot, cover with water and bring to the boil. Lower the heat, skim of any scum that rises to the top, cover (partially) with a lid and simmer for about 1½ hours. Test the meat for doneness by inserting a small knife: if it is easily removed, the ham hock is cooked through. Take it out of its cooking liquor to cool. Place your terrine or chosen dish into the fridge or freezer (to have the jelly set faster).

Strain the stock and return to a clean pot, bring back to a slow simmer and reduce by a third or until it has reached a pleasant (slightly concentrated) savoury taste, check the seasoning & add salt if necessary.

Meanwhile mix the minced shallot with the vinegar & mustards and leave to infuse & soften for about 1 hour. Season with a few grinds of white pepper. Chop the parsley leaves. Remove the fat, gristle & bone of the cooled Eisbein and cut the clean meat into smallish pieces and stir together with the parsley & shallot-mustard mixture into a predominantly parsley-green crumble.

Take about 200 ml (¾ cup + 2 tbsp.) hot stock and season with a generous dash (or measure 4 teaspoons) of port wine. Submerge the gelatine leaves in cold water and soak for about 2-4 minutes until they are soft & wobbly. Squeeze to part with excess water and dissolve the gelatine in the hot stock (stir to make sure all it is dissolved completely), leave the jelly to cool a little (if it is too hot the parsley will not keep its vivid green colour), ladle a spoonful or two into your terrine to cover the bottom and swirl around the sides.

Fill the dish loosely with your ham & parsley, pour in the cooled stock and poke or stir lightly with a fork or its handle to ensure the jelly gets everywhere. Tap the terrine a few times onto the counter to release any trapped air bubbles, then cover with the lid or cling film and keep in the fridge to set the jelly completely.

Shortly before serving, dip the dish into hot water to loosen the bottom and run a sharp knife around the edges. Cover with a plate and flip. Cut with a warmed knife into slices and serve with crusty bread, small cornichons, pickled silver onions or any pickles in that case and a salad with a sharp, mustard-y vinaigrette. A glass of wine is extremely recommended, too.

What to do with leftover stock – making stock cubes: I reduce leftover stock quite drastically into a concentrate (nearly a demi-glace) & freeze it in ice cube trays for homemade stock cubes which hog not too much precious freezer real estate with large amounts of frozen water (much better used for ice-cream – just saying). Re-hydrate for ‘instant’ soups or add a cube to your deglazed pan for a really quick but fantastic sauce with homemade stock. Square ice cubes are the ne plus ultra here, taken out of the tray and placed like lego blocks into a zip-lock bag for the ultimate space saver solution. Looks good, too.



Jambon persillé aka ham & parsley terrine

Schinken & Petersilien Sülze

Für 6 Personen als Hauptgericht oder mindestens 8 als Vorspeise. Mit zahlreichen Änderungen adaptiert von Russel Norman: Polpo. A Venetian Cookbook (of sorts).


1 Eisbein oder ungepökelte Schweinshachse
1 Zwiebel, halbiert
2 Möhren, halbiert
2 Bleichselleriestangen, halbiert
1 Stange Lauch, halbiert
1 kleines Bund glatte Petersilie, Stile & Blätter getrennt
1 Lorbeerblatt
einige schwarze Pfefferkörner
1 Schalotte, fein gehackt
20 ml Rotweinessig
1 EL grober Dijonsenf
2 TL Dijonsenf oder 1 TL Englischer Senf
weißer Pfeffer
20ml Portwein
20g Blattgelatine (9 Blätter)


Eisbein, Zwiebel, Möhren, Sellerie, Lauch, Petersilienstängel, Lorbeer, schwarzen Pfeffer in einen großen Topf geben, mit Wasser bedecken und zum Kochen bringen. Die Hitze reduzieren und von Zeit zu Zeit Schaum abschöpfen. Den Topf nur teilweise mit einem Deckel schließen und 1½ Stunden köcheln lassen. Den Gargrad des Eisbeins kann man mit einen dünnen Messer prüfen: in das Fleisch gestochen sollte es sich ohne großen Widerstand wieder entfernen lassen. Dann die Hachse aus der Flüssigkeit nehmen und abkühlen lassen; die Terrine oder gewählte Form im Kühlschrank (oder Gefrierfach) ebenfalls kühlen (die Sülze erstarrt so etwas schneller).

