A classic French country terrine made with ground pork, veal, and calves’ liver. The perfect elegant starter for a dinner party.
This recipe will be a bit out of the ordinary for me. I know you usually expect fairly easy, family-friendly fare from Never Enough Thyme, but every once in a while I really enjoy expanding my culinary horizons and making something I’ve never done before. It’s the challenge, really, that intrigues me.
We all need to get out of our rut on occasion and do something different. Don’t we?
I’ve wanted to make a French Country Terrine ever since I saw one on French Food at Home, a really wonderful show on the Cooking Channel. It’s hosted by Laura Calder, a Canadian-born and French-trained chef.
I was so intrigued by her recipe that I recorded the show in which she made it and watched it over and over. I pretty much want to make every single thing she cooks. The show is really that good.
So What’s a Terrine?
Making a terrine may at first glance seem complicated, but it surely is not! Let me tell you – if you can make meatloaf, you can make this terrine. When you boil it down, all it really is is a meatloaf that’s cooled and pressed. That’s it!
And did you know that terrines are not limited to meats? Basically anything you can mold into a loaf shape can be called a terrine. I included some links at the end of this post to several different types of terrines. Some are veggies, some are fruits, and there are even dessert terrines.
My understanding about this particular terrine is that it’s a fairly classic French recipe and is generally served as a first course or either used as picnic food. It’s usually enjoyed with slices of baguette, good Dijon mustard and cornichons. A nice little glass of wine goes well, too!
How to Make French Country Terrine
Start by melting the butter in a small sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onions, cooking them until they are soft but taking care not to let them brown. at all. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute. Remove from the onion-garlic mixture from the heat, stir in the brandy and let this cool while you proceed with the recipe.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Mix the Meats
Combine the meats in a large mixing bowl. That’s ground pork, ground veal, and calves’ liver.
Just a note – I cannot find fresh calves’ liver anywhere around here but it is available frozen. If using frozen, let it thaw overnight in the refrigerator and it will be just fine. Also, if you just can’t stand the taste of calves’ liver, you can leave it out substituting an additional 8 ounces of ground veal. Your terrine will have a much milder taste and you may fine that you need more seasonings.
Add the Onion and Garlic Mixture
To the meats, add the onion-garlic mixture and all remaining ingredients except bacon. Mix thoroughly. You can mix everything with a wooden spoon and a strong arm, but I find that this is much easier done in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment.
Stop here and cook a quarter-sized patty of the mixture. Taste to check for seasonings and adjust if necessary.
Line and Fill the Mold
Using the back side of a knife, stretch the bacon to about twice its length.
Line a terrine or loaf pan with bacon strips. Cut strips in half to line the short ends. Allow the ends of the bacon to drape over the sides of the pan.
Pack the meat mixture into the terrine or loaf pan making sure not to leave any air pockets in the mixture. In the photo, I’m using a somewhat smaller terrine so my mixture mounds on top a bit. If you’re using a loaf pan, you’ll have plenty of room to press the mixture down into the pan. Fold the overhanging bacon strips over the top and sides of the mixture adding additional strips to the top only if needed.
Seal the Terrine
Cover the top with a piece of parchment paper, then cover the terrine with foil.
Cook the Terrine
Put the terrine in a roasting or baking pan and pour enough boiling water in the pan to come about halfway up the sides of the terrine. Place in the oven and cook for 1 to 2 hours.
A precise cooking time is difficult to state because it depends so much on the size of terrine or loaf pan you use. You’ll need to test the mixture starting after one hour of cooking. Use an instant read meat thermometer for best results. The mixture should be at 160 degrees to be fully cooked.
Remove the terrine from the water and cool completely at room temperature. Cut a piece of cardboard to fit over the cooked terrine in the pan. Wrap the cardboard in foil. Place it on top of the terrine and top with a heavy can, a foil-wrapped brick or some other heavy object to provide weight and refrigerate overnight.
Slice and serve with baguette, Dijon mustard, and cornichons.
More Recipes to Enjoy on Never Enough Thyme:
terrine recipes from Other Bloggers:
- Ratatouille Terrine from Food Mayhem
- Beet and Goat Cheese Terrine from Lisa is Cooking
- Pork and Veal Terrine from Food Safari
- Citrus-Berry Terrine with Red Grapefruit from Cooking Melangery
- Frozen Tropical Terrine with Mango Sauce from Savoring Time in the Kitchen
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- 2 tblsp. butter
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup brandy
- 1 lb. ground pork
- 8 oz. calves liver, coarsely chopped
- 8 oz. ground veal
- 1 1/4 cups breadcrumbs
- 1 tblsp. chopped fresh parsley
- 1 1/2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
- 1 1/2 tsp. chopped fresh chives
- 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
- 2 tsp. kosher salt
- Pinch of ground cloves
- Pinch of ground nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp. ground ginger
- 3 eggs
- 8 oz. bacon
- Melt the butter in a skillet or sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until soft taking care not to let the onions brown. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute. Remove from the heat, add the brandy and let cool while you proceed with the recipe.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine the meats in a large mixing bowl. Add the onion mixture, and remaining ingredients except bacon. Mix thoroughly. This is much easier done in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Fry a quarter-sized patty, check for seasonings and adjust if necessary.
- Using the back side of a knife, stretch the bacon to about twice its length. Line a terrine or loaf pan with bacon strips. Cut strips in half to line the short ends. Allow the ends of the bacon to drape over the sides of the pan. Pack the meat mixture into the terrine or loaf pan making sure not to leave any air pockets in the mixture. Press down evenly molding a slightly mounded top. Fold the overhanging bacon strips over the top and sides of the mixture adding additional strips to the top only if needed.
- Cover the top with a piece of parchment paper, then cover the terrine with foil.
- Put the terrine in a roasting or baking pan and pour enough boiling water in the pan to come about halfway up the sides of the terrine. Place in the oven and cook for 1 to 2 hours. You’ll need to test the mixture with a meat thermometer to judge when cooking is complete. Mixture should be at 160 degrees to be fully cooked.
- Remove the terrine from the water and cool completely at room temperature. Place a heavy can, a foil-wrapped brick or some other heavy object on top of the terrine and refrigerate overnight.
- Slice and serve with baguette, Dijon mustard, and cornichons.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 182Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 113mgSodium: 446mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 14g
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