Venison Terrine..


I only make this strongly-flavoured terrine at Christmas. It’s perfect winter eating, and is one of Mr Sat. Night’s favourites. As we’re a fully ‘grown-up’ house now we serve this as a starter on Christmas Day, and then have it as various lunches, snacks etc. after that. I’d say that kids would absolutely hate it – it’s probably too rich for them.

It’s loosely based on Delia Smith’s Venison and Pistachio terrine, from her ‘Winter’ book. I’ve changed, added and subtracted to  it over the years. I serve it, in fairly thin slices, with some of its own jelly alongside, with Sourdough toast, or homemade wheaten bread,, and some Cranberry Compote, or Red Onion Marmalade.

The other reason I like it is because it gives my lovely French terrine dish (which I bought years ago, at a market in France) its annual outing – that’s it in the pictures  :)


  • A deep terrine (ok, I’m just showing off here) or a 2lb loaf tin
  • A large bowl, to mix everything together
  • Grease-proof paper and tin foil
  • string
  • A roasting tray that will hold your terrine/loaf tin.


For the terrine:

  • 500g minced venison
  • 500g minced pork
  • 250 venison pieces, cut very small
  • 250g rind-less streaky bacon, chopped small
  • 1/2 a teaspoon of ground Mace
  • 30 juniper berries, crushed – wait until you smell these!venison terrine (11)
  • 2 teaspoons of mixed peppercorns, roughly crushed
  • 2 decent tea spoons of salt
  • 100g chicken livers, chopped small
  • 2 heaped dessert spoons of Cranberry compote
  • Handful of fresh Thyme leaves.
  • 250mls dry white wine
  • Good splash of brandy

To decorate:

  • 250g rindless streaky bacon (this lines the tin)
  • 250g butter, melted
  • bay leaves, peppercorns, sprigs of thyme


  • Put all the terrine ingredients, except the wine and brandy, into the bowl.
  • Using a wooden spoon or a couple of forks, mix everything together until you can see that it’s all evenly distributed.
  • Add the wine and brandy, and mix again.

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  • Put a tea towel over the bowl, and leave it in a cool spot to marinate for a couple of hours.
  • Then turn your attention to the tin – stretch each slice of streaky bacon with the blade of a flat knife, and line the terrine. There should be some overhang at the sides of the bowl.

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  • Heat the oven to 160 fan.
  • Pack the mixture into the terrine, pushing it down well, and folding over the ends of the bacon slices. I had some left over this morning, so I put it into a separate bowl to give as  a Christmas present – you could of course make individual portions to give as gifts –

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  • Cover the container with a double layer of grease-proof paper and top it with a double layer of the tinfoil, and tie it firmly with the string.
  • Place it into the roasting tin, and add boiling water until it comes up about 2-3 cms up the side of the terrine
  • Bake in the oven for 2 hours. There will be a lovely smell as it cooks, and some of the juices will drip into the water, but that’s fine.
  • After the cooking time is up, remove the terrine from the oven, pour away the water, and allow to cool for about an hour on a cooling rack.

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  • Then weight it down with tins of beans or something similar, and leave it to cool entirely – this usually takes overnight in our house (there can be some spillage, so put a tray under the cooling rack).
  • The next morning, remove the wrapping and have a look. There will be a layer of gelatine surrounding the whole thing – my advice is to leave that where it is, it keeps the terrine moist.  Some fat will have risen to the top, I tend to scrap that off with a flat knife.

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Decorating –

  • Arrange the leaves, peppercorns etc. on the top of the terrine. Get your artistic streak on!
  • Melt the butter.
  • Pour over the melted butter, avoiding the solids at the bottom of the pan.


  • Make sure everything is submerged in the butter (this will preserve the toppings too)
  • Allow to cool, then cover with cling film (try not to let it touch the melted butter) and chill in the fridge until needed.
  • Remove from the fridge about 45 mins-1 hour before serving.
  • Serve, in thin slices, with some of the gelatine on the side, as suggested in the introduction at the top of this recipe.


  •  I  try to clean the sides of the baking dish, but I rather like the rustic look of the drips down the sides, so I don’t really try too hard! It makes sense to clean the bottom though, to save your best Christmas tablecloth.
  • If you’re going to freeze this, it’s best not to decorate it. Clear off the fat and jelly, then wrap in a double layer of greaseproof paper first, then the same of tin foil, then pop it into a freezer bag. Freeze for up to a month.
  • This  Terrine comes in a really handily over the Christmas period if you need to rustle up a tasty something for family or friends – may I suggest some toasted Sourdough, the terrine, some leaves if you have them, and a nice big dollop of my Cranberry Compote Your visitors will be well impressed!

I started writing down recipes in an old copybook when I was about 16. With 6 children at home, my Mother was always glad of a hand in the kitchen, and really allowed us to experiment - as long as we washed up afterwards, and left the kitchen immaculate! Having a tidy kitchen has followed me through my life, as has the habit of writing down my favourite recipes; except that these days I write them for my website, and add photographs when I can. The website really started when it occurred to me that my daughter might like to have these recipes when I've forgotten them. In my early days of cooking for family and friends, I used to phone my Mum all the time to ask her for the recipe for some of our favourite family dinners. She rarely had a recipe to hand - I think, like me, she made a lot of it up as she went along.. So welcome to Eating for Ireland - these are the recipes that my friends and family having been eating these past 40 years.. yes, I truly am ancient! They are tried and tested, and have worked for me for all that time - I have updated them as new ingredients became available - I really hope you'll find something that you can make into a family favourite of your own. You don't have to tell anyone where you found these great new dishes that you're serving up - it can be our little secret, but I'd really love it if you could give me a sneaky 'follow' on Facebook and Instagram.. So off you go - have a good rummage around, you're bound to find something new! My sincere thanks to all of you who have found a recipe that you liked and dropped me a line to tell me - I really do love to hear from you! Happy Cooking! Becks xx

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