Venison pate with spicy pickle

Paul Bloxhams tasty terrine would make a spectacular starter or an impressive addition to a spring picnic
By Paul Bloxham
Venison pate with spicy pickle
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 10 (makes 1 terrine)
  • Cook Time: 2 hours 5 minutes
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes plus overnight chilling
  • Effort: medium


  • 1/2 small orange, zest only
  • 1 tbsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp pink salt
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme, leaves
  • 1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 tsp freshly milled black pepper
  • 1 tsp freshly crushed juniper berries
  • 7 bay leaves
  • vegetable oil, for greasing
  • 500 g trimmed venison shoulder, diced
  • 275 g fatty pork belly, diced
  • 250 g chicken livers, trimmed
  • 250 g white bread, crusts removed
  • 250 ml milk
  • 250 g thinly sliced pancetta
  • 50 ml brandy
  • 50 ml gin
  • toast, to serve

Spicy cucumber and cashew pickle

  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 250 ml white wine vinegar
  • pinches szechuan pepper
  • 2 tbsp Thai fish sauce
  • 1 small red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 limes, juice only
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 100 g cashew nuts, chopped


1. For the spicy cucumber and cashew nut pickle peel and deseed the cucumber and slice finely. Sprinkle with salt and set aside for 10 minutes.

2. Combine the vinegar, pepper, fish sauce, chilli, lime juice and sugar in a bowl.

3. Heat the oil in a wok and fry the cashew nuts until golden brown. Drain on kitchen paper.

4. Rinse the cucumbers and squeeze out any excess water. Add the cucumbers and cashews to the vinegar mixture. Transfer to a screw-top jar and store, covered, in the fridge for up to 5 days.

5. Preheat the oven to 160C/gas 3. Grease a lidded terrine with vegetable oil, then line with cling film, leaving plenty of overhang.

6. Grind the orange zest, both types of salt, thyme, nutmeg, pepper, juniper and 2 of the bay leaves in a coffee or spice grinder until finely ground.

7. Combine the venison, pork and chicken livers in a large bowl, sprinkle with the ground spice mix and set aside.

8. In another bowl, soak the bread in the milk until all the milk has been absorbed.

9. Lay the remaining 5 bay leaves along the bottom of the lined terrine, followed by the pancetta, overlapping the slices slightly from end to end and leaving an overhang.

10. Set up a mincer and mince the meat mixture and the soaked bread twice through a small die so it is finely minced.

11. Stir in the brandy and gin and pack the mixture into the lined terrine. Fold over the pancetta and cling film and cover with the lid.

12. Put the terrine into a baking dish and pour in enough boiling water to come halfway up the sides of the terrine. Cook in the oven for 2 hours or until the centre has reached 72C on a probe thermometer.

13. Cool slightly, then press overnight in the fridge, with some heavy weights or clean bricks.

14. Unmould the terrine and serve in slices, accompanied by toast triangles and spicy cucumber and cashew pickle.

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