Game Terrine

I know, I know... this doesn't sound hugely healthy; not the terrine bit and definitely not the delicious hot water crust pastry bit. And yet, it might be healthier than you think - for a couple of reasons. First, game is generally the leanest of meats (excellent news if you're watching your cholesterol level or waistline) and second, this pastry doesn't use an ounce of lard or butter, just really healthy Extra Virgin Olive Oil (you could also use Rape Seed Oil). It tasted amazing, was surprisingly easy to cook and lasted all weekend. It was best served cold, sliced with some pickled red cabbage and roasted potatoes on the side.

Hot Water Crust Pastry

  • 200g Plain Flour
  • 40g Strong White Flour
  • 110ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 130ml Boiling Water
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 Free Range Egg (for brushing)

Game Terrine

  • 800g Mixed Game Meat
  • 200g Lean Back Bacon (with fat trimmed off)
  • 100g Sausage Meat (optional)
  • 2 Handfuls Breadcrumbs
  • 1 Free Range Egg, beaten
  • Chopped Fresh Parsley
  • Fresh Thyme
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • Splash of Brandy or Madeira
  • Splash of Red Wine

To make the Pastry… mix the 200g Plain Flour and the 40g Strong Flour with the 60ml Olive Oil.. rub it together with your fingertips to form crumbs if possible

Heat 130ml of Water until boiling; add the Salt and 50ml Olive Oil and heat while stirring

Carefully pour the Water mixture over the Flour mixture and stir until the Pastry starts to come together

Tip the Dough out onto a floured surface and roll gently into a ball shape.  Leave to rest for 10 minutes

After 10 minutes, take one third of the Dough and refrigerate, wrapped in cling film.  With the other two thirds, roll it out into a shape that enables you to line the terrine dish (I used a loaf tin and put strips of greaseproof paper going both ways under the Pastry so I could lift it out easily, and also to prevent it sticking).  Pull the Pastry up around the sides so that the edges are a centimetre or so above the edge of the terrine dish.  Refrigerate for 20 minutes or so

Now prepare your Game… Get mixed Game from your butcher – Pheasant, Partridge, Grouse, Venison, Pigeon, Duck etc are all good.  You could also mix in some Pork or Chicken (if you prefer a less Game-ey taste).  Put the roughly chopped Game in a large bowl, with some lean chopped Back Bacon or Ham (fat trimmed off). If you’re feeling especially festive and celebratory, you can add some Sausage Meat but leave this out if you want to stick to really healthy.  Add some Thyme leaves, some fresh chopped Parsley, 2 handfuls of Breadcrumbs, 2 cloves crushed Garlic, a splash of Red Wine, a splash of Brandy or Madeira, 1 beaten Free Range Egg and some Salt & Pepper… Give everything a good mix

When the Pastry has chilled, you can assemble the Terrine… gently pack the Game mix into the Pastry lining in the terrine dish.  When full, get the remaining piece of Dough and roll it out to form a lid.  Place this on top of the Terrine mixture and seal around the edges with the extra bit of Pastry that you left all around the Terrine. Crimp all around the edges to get a really good seal and then brush the top with some beaten Egg

Bake for an hour to an hour and a half; until the top of the Terrine is golden brown and cooked, and there is a delicious smell of cooked Game in the air… it might even take another 15 minutes

Remove from the oven and cool on a rack before very carefully slicing it to serve

Good things to serve with a Game Terrine include onion chutney and some melba toasts; slightly pickled red cabbage and a baked potato; or some steamed green cabbage, some proper roasted potatoes and a gravy made with onions and something sweet like Madeira or Brandy

[This recipe (broadly and minus the Olive Oil swap) came from the BBC Food website, courtesy of James Martin from Saturday Kitchen]

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