Venison Terrine

I am fascinated by terrine's,  I have made 3-4 of them in the last couple of years and really feel like I could spend everyday making one and never run out of possibilities.  They are a very complex dish and yet very simple.  I made this one last week for a brunch I was going to and the host said to me, "isn't it just a fancy meatloaf".  Well yes, it really is sort of a fancy meatloaf, but like meatloaf if you don't cook it right it will be shit.  This particular "fancy meatloaf" came from Andreas Viestad's Kitchen of Light and is just fantastic.  For those out there that are always looking for new ways to try and incorporate venison into a meal this is a  winner.  The mixture of spices and meat, and the freshness of the oranges really make this a remarkable dish. 

For whatever reason I grew up believing that I was swedish and as it turns out thats not entirely true.  I do however really enjoy Swedish and Scandinavian foods, and of course the new trends in food keep mentioning new Scandinavian and Nordic cuisine.  For Christmas this year I received NOMA, by Rene Redzepi.  It isn't so much a cookbook as it is art.  The pictures of food and scenery are fabulous and really make me feel like I know nothing about food at all.  Which is a good thing, it really opened my eyes to many different possibilities.   

I think that is my favorite thing about food, the endless possibilities that are out there.  We all have our favorite foods and from time to time I make something and think, I should make that again, and yet I never do. I am very lucky to have a tolerant wife who is willing to try all the different things I make here at home.  It isn't very often that I make something that is terrible but I have done it.  Last night as a matter of fact I made a miso poached swai with udon noodles and it was horrific.  I had never heard of swai and should have known better but thought why not give it a try.  Swai is an asian catfish and unfortunately this particular batch of swai tasted and awful lot like algae.  Needless to say, it wasn't very good.  But I am getting off topic, what I am saying is that we should all continue to try new things and not get stuck in a rut.  When people think of fine dining they often think of French or Italian cuisine and recently, in the last 30 years,  Japanese cuisine.  We should all be a little more adventurous is all I am saying.  

This terrine is a great example of something different that most people would never make themselves or even try, but I would highly recommend giving it a shot.  You never know, you may surprise yourself and really enjoy it.  And worst case scenario, if you screw it up, you can always do what I did last night after the Swai incident, run to Mcdonalds and get some nuggets.  

Simple terrine of Game with Orange, Sage and Pistachios
from Kitchen of Light by Andreas Viestad

1 pound ground venison
1 pound ground pork
2 teaspoons fresh thyme
2 teaspoons fresh sage
1/4 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg
2 juniper berries, crushed
1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
1/3 cup shelled pistachios
2 teaspoons fine sea salt
1/4 cup aquavit, cognac or brandy
1 large egg
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup duck fat, lard or unsalted butter
5 slices bacon 
3 bay leaves 
4 orange slices

In a bowl, combine the venison, pork, thyme, sage, nutmeg, juniper berries, orange zest, pistachios, slat and aquavit mix well, cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or up to a day.

preheat oven to 250 degrees fahrenheit 

Add the egg, cream and duck fat to the meat mixture and mix thoroughly.  Line a 9x5 loaf pan with bacon, laying the strips across the bottom and up the sides.  Add the meat mixture and fold the bacon strips over the top.  Arrange the bay leaves and the orange slices on top of the meat and bake until the internal temp reaches 160 degrees.  slice in 1/2 inch slices and serve.