Classic British Game Terrine

Classic game terrine
Elaine Lemm
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 105 mins
Total: 2 hrs
Servings: 8 servings

There are many ways to serve game, but one winner of a method is in a terrine. Especially if you have a variety of meats to use. This versatile game terrine recipe uses any mixture you may have on hand. But don't worry, if you only have one type on hand, you can still come out with equally great results!

The meats are layered up in a forcemeat made of sausage meat, spices, breadcrumbs, egg, and seasoning, which when combined become the binding agent that holds everything else in place.

The terrine's versatility shines even further as the dish works at any occasion from a formal dinner starter, through to a simple lunch dish when served with a green salad, pickles and lots of crusty bread

Making a terrine does take a little time, but the result is spectacular in both taste and appearance, and you will be glad you made it!


  • 1 oz. /25 g. fresh breadcrumbs (brown or white)
  • 3 tablespoons parsley (finely chopped)
  • Pinch dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon mace
  • 1 lb. /425 g. sausage meat
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 large free-range egg
  • Small glass of Port
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 oz. /350 g. bacon
  • 2 lb. /900 g. lean game meat (cut into chunks; see note below)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Together in a large mixing bowl mix the breadcrumbs, parsley, thyme and mace, and stir. Then add the sausage meat, the garlic, egg, and Port.

  3. Then - if you feel like getting your hands dirty - mix with your hands until all the ingredients are combined. (Using your hands ensures an even mix.) Season generously with salt and pepper and mix again.

  4. Stretch and flatten each slice of bacon using the back of a knife and line a 2 lb. (1 kg.) terrine dish or metal loaf tin, allowing the excess to hang over the sides.

  5. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and cook the game pieces for a couple of minutes to brown lightly.

  6. Divide the forcemeat equally into three portions. Place one layer in the bottom of the terrine dish. Add a layer of game pieces either a mix of varieties or the same kind of meat. Repeat, finishing with a layer of the forcemeat.

  7. Preheat the oven to 325 F / 160 C / Gas 3.

  8. Fold the overhanging strips of bacon. Cover with a lid if you have one, or use a double layer of foil.

  9. Half fill a roasting tin with boiling water, pop the terrine dish in and cook in the center of the preheated oven for 1 1/2 hours. Test the heat of the center of the terrine using a meat thermometer, if above 185 F/85 C the terrine is cooked. 

  10. Once cooked, remove from the oven and place on a baking tray. The terrine needs to be lightly weighted as it cools, this will give a much better texture plus make the terrine easier to slice. To do this, use a piece of cardboard wrapped in foil or wood to fit within the rim of the terrine. Weigh down with a couple of heavy tins or even small bricks.  Leave the terrine like this in a cool place for a maximum of two hours. Then, still with the weights on, place into the refrigerator and leave until completely cold, preferably overnight if you can. 

  11. Serve the terrine cold in thick, hearty slices with cornichons, salad, and crusty bread. If you do not eat all the terrine, wrap any remaining tightly in foil and store in the refrigerator, it will keep for 3 to 4 days this way. The terrine is not suitable for freezing. 

Notes on Which Game to Use for the Terrine

  • Breasts of pheasant, pigeon, duck or any other wild

  • Strips of lean venison

  • Leg or saddle meat from hare or rabbit meat