The word terrine derives from the French word for earth and refers to the earthenware vessels traditionally used to cook this dish. The method developed as a way of transforming lesser cuts of meat into a flavourful meal that could be easily stored. The mosaic of chunky-cut meats was wrapped in bacon or pork back-fat for purposes of preserving; this one uses speck.






Skill level

Average: 3.5 (11 votes)


  • 250 g chicken livers (see Note)
  • 250 g pork back-fat (see Note)
  • 450 g pork shoulder (see Note)
  • 500 g chicken breast fillets, chopped into 3 cm pieces  
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) cognac or brandy
  • 1 tsp quarte-epices (see Note)
  • 1 tbsp sea salt flakes
  • 50 g pistachios
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tbsp thyme leaves  
  • ¼ cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 8-10 thin slices speck (see Note)  
  • crusty bread, Dijon mustard and balsamic-pickled onions, to serve

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Refrigeration time overnight

Start this recipe a day ahead. You will need a 28 cm x 9 cm, 2-litre terrine mould and meat thermometer.

Preheat oven to 160°C and line terrine mould with baking paper. Place all the ingredients, except speck, in a large bowl and add black pepper. Using your hands, mix until well combined, then set aside.

Line terrine mould with speck slices, slightly overlapping so there are no gaps and with about 5 cm overhanging. Press meat mixture into mould and fold over speck to completely cover mixture. Cover tightly with foil and place in a large roasting pan. Fill the pan with enough boiling water to reach halfway up the side of the mould. Bake for 1 hour or until internal temperature of terrine reaches 70°C.

Carefully remove from oven and place on a wire rack. Place a board or piece of cardboard across the top of the terrine and weigh down with cans or jars to compress the meat. Cool completely, then refrigerate overnight.

Turn terrine out onto a chopping board, slice and serve with crusty bread, mustard and pickled onions.


• Ask your butcher to coarsely grind the livers, pork back-fat and shoulder together. Pork back-fat may need to be pre-ordered.
• Quarte-epices is a French spice mixture containing nutmeg, white pepper, ginger and cloves, and is used in terrines and sausages. Substitute ¼ tsp of each spice.
• Speck is German-style smoked bacon from selected delis and butchers. Substitute streaky bacon.


Photography by Alan Benson.


As seen in Feast magazine, October 2011, Issue 2. For more recipes and articles, pick up a copy of this month's Feast magazine or check out our great subscriptions offers here.