Duck Terrine with Prunes

A French classic from France: The Cookbook

Preparation time: 45 minutes, plus marinating and chilling time
Cooking time: 1 1/2 hours
Serves 12


300 ml (1/2 pint) red wine
50 g (2 oz) caster sugar
200 g (7 oz) prunes
1 x 700 – 800-g (1 1/2 – 1 3/4-lb) duck
200 g (7 oz) pork belly
100 g (31/2 oz) breast of veal
1 duck liver
50 g (2 oz) butter
50 g (2 oz) onion, chopped
100 ml (3 1/2 fl oz) dry white wine
1 pinch of crushed juniper berries
2 sprigs of thyme
2 bay leaves
250 g (9 oz) pork fat
2 eggs
200 g (7 oz) bacon rashers


Prepare 3 days ahead.

In a pan, bring the red wine and sugar to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the sugar has dissolved. Put the prunes in a bowl and pour the marinade over. Allow the prunes to soak for 12 hours.

Bone the duck and cut the meat, and the pork and veal, into large pieces. Cut the liver into two and put it in a bowl with the rest of the meat.

Melt the butter in a pan and cook the onion until softened. Add the white wine and stir, scraping any sediment from the bottom, then add the juniper, 1 sprig of thyme and 1 bay leaf. Season with salt. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

Pour this liquid over the meat, and marinate in the refrigerator for 24 hours.

Remove the meat and strain the marinade. Put the meat and pork fat through a mincer and add the eggs and half the marinade. Mix thoroughly. 

Line a terrine with the bacon rashers, letting them hang over the edge. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4. Stone the prunes.

Arrange alternating layers of the meat mixture and prunes in the terrine, finishing with a layer of meat. Fold the bacon over to cover.

Put a sprig of thyme and a bay leaf on top. Cover with foil and cook in a roasting tin halffilled with hot water for 30 minutes, then lower the temperature to 120°C/250°F/Gas Mark 1 for 1 hour. Allow to cool at room temperature, then refrigerate for 48 hours.


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