Fond in den sauberen Topf durchseihen und bei geringer Hitze um ca. ein Drittel reduzieren oder bis man eine angenehm würzig schmeckende Brühe hat, bei Bedarf salzen.

In der Zwischenzeit die gehackte Schalotte mit Essig und den beiden Senfsorten vermischen. Mit weißem Pfeffer würzen und ca. 1 Stunde ruhen lassen. Die Petersilienblätter hacken. Das Fett, Sehnen & den Knochen vom Eisbein entfernen und das Fleisch in kleinere Stückchen schneiden. Mit der Schalotten-Senf-Mischung und viel Petersilie zu einer sehr grünen Füllung vermengen.

200ml von der heißen Brühe entnehmen (den Rest anderweitig verwerten, s. u.) und mit einem guten Schuß Portwein (20ml) würzen. Gelatine in kaltem Wasser für 2-4 Minuten einweichen (bis die Blätter weich und wabbelig sind), mit den Händen überschüssiges Wasser vorsichtig ausdrücken und in der warmen/heißen Brühe auflösen. Leicht abkühlen lassen (die Petersilie sollte ihre grüne Farbe behalten und nicht kochen), dann einige Löffel in die kalte Terrinenform geben und diese leicht schwenken um auch die Seiten mit Sülze zu bedecken. Die Füllung in die Form geben, mit der Flüssigkeit begießen und mit einer Gabel oder deren Stil vorsichtig vermengen. Die Form mehrfach auf den Tisch klopfen um eventuelle Luftblasen zu vermeiden. Mit dem Deckel oder Folie bedecken und im Kühlschrank erstarren lassen.

Vor dem Servieren die Form kurz in heißes Wasser tauchen, die Ränder mit einem Messer lösen und auf eine Platte stürzen. Mit einem angewärmten Messer lassen sich einigermaßen glatte Scheiben schneiden, die man mit krustigem Brot, sauren Gürkchen (Cornichons), Silberzwiebeln oder anderen sauer eingelegten Gemüsen sowie einem knackigen Salat serviert. Empfehlenswert ist auch ein Glas Wein dazu.

Was macht man mit dem restlichen Fond? Ich reduziere restlichen Fond oder auch Brühe bis ich eine stark konzentrierte Flüssigkeit (beinahe eine demi-glace) erreicht habe und friere diese in Eiswürfelbehältern ein. So habe ich immer eigene Brühwürfel für eine schnelle Suppe (mit Wasser re-hydrieren) oder eine intensive Sauce (zur Ablöschflüssigkeit dazugeben) zur Hand. Außerdem friert man so nicht eine große Menge Wasser ein und blockiert Raum im Gefrierfach oder –schrank den man mit anderen Dingen (z. B. Eis) füllen kann. Benutzt man quadratische Eiswürfel, so lassen sich


2 thoughts on “Jambon persillé aka Ham hock & parsley terrine

  1. Hello James,
    Most English recipes are quite terrine like and I have been looking for this for some time.
    I love the Swedish “sylta” which is exactly what you offer here.
    Made it this evening and it did take quite some time to do, but boy is it superior to anything else!
    Hopefully, I can send you photo tomorrow when it has set.
    Thank You!
    Greetings from England,

    • Hi Jeanette,
      thank you and yes, you are spot on: that is exactly what I am aiming for: a lighter & fresher version of the often very meat heavy terrine. In Germany it is called Sülze (even the pronunciation is quite similar to ‘sylta’) and I smuggled something of my Mother’s recipe (cured ham) along with masses of fresh green parsley into the Polpo version.
      Very glad, what am I saying, I am over the moon, that you liked it and am looking forward to your photo.

      Greetings from Germany,
      Nicole (James) in the James’ kitchen

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