This terrine is favourite ‘make ahead’ Christmas dish of mine as it freezes very well and I like to have a stash of ready-made meals to whip out when I am too busy enjoying the Christmas festivities to spend too much time in the kitchen. You could have it as a starter or as a light lunch. It’s a poor photo but you can see how to construct the terrine and what it looks like before you cook it in the oven.
The secret of a good terrine relies on plenty of fat and plenty of seasoning. Pressing it down after cooking makes for a more compact terrine in which the juices are well spread through the pate and it is much easier to slice. Leave it for at least a day before serving to allow the flavours to develop.
I used a 500ml (roughly 1lb) loaf tin; it is easy to double up for 2lb tin or 2x 1lb tins
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 large onions, peeled and chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped small
½ 225 carton of chicken livers (you can usually find these in the freezer cabinet, they are ridiculously cheap to buy -about £1.00)
325g coarsely minced, fatty pork (get your butcher to do this for you, I used ½ ordinary pork fillet and ½ pork belly fat)
Small bunch of fresh parsley, remove the stalks & chop leaves coarsely
A few sprigs of fresh thyme, remove the stalks & chop
50g shelled pistachio nuts, roughly chopped
1 egg, beaten
½ teasp of allspice
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp. brandy
1 packet of streaky bacon (I separate each rasher lengthways into 2 long pieces)
NB -Before you start use the outline of the tin to cut out a piece of cardboard that will fit neatly into the terrine tin and cover this with foil.
- Preheat oven to 160C (325F) Gas 3.
- Heat oil and sweat onion until soft, add garlic but make sure it does not burn. Cook for a few minutes.
- Prepare the liver; use a rounded dinner knife and take each piece, scraping it with the knife along the surface of a chopping board and remove any membranes etc. It will look unattractively ‘pulpy’ when you do it like this. In a bowl mix together the pork, liver, parsley, thyme, pistachio nuts, beaten egg and allspice. Season well with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Add to the onion mix and cook gently until the meat is no longer pink. Taste & add more seasoning if necessary.
- Prepare your tin – (Don’t forget to make the foil covered lid before you fill it!) Grease the tin with vegetable oil and then line with streaky bacon. Use the back of an ordinary knife to stretch the rashers out and then fit it into the bottom and up the sides so there is some hanging over the edge. The bacon rashers are parallel to the short edge of the tin-this is easier to do than to explain.
- Fill with the pork mix, push it into the corners and level it. Stretch the bacon over the top overlapping it as you go to cover the top of the meat. If it doesn’t meet in the middle you can put a rasher along the top. Put the terrine in a shallow roasting pan (to catch any juices). Cover the tin with foil and cook for about 1-1 ½ hrs-until the blade of a knife comes out of the centre easily. For the last 20mins remove the foil.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool a little but don’t take it out of the roasting pan. Put the foil covered piece of cardboard form on top of the pate and weigh it down with some food tins. It will overflow, hence why I place it into a shallow roasting tin to cook it.
- Leave to cool completely and then put in the fridge with the weights in place for 24 hours before eating. Unmould and serve at room temperature with warm toast or crusty bread.
This terrine freezes well, once cooked, for up to 3 months. Open-freeze it and then, when it is frozen you can wrap it in foil and return to the freezer. Allow it to defrost and come to room temperature before you slice and eat it.