Rabbit terrine

Rabbit terrine

Best Kitchen Basics
Petrina Tinslay

This recipe was adapted from a recipe by the great Gaston Lenôtre, one of France’s greatest pâtissiers and chef–entrepeneur founder of the restaurant, catering, retail and cooking school empire, LeNôtre. M. Lenôtre took the savoir-faire of French country cooking and turned it into high-art retail. This recipe eschews the fancy retail garnish of high street Paris and strips it back to its peasant heart, the Sauternes the only thing perhaps belying its origin.


Quantity Ingredient
1 x 1.5kg rabbit, including heart, liver and kidneys
200g chicken livers
700g skinless, boneless chicken thighs, diced
800g diced pork shoulder
400g diced pork back fat
2 celery stalks
2 eggs
200g rolled oats
300ml sauternes
120g wholegrain mustard
1 bunch tarragon, chopped
25g salt
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon freshly ground coriander seeds
1 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
cornichons, to serve


  1. Debone the rabbit and chop it into even-sized pieces.
  2. Put the rabbit, including its heart, liver and kidneys, the chicken livers, thigh meat, pork shoulder, pork back fat and celery through a coarse mincer.
  3. Put the minced meat and celery in a bowl and add the eggs, oats, Sauternes, mustard, tarragon, salt and spices and mix thoroughly with your hands.
  4. Layer a traditional ceramic terrine mould (with a lid) with two layers of plastic wrap, making sure the wrap overhangs on all sides.
  5. Put the mixture in the mould – you should have enough to protrude above the top by 1 cm or so. Wrap the terrine tightly in the overhanging plastic wrap and put the lid on. Allow to rest for 1 hour.
  6. Preheat the oven to 160°C.
  7. Place the terrine in a bain-marie so the water comes halfway up the sides of the terrine. Cook for 1 hour 20 minutes with the lid on, until the terrine reaches a core temperature of 68°C.
  8. When cooked, refrigerate for 24 hours with a 750 g weight directly on top of the pâté. Serve at 10–14°C with the cornichons, if desired.
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