March Recipe – Terrine of Venison with Juniper and Pistachio Nuts

I am sure you all know that a terrine is served as a starter and this one would freeze quite successfully after it has been chilled in the fridge.  I would normally serve a terrine with toast and some salad leaves but this is entirely up to you.  Two of our local butchers have venison available and would, I am sure, mince it for you if asked and you do not have the necessary equipment.

It is considered a very healthy meat and makes a lovely casserole as well.

Make sure you use a good sharp knife to slice the terrine.

SERVES 10 – 12

  • 1 lb (450g) minced venison – available in large supermarkets
  • 1 lb (450g) ready-minced pork
  • 8oz (225g) rindless smoked streaky bacon
  • 30 juniper berries, crushed
  • 1 rounded dessertspoon mixed peppercorns
  • 4oz (110g) ready-shelled pistachio nuts
  • 1/4 teaspoon powdered mace
  • 1 heaped teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 rounded teaspoons salt
  • 6 fl oz (175 ml) dry white wine
  • 1 fl oz (25 ml) brandy
  1. You will need a 2 lb (900g) loaf tin 7 1/2 x 4 3/4 x 3 1/2 inches (19 x 12 x 9 cm) deep, preferably non stick, or a terrine of 3 pint water capacity.
  2. Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 2, 300 °F, (150°C).
  3. First of all, place the venison and the pork in a large bowl then place the bacon slices on a board stacked on top of one another and cut them into thin strips about 1/8 inch (3mm), then add these to the bowl. After that crush the juniper berries quite coarsely with a pestle and mortar, add these to the bowl then crush the peppercorns, also quite coarsely, and add these. To deal with the pistachio nuts all you need to do is chop them in half, then they can go in along with the thyme, mace, salt and then finally the wine and brandy.
  4. Now you’ve got quite a lot of mixing to do, so either use your hands or take a large fork and thoroughly combine everything. Cover the bowl with a cloth and leave it all to marinate for about 2 hours, then pack it into the loaf tin or terrine and cover the surface with a double thickness of foil, pleat the corners and fold it under the rim. Now place the terrine in a roasting tin and put it on the middle shelf of the oven, then pour in about 1 inch (2.5cm) of boiling water from the kettle and let the terrine cook for 1 3/4 hours. After that, remove it from the oven, leaving the foil on, then after 30 minutes place two 1lb. (450g) weights on top or the equivalent in tins of tomatoes or something similar. When the terrine is completely cold, place it in the fridge with the weights still on top and leave it overnight to really firm up. Don’t forget to take it out of the fridge about an hour before serving, and serve cut in slices.
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