Coarse pheasant and chestnut terrine
- October 2010
- Serves 10-12
- Takes 1 hour 15 minutes to make, 1 hour 30 minutes to cook, plus resting and chilling overnight
This hearty pheasant and chestnut terrine recipe makes the most of the pheasant whilst it is in season.
- Dairy-free recipes
- 14.9g (5.1g saturated)
- 3.6g (1g sugar)
- 2 plump, oven-ready pheasants
- 100g duck or chicken livers
- 75g shallots
- 250g minced pork belly
- 1 fat garlic clove, crushed
- 2 large fresh thyme sprigs, leaves picked
- 1 small fresh rosemary sprig, leaves picked and finely chopped
- ½ tsp each allspice berries and coriander seeds, finely ground
- 2 tbsp ruby port
- 1 medium free-range egg, beaten
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 300g rindless streaky bacon
- 100g cooked peeled chestnuts
- Remove the breasts from both of the pheasants, skin them, then cut 2 of them lengthways into long, thin strips. Set aside.
- Cut off the legs and cut them in half at the joint. The drumsticks will contain a lot of thin, needle-sharp sinews, so make a long cut down one side of each drumstick, open out and scrape the meat from the sinews. Work from the foot-end up towards what was the joint attaching it to the thigh. Shred the thigh meat. (Discard or save the bones for making stock – see know-how).
- Discard any skin from the leg meat, then pulse in a food processor with the remaining 2 breasts until finely chopped. Scoop into a large mixing bowl. Add the duck or chicken livers to the processor with the shallots. Pulse until finely chopped, then add to the bowl with the minced pork, garlic, thyme, rosemary, allspice and coriander, port, egg, salt and ground black pepper. Mix together well with your hands. Fry a little in some sunflower oil, taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
- Stretch the bacon rashers using the back of a kitchen knife and use to line a 900g terrine dish or loaf tin. Overlap the rashers slightly and leave the ends overhanging.
- Spread a thin layer of the meat mixture over the base of the terrine dish or tin, cover with one-third of the reserved pheasant breast strips and scatter over a few chestnuts. Repeat the layers twice more, then cover with the remaining meat mixture. Fold the overhanging bacon slices over the top, sealing any gaps with a spare rasher or two if needed.
- Preheat the oven to 160°C/fan140°C/gas 3. Cover the terrine dish or tin with a lightly oiled sheet of foil or a lid and place into a small, deep roasting tin. Pour in boiling water to halfway up the terrine’s sides. Cook for 1½-1¾ hours (top up with water if needed) until the juices run clear when you pierce the terrine in the centre with a skewer.
- Remove from the roasting tin, leave to stand for 15 minutes, then weight it down overnight in the fridge (see tip). The next day, remove the weights, cover with clean foil and, if you can, allow the flavours to develop for a day or two in the fridge before serving. Serve cut into slices with plenty of crusty bread, cornichons and fruit chutney.
The easiest method of weighting the terrine down is to cut out a piece of cardboard that will fit inside the rim of the terrine dish or tin. Cover this with foil, place it on top of the terrine and weight it down with a few unopened cans.
To make pheasant stock add the carcasses from 3-4 pheasants to a pan with 1 sliced onion or leek, 2 sliced carrots, 2 sliced celery sticks, 2 bay leaves, a sprig or two of thyme, a few black peppercorns and ½ tsp salt. Cover with cold water by 3cm, bring to the boil, lower the heat and leave to simmer gently for 1 hour. Strain, then use to make the pheasant pie, or cool, then freeze for later use.
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