Terrific Terrines

Peter Walters, Keele University’s executive chef, serves up a seasonal alternative for a summer lunch

‘You are never too old to set another goal or dream another dream.’ C.S. Lewis


I keep telling myself that nobody is too old to do anything but let’s remember C.S. Lewis is the guy who wrote about an alternate universe through the back of his wardrobe. So he was pretty good at dreaming. I, on the other hand, don’t seem to remember my dreams but goals are something quite different and setting goals is probably the best way to get through the week, and the year come to that. So here’s a goal, make sure you go for a picnic in August and try something more unusual like a terrine instead of a pie. Venison is seasonal at this time of the year so why not get some of the less expensive cuts from the shoulder like you would have in a gutsy autumnal stew and lighten it up with some sweet onion marmalade.

Venison Terrine           
For 8–10 persons

  • 500g venison, diced
  • 250g ham (cooked), cubed
  • 500g pork fat, cubed
  • 12 rashers of back bacon, more if using streaky
  • 240ml Port
  • 100ml Cognac
  • 2 bay leaves, crumbled
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp lemon zest, finely grated
  • 2 tsp orange zest, finely grated
  • Pinch of ground allspice
  • Pinch of ground black pepper
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • 2 tbsp parsley, chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 egg whites

1.) In a large bowl, combine the venison, ham, pork fat, Port, Cognac, bay leaves, garlic, lemon and orange zests, allspice, pepper, and cayenne. Mix it all well together. Cover, refrigerate, and marinate for 8 hours. Heat the oven to 175°C. Line a terrine mould or use a loaf tin with cling film, then line with the bacon draping it over the sides with enough to cover the top when the terrine is filled later.

2.) Drain the meat mixture in a colander. Discard the liquid and the bay leaves. Add the parsley and salt. Pass the meat through a mincer fitted with a coarse plate or pulse in batches in a food processor, leaving the meat chunky. Place the minced meat in a bowl and mix in the egg whites.

3.) Fill the minced meat mix into the bacon-lined terrine mould and tap it on the table to knock out any air pockets and distribute evenly. Level the top and wrap with the bacon that is hanging over the sides. Cover tightly with cling film and place a lid on top or wrap in foil. Place in a large roasting pan. Fill the roasting pan with water to come halfway up the sides of the terrine.

4.) Bake for 1¼ to 1½ hours then check to see if it’s cooked. If you insert a skewer any liquid should run out clear and not pink or use a food probe – the temperature should be 70°C. Remove from the oven and remove the lid or foil. Drain any surface fatty liquid. Place a weight on top and refrigerate for 8 hours (overnight).

5.) On a picnic serve with some crispy French bread, redcurrant jelly or sweet chutney and a decent red wine like Pinot Noir. If it has to be white then try a chilled dessert wine.

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