The Head Chef of the Four Gables, David Gillott, has created an utterly tantalising game terrine.
Not only delicious, game meat is lean, free ranging and healthier than usual animals. As this type of meat comes from wild animals who hunt and forage for their food, it’s typically richer in flavor and leaner in fat than meat from domesticated live stock. Packed with rabbit, pheasant and pigeon, it’s a fun game changer when it comes to more unusual meats.
• Selection of lean game meat, about 1kg/2¼lb in all, which could include:
• Breasts of pheasant (hung about 5 days)
• Breasts of pigeon
• Breasts of duck or other wild fowl
• Saddle and hindquarters of 1 rabbit, boned
• Saddle and hindquarters of hare, boned
• Lean strips of venison (from the leg or fillet)
• Oil or fat, for frying
For the forcemeat:
• 500g/1lb2oz sausage meat
• 2 handfuls fresh white breadcrumbs
• 1 egg
• 3 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
• Few sprigs of thyme, leaves removed and chopped
• 5-6 juniper berries, crushed in pestle and mortar
• 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
• Splash of brandy
• Splash of red wine
• Salt and pepper
1 In a large mixing bowl, combine the sausage meat.
2 Next add the breadcrumbs, egg, parsley, thyme, juniper berries and garlic. Then the wine and brandy, season with the salt and pepper and mix everything together thoroughly, preferably with your hands.
3 Cut the game meat into roughly same-size strips, about 2 fingers thick.
4 In a heavy-based frying pan heat the fat or oil and fry the game pieces for 2 minutes until nicely browned.
5 Line a loaf tin or ceramic terrine dish with the stretched rashers of streaky bacon. Add a layer of forcemeat followed by a layer of game meat, then a layer of forcemeat followed by another layer of game meat. (If you like, you can put the same kind of meat in each layer, such as a layer of rabbit, a layer of pigeon and then a layer of pheasant). However many layers you make (I usually go for three) it’s important to finish with a layer of the forcemeat.
6 Fold the exposed strips of bacon over the top of the terrine and cover well with kitchen foil.
7 Place the terrine dish in a roasting tin half-filled with hot water. Cook in the oven at 160C/325F/Gas 3 for approximately 1½-2 hours. Test with a skewer to see if it is cooked, if the skewer does not come out of the terrine piping hot then it is not ready.
8 For the best possible texture and easy slicing, your terrine should be pressed as it cools. Find a piece of wood or plastic that fits snugly inside the terrine dish and weigh it down with a brick or two. (Another similar size dish or loaf tin with a brick inside often does the trick, but wrap it in cling film if you’re using a tin.) Leave the terrine until completely cold for several hours or overnight.
9 To serve, slice thickly with a very sharp knife, put on a plate with a small salad of lightly dressed green leaves and a blob of good fruit chutney. Serve with hot toast.
Recipe courtesy of Head Chef of the Four Gables, David Gillott.
To try even more sumptuous game menus to try, click here.