Wednesday, December 30, 2020
The Culinary Cook Charcuterie How to Make Terrine Easy and Simply

How to Make Terrine Easy and Simply


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What is Terrine?

A pate (pâté, paté) was a fine savory meat filling wrapped in pastry, baked and serve hot or cold. A terrine contains coarsely ground and seasoned meats baked in a water bath in an earthware mold and served cold. The dishware used is also called a terrine, derived from the French word Terre, meaning earth.

Today, the term pate and terrine are used almost interchangeably.

Terrine cookware comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. Pates are prepared in standard metal loaf pans if they are not baked in a crust, although rectangular ones make portioning easier. Here we have listed a few recommendations for terrine cookware


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Terrines are forcemeats baked in a mold without a crust. The mold can be traditional earthenware or some other appropriate metal, such as enamel or glass mold. Any type of forcemeat can be used to make a terrine. The terrine can be as simple as a baking dish filled with a forcemeat and baked until done. A more attractive terrine can be constructed by layering the forcemeat with garnishes to create a mosaic effect when sliced.

Terrine can be layered with different forcemeats such as pink salmon mousseline layered with other mousselines.

how to make terrine

Procedure for Preparing Terrine

  1. Prepare the desired forcemeat and garnishes. Keep refrigerated.
  2. Line a mold with thin slices of backfat (Such as bacon, pork fat), blanched leafy vegetables or another appropriate liner. The lining should overlap slightly, completely covering the inside of the mold and extending over the edges of the mold. A good measurement is about 1 inch.
  3. Fill the terrine with the forcemeat and garnishes, being careful not to create air pockets. Tap the mold several times on a solid surface to remove any air pockets that have formed.
  4. Fold the liner over the forcemeat and, if necessary, use additional pieces of fat/backfat to completely cover the surface
  5. If you so desire, garnish the top of the terrine with herbs that were used in the forcemeat
  6. Cover the terrine with its lid or aluminum foil and bake in a water bath at 350’F in the oven. Regular the temperature so the water stays between 77’C-82’C (170’F – 180’F). The water bath may be replaced by cooking terrines in a combi-therm oven with steam, but you will only see these in high-end commercial kitchens.
  7. Cook the terrine so the internal temperature reaches 60’C (140’F) for meat-based forcemeats, 55’C (170’F) for fish or vegetable based forcemeats.
  8. Remove the terrine from the oven and cool slightly.


vegetable terrine
Terrine cookware layered with blanched vegetables

Several types of terrines are not made from traditional forcemeats. Many others are not made from forcemeats at all. But nevertheless, they are called terrines because they are molded or cooked in the earthenware mold called a terrine. These include liver (and foie gras) terrines, vegetable terrines, brawns or aspic terrines, mousses, rillettes, and confits.

Liver Terrine

Liver terrines are popular and easy to make and you can find them usually in your local grocery store. Pureed poultry, pork or veal livers are mixed with eggs, seasonings and a panada of cream and bread, then baked in a backfat or bacon-lined terrine. Although most liver puree easily in a food processor, a smoother finished product is achieved if the livers are forced through the drum sieve after you puree them.

Foie Gras Terrine

Foie gras terrine is made with fattened geese or duck livers called foie gras. Foie gras is unique, even among other poultry livers, in that it consists almost entirely of fat. It requires special attention during cooking. It is an expensive cut and best left for those well-seasoned in terrine creation.

foie gras terrine
Foie Gras

Vegetable Terrine

Making vegetable terrine with low-fat content are becoming popular. They are much less intimidating than classical terrines. Make beautiful vegetable terrines by lining a terrine with a blanched leafy vegetable such as spinach. Alternate layers of two or three prepared vegetable fillings. This will help create contrasting colors and flavors. Making a unique style of terrine by suspending bright colored vegetables in a mousseline forcemeat.


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What is Aspic?

Brawns are aspic terrines made by simmering gelatinous cuts of meat in a rich stock with wine and flavorings. Enrich the stock with gelatin and flavor from the meat. This will create an unclarified aspic jelly. The meat is then pulled from the bone, diced and packed into the terrine mold. Reduce the stock to concentrate its gelatin content and strained. Then poured over the meat inside the terrine. After it has set, remove from the mold and slice. The finished product is a classic and flavorful dish.
Make a more elegant appearing brawn by lining a terrine mold with aspic jelly. Arrange a layer of garnish along with the mold bottom. Add aspic jelly to cover the garnish and repeating until the mold is full.


A mousse can be sweet or savory. A savory mousse — which is not a mousseline forcemeat — is made from fully cooked meats, poultry, fish, shellfish or vegetables that are pureed and combined with a bechamel or other sauce, bound with gelatin and lightened with whipped cream.

Rillettes and Confits

Rillettes and confits are actually preserved meats. Prepare rillettes by seasoning and slow-cooking pork or fatty poultry (such as duck or goose) in generous amounts of their own fat. Do this until the meat falls off the bone. The warm meat is then mashed and combined with a part of the cooking fat. The mixture is then packed into a crock or terrine and rendered fat is strained over the top to seal it. Rillettes are eating cold as a spread.

Preparing confit is in a similar manner except before cooking, the meat or (or poultry) is often salt-cured to draw out some moisture. The confit is then cooked until very tender but not falling apart. Confits are generally served hot. Preserving confits is like rillettes as you seal them with a layer of fat.

Although it is sometimes called chicken liver pate, preparing chopped liver is in a similar fashion to a rillette.



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    • 72’C will ensure all potential microorganisms will be killed which makes it food safe. This is ideal if working with pre-ground meats or meats that have had contact with other contaminants. In a properly made terrine, you would ensure your work station is clean, and ingredients fresh. Grinding your own meats allows for cooking below temperatures normally required. For example, a fresh ground hamburger can be served medium-rare or medium because it was freshly ground and made very recently, whereas ground meat bought in a store is typically made in a longer production cycle, is in contact with other contaminants, and sits out longer.
      Great question, though!


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The Culinary Cook

Professional Chef & Blogger

With 15 years of experience working in restaurants, resorts, and a fully Red Seal Certified chef, The Culinary Cook shares tips, tricks, and recipes for everyone to enjoy.

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