Jane Price makes a dish that the whole family will love

One of my absolute favourite dishes for entertaining over Christmas and New Year is game terrine, and it has become one of our traditions. When we held a party to celebrate my dad’s 80th birthday, two years ago in January, I made a monster of a terrine, using an expanding loaf tin on its biggest setting. The beast easily fed 30 people and was an impressive sight on the table. It was a hefty thing to lift out of the oven and took up a whole shelf in the fridge, but it was a good way to feed a lot of people using all the game we had been collecting in the freezer over the preceding months.

Nearly every weekend over the winter months, Phill works the dogs on a friend’s shoots, and he usually brings home a brace or two of pheasants, and sometimes duck. Some of these are eaten in the next few days, and some are put in the freezer for later. Like most people’s freezers, there are usually unlabelled boxes with long-forgotten contents and every once in a while I take out all the boxes and defrost them to make a game terrine. If you are going to use meat that has been frozen and defrosted, I was taught that you can’t freeze it again once cooked in a


Game terrine can include any meat, as long as you cook it first and stick it all together with sausage meat. The reason the game meat is cooked before loading into the tin is that the terrine is very dense and takes longer to reach cooking temperature, so this ensures the meat is cooked properly.

Ideally, a variety of meats would be used and they look best if put in the tin in different layers. For this recipe I have used a layer of pheasant, then pigeon, then pheasant, with sausage meat in between each layer.

Tip: It can be tricky to work out the exact quantities of meat for the loaf tin, so it’s a good idea to have extra sausage meat in case you need to add more filler. If you have any meat left over after making the terrine, you could use add this meat to a tomato sauce and serve with pasta.