Venison Terrine with Pistachios and Cranberries

Terrines are a traditional French dish that you can make with a wide variety of meats and other ingredients.

This recipe is one take on venison terrines that includes liver, nuts, fruit, and alcohol.

Venison Terrine


I decided to upscale the terrine for this recipe. I did this by adding pistachios, cranberries, and Madeira wine.

I recommend using roasted and salted pistachios to add a little extra flavor to the dish.

When making this recipe, I initially used one cup of pistachios but later decided it was too much and altered the recipe to use a half cup.

I found the same issue with the liver. I initially used 1/4 pound and thought it might be a little much for some, but this would be more optional.

Venison alone would be too lean for this dish, so I added a considerable amount of pork belly. An alternative option would be to use only pork fat as I did for the wild boar terrine, but I found pork belly to be a much better option for venison terrine.


Venison Terrine

The name terrine comes from the tray the terrine is cooked in.

For this recipe, a terrine tray or a loaf pan will work fine.

I used approx 13x5x2.5″ size terrine pan without a lid.

First you should line the pan with with saran wrap and then bacon.

Both of these help prevent the venison from drying out and protect it from direct heat.

The bacon also adds flavor to the dish, I used smoked bacon for this recipe, but smoked or unsmoked is fine.

Terrines are gently cooked in a water bath for 1-2 hours. Afterwards, you should place a heavy weight on top to keep it pressed so it will form a shape.

Allow it to cool at room temperature first then place in a fridge for a day before serving.

When you first remove the cooked terrine from the tray it won’t look all pretty like in the pictures. But a wipe down with some paper towel will clean it up and make it presentable.


Venison Terrine

Terrines are traditionally a versatile dish, but most commonly are served with bread or crackers.

One of my favorite ways of serving this terrine is by making a terrine burger. 

I lightly fry each slice of terrine on a cast iron pan just enough to crisp. I place that in a tasted burger bun with a sunny side up fried egg and cheese.

It’s just as good if not better than a sausage Mcmuffin sandwich.


Terrines can be made with or without curing salt. Terrines that are made with curing salt will last about ten days in the refrigerator whereas terrines without curing salt will last about six days.

Terrines can also be frozen and will last six months in the freezer. It is still safe to eat them after six months in the freezer but the dish will begin losing quality from around six months on.

Venison Terrine

Venison Terrine

This venison terrine is a hearty spiced meat and fruit dish that can serve as a main course or side dish.
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Course: Big Game
Cuisine: Wild Game
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 14 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 224kcal
Author: Rusty


  • 1 pound venison
  • 1/2 pound pork belly
  • 1/4 pound liver goose, venison, chicken, beef, lamb
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon tarragon
  • 1 large shallot
  • 1/2 tablespoon juniper berries lightly crushed
  • 1 cup cranberries
  • 1/2 cup pistachios deshelled & salted
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon saltpter/ No 1 curing salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon butter
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup Madeira wine


  • Mince the venison and pork belly, half with large holes and half with medium holes.
  • Roughly chop the liver into small pieces.
  • Dice the shallot and set a pan over low heat. Add the butter and the diced shallot and gently cook until translucent.
  • Add the mince and livers in a large bowl and add thyme, tarragon, juniper berries, cranberries, pistachios, sage, pepper, kosher salt, curing salt, shallot, and Madeira wine. Mix well and set in the fridge for 30 minutes - 2 hours.
  • Retrieve your mixture from the fridge, add the eggs and cream, and mix well. Set in the freezer while you prepare the terrine tray.
  • Set a pot of water on to boil and preheat your oven to 300f
  • Line your terrine tray with plastic wrap, allowing enough each side to cover the terrine.
  • Lin the bacon along each side and overlapping in the center. The bacon need to fold over the mixture to enclose it.
  • Retrieve the mixture from the freezer and spoon into the terrine pan. Press the mixture down firmly. Fold over the bacon, then the plastic wrap. Put the lid on the tray or cover with foil.
  • Set in a deep baking tray in the oven and pour the warm water into the baking tray until it comes to halfway up the terrine pan.
  • Cook for approximately 1.5 hours or until it reaches 150f.
  • Cut a piece of cardboard the with of the inside of the terrine tray and cover in foil.
  • Remove the terrine from the oven, place the cut cardboard inside the tray and apply some heavy weights on top. Allow to come to room temperature.
  • Move the terrine to the fridge and allow to set for 12 hours.



Calories: 224kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 125mg | Sodium: 340mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g

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