Venison Terrine

1 1/2 pounds venison -- boneless

2 pounds pork belly -- cured

3 shallot -- sliced

2 cloves garlic -- sliced

1/4 cup dry red wine

1/2 cup gin

3/4 cup brandy

5 juniper berries -- crushed

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon coarse salt

3/4 teaspoon ground thyme

3/4 teaspoon ground rosemary -- 1/4 inch thick

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 bay leaf

***** 1/2 pound chicken livers

4 eggs

1 pound bacon -- thinly sliced

1/2 pound dried cranberries

1 teaspoon thyme

6 bay leaves


Cut meat into 1" cubes. Sautee shallots and garlic until wilted in a little of the rendered pork fat, let cool. In a bowl, combine the meats, wine, gin, and 1/4 cup brandy with the salt, pepper, juniper and spices. Cover tightly for at least 2 days (up to 1 week is fine), until the meat has absorbed all the liquid. Remove the bay leaf. To reconstitute the dried cranberries, place them in a small pan with 1/2 cup brandy. Bring to a boil, turn off the heat, cover the pot, and let them steep until they are soft and all the brandy is absorbed, about 1/2 hour. Chop the cranberries coarse. Grind the meat, being careful not to force the meat through the grinder. Add the cranberries to the meat mixture after it has been ground. In a food processor, puree the chicken livers with the eggs. Strain the mixture and add to the meat mixture. Vigorously mix and knead the pate mixture with your hands for at least 5 minutes; it will all come together into a mass. From time to time, wet your fingers with cold water and pat the mixture. When your hands do not stick, it is ready. Line a 1 1/2 quart terrine with the bacon slices. Put the meat into the terrine and pat it well to get out all air pockets and mound the meat about 1/4" above the top of the pan. With your finger, make a groove all around the rim of the pan. Spoon a line of dried thyme down the top of the pate and decorate with the bay leaves. Fold over the bacon. Cover tightly with foil. Preheat oven to 425'. Set the terrine in a roasting pan and pour boiling water to come halfway up the sides of the terrine. Bake to an internal temperature of 155' (about 2 hours). When done remove from oven and press the pate to force out the juices. Weight the pate and let cool. When it cools to room temperature, refrigerate the weighted pate. The next day, remove the weights and the foil and remove any congealed fat or juices. Wrap well in plastic wrap or foil.

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