Pheasant terrine


Pop a large pheasant or two small ones in the oven and roast at 200C/Gas 6 for 20 mins, leave to cool then strip the meat into bite-sized pieces. 

Grease a long, deep terrine or loaf tin with butter and lay a few bay leaves on the base for decoration when it’s turned out. Line the tin with streaky un-smoked bacon, allowing it to flap over the edges so there is enough to turn over the top when it’s full.

Next, put about 750g sausage meat into a big bowl, add 1tsp chopped thyme, some salt and pepper and a splash of brandy, 4 or 5 crushed juniper berries, a finely chopped clove of garlic, and some blanched almonds, also chopped. This is not an exact science and has been different every time so far, but always good. If you can get hold of some chicken livers, chop a handful and add to the mix too.

Mix with your hands and spread a layer of the sausage mix over the base of your tin on top of the bacon, about 1cm deep. Then add a layer of pheasant meat about the same depth. Continue adding alternate layers until the tin is full to the brim. Turn the bacon over and in
to seal.

Cover the tin with buttered greaseproof paper and tie tightly with string around the top to seal it. Place in a large baking tray and pour in boiling water to just over half the depth of the tin to create a bain-marie. Put in a low oven at 150C/Gas 2 for about 90 mins. Check it after an hour. It’s ready when the terrine has shrunk a bit and come away from the sides of the tin.

Take it out and let it cool, greaseproof paper still in place, with a weight on top to press it. Finding the right weight has always been a problem for me; it was a wine box with books and pans balanced on top this time. A brick would probably be the ideal shape. This weighting makes sure the terrine has the correct pressed firm texture.

Leave to cool and press overnight as a minimum. After this it will sit in the fridge for a few days before you need it, and the flavours will only improve. When you’re ready to serve, run a knife around the edge of the tin and tap it out onto a board. Slice and serve with good chutney.

Sign up to our news
You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us.