480 grams lean wild boar meatshoulder or leg meat, alternatively use pork or veal
6 quail eggs
90 grams celeriac
2 Carrotsmedium size, peeled
1 bay leaf
2 leek stemwhite only, green leaves disgarded
2 white onionsmediun size, cut in quarters
10 white peppercorns
5 sprigs thyme
6 parsley stems
Perhaps passé and old (and sometimes forgotten) tradition, but, if not only for nostalgia sake, Sulze (German), “en gelee” (French) or aspics are still great appetizers. Certainly, for a dedicated, the preparation of aspics is a close seconds to the art of preparing Terrines, Galantines and the most famously, the Pate. Using too much gelatin and it becomes a bouncy jelly, not enough of it and the aspic will fall apart. The trick of the whole matter is that the stock, meat or fish needs to be really tasty and flavorful in order to produce the aspic. If not, it becomes a dull and uninteresting jelly and a far cry of what our culinary forefathers created.
- Boil the quail eggs and cool in ice water, peel, cut in half and set aside.
- In a stockpot, bring saltwater to boil, add the meat and blanch well. Remove the meat and discard the liquid. Place the meat in a clean stockpot, add all the vegetables and cover with water. Add little salt and bring to boil. Skim the stock regularly. This will ensure that the final broth will be clean and clear.
- Add the peppercorns, bay leaf and thyme and simmer meat in the stock for approximately 45 minutes or until the celeriac and carrots are soft. The carrots and celeriac needs to be well soft and should not be crunchy.
- Remove those two vegetables from the stock and set aside.
- Continue simmering the stock with the meat for approximately 1 hour or until the meat is well done and soft. Remove the boar meat from the stock.
- Strain the stock very gentle through a fine sieve. Change the stock in a smaller pan and reduce to a very strong clear soup. It should yield approximately 1 to 1.3 liter of final broth. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper and carefully strain through a coffee filter or a fine cloth. Set aside and let cool but do not refrigerate.
- Cut the celeriac, carrots and the meat in very small dice.
- Soak the gelatin leaves in cold water according to the final yield of the broth (9 pc gelatin leave per 1liter (1 quart) of aromatic stock/broth). Remove the gelatin from the cold water, squeeze out any excess water and place in a bowl. Add some of the still warm stock to the gelatin and dissolve thoroughly. If the stock is too cold and the gelatin does not dissolve easily, heat slightly in a hot water bath, but never boil, as gelatin looses its effectiveness when heated above 70 C (170 F).
- Add the dissolved gelatin mixture to the stock.
- Scoop 2 – 3 tablespoons of a well chilled cup and twirl the cup around so that all sides are well coated with the aspic. Due to the cup being chilled, the aspic should gel and get hard fairly fast. If our stock is still very warm, it might be a good idea to work over ice to accelerate the process. Repeat this with all the prepared cups.
- Add the one of the quail egg helves with the yolk down, and scoop a little aspic over the top of it. Place the cup back in the refrigerator until the aspic has hardened and set.
- Add all the diced meat and vegetables into the cup filling it to just below the rim. Pack fairly tight but do not press the meat into the cup. Top with the warm aspic until covered. Tap the cup lightly from the side and onto the surface to ensure all air bubbles being released.
- Refrigerate until well chilled and the aspic has hardened throughout.
- Before serving, warm lightly over steam for just a few second, this will help to un-mold the aspic. Un-mold upside down onto your serving plate and serve well chilled.