I was recently asked by a sporting agency if I would be interested in providing some elevenses for a driven Partridge shoot in the stunning Tulchan Glen Isla which is in Perthshire, Scotland. I was slightly hesitant at first because this was my first time on a shoot and I have only ever cooked for friends or family, so the pressure was on and I was up for the challenge.
I was fortunate enough to have been given free reign over the menu for the day and given my freezer was well stocked with a wide variety of wild game, sourced from my local game dealer, I wanted to create a mix of some classic dishes as well as something new and that little bit different.
One of the first dishes I wanted to make was a Mixed Game Terrine and I thought I would use a mixture of Wild Scottish Rabbit, Partridge and Venison. I wanted to showcase the amazing produce that Scotland has to offer, and this was the perfect opportunity to do just that. I should add that this was my first attempt at making a terrine and there was no room for error but after a bit of research, I felt confident enough to make it and should I have failed then a batch of Partridge Puffs would have sufficed.
As I watched it cook through my oven door, all my fears and worries fell by the wayside and after the longest 90 minutes ever, it was ready. The downside to this dish is that it is best served cold, so off it went to the fridge where it chilled overnight so it could set. Having never made, or eaten, a terrine before I was relying on the feedback from the guns, beaters and pickers to tell me if it was good but the fact that there was nothing left, told me all I needed to know.
Overall, my first experience of a shoot day was fantastic, and it was encouraging to see people from all walks of life band together to make the event happen. Everyone played their part and there was a real sense of community spirit, which was great.
I will also say that whilst the Terrine makes for a great centre piece dish that tastes great with a nice pickle of chutney, it is also inexpensive to make. Have a little rummage in your freezer and see what meat you have available. Whilst it requires very little prep work, you really need to leave it in the fridge overnight for the best results.
Give this a go, let me know what you think:
Mixed Game Terrine
900g. cubed game meat (venison,rabbit,partridge)
425g sausage meat
25g fresh breadcrumbs
3 tbsp fresh parsley (finely chopped)
1 tsp fresh thyme (finely chopped)
1 tsp mace
2 cloves garlic (minced)
1 large egg
Small glass of Madeira wine
Pinch of sea salt
3 tsp fresh ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 160c.
Pop your bread in a processor and blitz it to make your breadcrumbs, place to one side.
In a large bowl, add your sausage meat, bread crumbs, parsley, thyme, egg, mace, garlic, Madeira wine and mix together by hand. Season with salt and pepper, mix one more time then place to one side. This makes your forcemeat.
Cube your game meat and add to a hot frying pan with some oil. Gently brown the meat. Once cooked, set aside. Grab your Terrine dish or loaf tin and stretch out your bacon with the back of a knife. Place the rashers across the tin and push down, allowing for some bacon to hang over the edges.
Take a handful, or two, of forcemeat and push it into the tin, ensuring all gaps are filled. Next, add an even layer of mixed game meat. Repeat these steps two more times until you are left with a layer of forcemeat on top. Take the ends of the bacon and stretch them over.
Place the Terrine/loaf tin in a roasting dish and fill halfway with water. Pop it in the oven, cover the meat with a lid or a double layer of foil and cook for 90mins.
Once cooked, remove from oven and place on a cooling rack. Get a piece of cardboard or wood that will fit inside the dish and pop it on top. Add some weights, like a brick or some books or pans and really pack that meat in tight. Let it cool for a few hours then transfer to the fridge, ideally overnight (keeping pressure on top)
When you are ready to serve, cut it thin and serve with a nice pickle or chutney.