Venison terrine with prunes, orange, juniper and thyme
- February 2018
- Serves 8-10
- Hands-on time 50 min, oven time 80 min, plus soaking & overnight pressing
Gill Meller’s venison terrine, flavoured with orange zest and sweet prunes, makes a tasty starter served with tangy chutney and a good crusty loaf.
Or, for an idea with fish, take a look at our classic smoked salmon terrine, too.
- 14.6g (5.1g saturated)
- 3.8g (3.5g sugars)
- 100g stoned prunes
- 2 tbsp brandy
- 350g unsmoked streaky bacon
- 150g venison liver, cubed – or use pig’s or chicken liver
- 250g pork belly, rind removed, cubed
- ½ medium onion, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, grated
- Grated zest ¼ orange
- 3 juniper berries, finely chopped
- 3 bay leaves, very finely chopped
- 3-4 fresh thyme sprigs, leaves chopped
- 1 medium free-range egg
- 50g fresh breadcrumbs
- 200g venison loin (off the bone)
You’ll also need…
- 1 litre loaf tin or cast-iron terrine
- Put the prunes in a small bowl with the brandy and leave to plump up for several hours or overnight.
- Chop half the bacon and put in a bowl with the liver and pork belly. Add the onion, garlic, zest, juniper berries and chopped herbs, then mix well. Pass through a mincer or whizz in a processor to give a coarse, even mixture. Return to the bowl. Mix in the egg and breadcrumbs, then season with salt and black pepper.
- Cut the venison loin lengthways into strips 3-4cm thick. Stretch out the remaining bacon using the back of a knife to make it as long/wide as possible. Line the loaf tin or terrine with cling film leaving a 10cm overhang all around, then use the stretched bacon rashers to line the terrine so they overhang the sides by about 6cm.
- Heat the oven to 170°C/150°C fan/gas 3½. Fill the terrine with a third of the minced meat mix. Lay half the venison strips along its length and arrange half the prunes around them, as evenly as you can. Add another third of the meat mixture, pressing it down into place to cover the venison and prunes, then arrange another layer of the remaining venison and prunes in the same way. Cover with the remaining meat mixture, pressing it down to level.
- Fold the overhanging bacon to cover and fold the cling film over the top, then press down to enclose. Put the lid on the terrine (or use foil to cover tightly). Fill a deep roasting tin with hot water and lower in the terrine; the water should come two-thirds of the way up the sides of the terrine. Cook in the oven for 1 hour 20 minutes.
- Once cooked, remove the terrine from the oven and lift it out of the water. Leave to cool to room temperature, then chill. Use weights to press the terrine overnight; this will give it a better texture. Take the terrine out the fridge at least 30 minutes before eating. Serve in slices with toast and hedgerow jelly or chutney.
To press the terrine put a piece of cardboard on top of the wrapped mixture, then a few jars or cans.
Start the recipe a day (or two) before you plan to serve it. The prunes need a long soak, then the terrine needs overnight pressing.
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