Country Terrine


Makes 12 to 14 servings

Active Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 3 days (includes marinating and chilling)

1 cup finely chopped onion (1 large)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried, crumbled
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon whole allspice or 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 Turkish or 1/2 California bay leaf
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons Cognac or other brandy
1 lb ground fatty pork shoulder or half lean pork and half fresh pork fatback (without rind)
1/2 lb ground fatty veal (preferably veal breast)
1/2 lb baked ham (1/2-inch slice), cut into 1/2-inch cubes
12 bacon slices (about 3/4 lb)

Suggested accompaniments: cornichons,  mustard, jam, bread or crackers


Day 1 – Assemble and marinate terrine:

Cook onion in butter in a 10-inch heavy skillet, covered, over moderately low heat, stirring frequently, until soft, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and thyme and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Transfer onion mixture to a large bowl set in a bowl of ice to cool.

While onion cools, pulse salt, peppercorns, allspice, nutmeg, and bay leaf in a grinder until finely ground. Add to onion mixture and whisk in cream, eggs, and brandy until combined well.

Add ground pork, veal and ham cubes to the onion mixture and mix together well.

Line bottom and long sides of terrine mold crosswise with about 6 to 9 strips of bacon, arranging them close together (but not overlapping).  Overhang is okay!

Lining Terrine

Fill terrine evenly with ground-meat mixture, rapping terrine on counter to compact it.

Adding the MixtureThe filled Terrine

Cover top of terrine lengthwise with 2 or 3 more bacon slices if necessary to cover completely, and fold overhanging ends of bacon (if you have them) back over these. Cover terrine with plastic wrap and chill at least 8 hours to marinate meats.

Last Layer of Bacon and Covering
Apologies for the blurred photo… you’d think that I’d know by now to take more than one shoot 🙂

Day 2 – Bake and Weight terrine:

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 325°F.

Remove the plastic wrap from the terrine and cover terrine tightly with a double layer of foil.

Bake terrine in a water bath until thermometer inserted diagonally through foil at least 2 inches into center of terrine registers 155 to 160°F, 1 3/4 to 2 hours. Remove foil and let terrine stand in mold on a rack, 30 minutes.

Baked Terrine
(Admittedly the terrine is not very appealing at this point but keep going… trust me it’s worth it.)

Weight terrine:

Put terrine in mold in a dry baking pan. Put a piece of parchment or wax paper over top of terrine, then place on top of parchment another same-size terrine mold or a piece of wood or heavy cardboard cut to fit inside mold and wrapped in foil. Put 2 to 3 (1-pound) cans on terrine or on wood or cardboard to weight cooked terrine.

WeightingChill terrine in pan with weights until completely cold, at least 4 hours. Continue to chill terrine, with or without weights, at least 24 hours to allow flavors to develop.

Day 3 – Serve:

Run a knife around inside edge of terrine and let stand in mold in a pan with 1 inch of hot water (to loosen bottom) for about 2 minutes. Tip terrine mold (holding onto the terrine) to drain excess liquid, then invert a cutting board over terrine, reinvert terrine onto cutting board, and gently wipe outside of terrine (bacon strips) with a paper towel.

cleaning terrine

Let terrine stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving, then transfer to a platter if desired and cut, as needed, into 1/2-inch-thick slices.


Terrine can be marinated (before baking) up to 24 hours.
Terrine keeps, wrapped in plastic wrap and chilled, for 2 weeks.

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