Having finally come to the conclusion what we were going to include in the Christmas Terrine it was time to put it all together!! The one thing we have learned this year making terrines is that as long as you season generously and use a lot of aromatic herbs (and serve at room and not fridge temperature), terrines are very forgiving! This one would have both pistachios and ‘boozy cranberries’ and some juniper berries and cloves. The contrasting layer in the middle was to be a mix of chicken and pheasant breast and thigh meat to give a visual contrast, but other than that they are based on our earlier basic recipes – found here and here. The final recipe for this terrine can be found at the bottom of this page. The first thing to do the night before making the terrine was to soak dried cranberries in some rich port to ‘rehydrate’. The following morning the shallots (or a large onion) were finely chopped and gently sautéd in a frying pan with a finely chopped garlic clove. This was then put to cool and the pancetta wrapping for the terrine sliced and placed in the terrine dish. The wrapping for the Terrine was again made from our home made pancetta sliced 2mm thick to allow it to be stretched with the back of a large knife – this probably takes longer than anything else!
All the ingredients except some of the cubed pancetta, and the chicken and pheasant were added to a mixing bowl and gently ‘squished’ together by hand – the cranberries were also gently squeezed before adding to the mix so they were not too wet but any port that was released was added instead of the red wine in the other recipes. This made the first (top ) layer of the terrine. The chicken and pheasant breast and thighs were chopped into chunks up to 2 cm across and were separately seasoned with salt and pepper. These were added as the middle contrasting layer. This itself was then topped with a central core of chopped pancetta as you can see in the picture on the left. The terrine was then finished by wrapping the tails of the pancetta over the final minced pork mix. It was then covered with a lightly oiled aluminium foil and closed with the lid. The whole thing can then be cooked at 120C in a Bain Marie on the EGG or in a domestic oven as described in an earlier post.
During the cooking we drained off a large proportion of the cooking juices which were set aside as a stock for later use and the Terrine was pressed and allowed to cool then refrigerated overnight before opening the following day.
Top Tip: – if unsure how much pork mince you will need to fully fill your terrine dish then simply get a little bit more and make a slightly larger volume of pork mince mix. Any left over mix makes absolutely delicious stuffing balls – just cook in the oven with your main course meat of choice!
A pork Terrine with chicken, pheasant and christmas herbs and spices
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 Onion or 2 large shallots, finely chopped
- 600g minced pork
- 2 handfuls of chopped Pancetta
- A mix of chopped chicken breast and chopped pheasant breast and thigh meat
- 2 slices of dried bread turned into breadcrumbs or 'sausage makers rusk'
- 4 tbsp of Port
- Freshly chopped Thyme
- Freshly chopped Rosemary
- Freshly chopped Oregano
- Some fennel seeds
- 4 cloves, ground
- 12 Juniper berries, ground
- ½-1 tsp fine sea salt
- ½-1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 2 small garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 50g pistachios, roughly chopped
- Large handful of dried cranberries
- 20 slices of pancetta (around 2mm thick)
- Step 1 Heat the oil in a pan and soften the chopped onion/shallots for around 10 mins – cool
- Step 2 Mix with all the other ingredients except the strips of pancetta, half of the cubed pancetta and the chicken and pheasant. (if you are unsure of the seasoning fry a little piece in a pan, then taste and adjust).
- Step 3 If using a Big Green Egg set up for indirect cooking at 120C with a little smoking wood of your choice or preheat a domestic oven to 120-140C
- Step 4 Line the terrine with the pancetta overlapping each slice as you go. Leave the ends hanging over the sides. Fill with the mixture, making sure it gets into the corners (it will dome slightly above the terrine). When half full add a layer of chopped chicken and pheasant, then fill with the rest of the mix.
- Step 5 Bring the pancetta up to cover the filling. Cover the dish with lightly oiled foil and add the lid if available. Place the terrine in some form of Bain Marie to make sure the terrine cooks gently and evenly. Bake for around 2 hrs at 120C, drain any excess juices and return to the oven for a further 15 minutes. The terrine should be firm, the juices should run clear when pierced with a skewer and a thermometer probe inserted into the centre should reach at least 65°C.
- Step 6 Remove from the terrine dish and cool for 15 minutes. Tip out any more liquid, cover with cling film, then place a piece of aluminium foil covered cardboard on top (cut so it fits the inside of the terrine container) and rest some weight on top of this. Allow to cool overnight in the fridge
- Step 7 Slice thickly and serve with a little Christmas chutney and some chunky bread.