Lamb Liver and Pork Terrine

Ever since I found Terrines, Pâtés, and Galantines in an antique store in Red Wing, I have been itching to make a terrine. But for whatever reason, I could never muster up the enthusiasm to assemble the various meat products required to make what the book describes as “the apotheosis of meatloaf”. It was the delicious duck terrine at the Red Stag Supper Club that finally convinced me to stop just talking terrine and start terrining terrine. Terrine.

Browsing the recipe section of T,P&G I found a recipe that was simple and rustic, two words that I like. The ingredient list for “Liver Terrine” was short:

  • 1# chicken livers
  • 1# pork
  • 1 small shallot
  • 2 T parsley, chopped
  • 2 1/4 t salt
  • 2 t pepper
  • 3/4 t ground ginger
  • 1/4 t ground cinnamon
  • 3 T brandy
  • 6 slices bacon

You begin to see what they mean by “apotheosis of meatloaf”! I didn’t have brandy on hand, so I planned to substitute bourbon, which I like better anyway. When I got to the butcher’s counter, I ran into a more serious deficiency: no chicken livers. Normally, the Wedge has a nice little bucket of the livers but, today being Valentine’s day (I guess?), they were out. My cashier suggested people might be buying Valentine’s for their cats. Luckily, the butcher was able to suggest an acceptable substitute:

Fava beans anyone?

As it happens, lamb liver is delicious, perhaps even more so than chicken livers. It has almost a piney taste, but in a good way. Of course, I didn’t know this yet, so I just went ahead with terrine assembly hoping for the best. Terrines are very easy, especially if you have a food processor. First I diced the liver:

Bloody good liver

Then I gave it a few pulses to catch it up to the already-ground pork, which I added and pulsed a bit to mix and grind further. The texture of a terrine can vary, from huge chunks of meat to a smooth paste. Since I was going for a rustic touch I left everything pretty coarse. After grinding the meat I mixed it with the rest of the ingredients, except for the bacon. The bacon is used to make a delicious little trough:

Everybody's getting really sick of bacon

To which the meat mixture is added. I covered it and put it into a 350° oven for a couple of hours, until the juices ran clear and the internal temperature is at least 160°. After the terrine cooled I weighted it (for proper shape and texture) and put it in the refrigerator overnight. The next day, we had terrine bliss:

Looking good

The perfect meal for a sub-zero picnic on the shores of Lake Superior! All you need is good bread and mustard (and cornichons, which the Wedge was also out of). The lamb liver was a pleasant surprise and gave this terrine an appropriately gamy flavor that has been missing from terrines I have made in the past. When dealing with something as high-fat as a terrine, a little gaminess can be a good thing. 

It was too cold to enjoy this

This was my first time using Terrines, Pâtés and Galantines and I was very encouraged by the result, even though I wasn’t able to follow the recipe exactly. I am looking forward to more exploration: especially if I can get my hands on a baby pig…


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8 comments on “Lamb Liver and Pork Terrine”

  1. Linda Garces 24 February, 2009 at 12:51 pm

    Looks delicious.

  2. Martha 25 February, 2009 at 10:59 am

    It was more delicious than it looks, I assure you.

  3. Tom 25 February, 2009 at 11:04 am

    It was pretty delicious. The lamb liver was a nice surprise; for some reason it had a piney taste, as if I had put in some rosemary.

  4. Ryan 25 February, 2009 at 2:10 pm

    what the hell is a terrine?

  5. Tom 25 February, 2009 at 2:14 pm

    maybe this will answer your question:

  6. Amy Mom 4 March, 2009 at 4:00 pm

    Tom, you are getting terribly sophisticated in your efforts. When does the restaurant open?

  7. Tom 4 March, 2009 at 4:20 pm

    Or when am I going to get syndicated?

  8. Tomer 18 September, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    It might have been better to crisp fry the bacon\lard first to develope its full flavour.

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