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It amuses me when people talk about snooty people sitting around, leisurely eating pâté, because pâté is rustic, country fare, not considered fancy in France. While pâté can have a pastry-type crust (pâté en croûte) and some are a little fancier than others, the cousins of pâté, terrines, are truly down-to-earth. They can be baked in a special mold (you can come across them at French flea markets for around 5 bucks, like the one I used here), they can also be baked in any ovenproof bowl, which I did with this terrine. So there’s no excuse not to sit around and eat pâté, or terrine, all day. And not only is this one incredibly easy, it’s also one of the best terrines I’ve ever had.

I get anguished messages from people asking why their choux puffs fell or why something they baked doesn’t look like it just came out of a fancy French bakery. To be honest, I’ve seen flattened chouquettes at pâtisseries in France, undercooked bread at boulangeries, and here’s a shot of the terrine that inspired this one at La Bougainville restaurant in Paris, that I took at a recent dinner there. It doesn’t look like something that’s going up on the wall at the Louvre anytime soon.

No one gave a hoot that it’s wasn’t a perfect slice. (Although I’m not sure why the person next to me thought it was a good idea to point to it in the photo, since it’s pretty obvious what the subject is.) But it was absolutely delicious, and I was thrilled to see that Camille Fourmont of La Buvette included it in her book, La Buvette: Recipes and Wine Notes from Paris, written with co-author Kate Leahy.

La Buvette is a charming little bar à vin (wine bar) that, once word got out, became a hotspot for locals and visitors. I should correct that and say it’s a bar à manger, because due to local laws, in order to drink there, you need to order something to eat.

As I mentioned when I included another of Camille’s recipes in Drinking French, it’s a good thing that law exists because you don’t want to miss her wonderful, yet simple, French cooking. She will probably ban me for saying this, but her cooking is a contemporary version of cuisine de grand-mère, if your grandmother had a cool, mostly natural wine bar in Paris. She keeps things simple and familiar to the French palate; giant beans with grated citrus zest, burrata with black currants, slices of sharp Cantal cheese with fresh figs, and this terrine, which is always on the menu.

Camille got very excited when I sent her a picture of my finished terrine, exclaiming something along the lines of – looks so chunky. Just how I like it! The recipe in her book called for using meat grinder to coarsely grind the meat. I don’t have one and like a dope, I didn’t ask the butcher if he could grind it coarsely for me when I bought the meat. So once I got home, I hand-chopped the meat myself.

If you can make meatloaf, you can make a terrine. It took about 20 minutes to hand chop all the meat but if you have a butcher who will grind it coarsely for you – and have the sense to ask – that’s one way to go. Or you can meet me (and Camille) halfway and if you don’t have a local butcher, buy regular ground pork, then hand chop the livers and pork belly so there are still chunks of meat, but you’ve shaved a few minutes off the preparation time by using some ground meat.

I wanted to hew closely to the recipe which said a glass or clay terrine mold was preferable to a metal one, but I couldn’t find my earthenware terrine mold and didn’t know if it was okay to use a metal one or not. (In the terrine recipe in My Paris Kitchen, I use a metal one with no problem.) But in spite of Romain’s eye-rolling to the contrary, I am good at following orders so went with a small cassoulet bowl.

The second time I made it, I did make it in a metal loaf pan, and it came out just fine. Because my bowl was wider, I increased the cooking time, which I made a note in the headnote about. No matter what you bake it in, an instant-read thermometer takes all of the guesswork out of letting you know when it’s done, although Camille and Kate say it’s done when a knife plunged into the center reveals only clear juices.

A good terrine needs nothing more than a few cornichons or pickles served on the side. I got a reproach at a wine bar in Paris shortly after I arrived when I asked for mustard. The waiter snapped back, “Our charcuterie is too good to put mustard on!” So mustard might not be the best choice, but I wouldn’t turn my nose up at a fruit chutney if it was on the same plate. Some good bread, however, is essential, and wine of course.

[UPDATE: There were a number of questions people had about this recipe, posted in the comments, so I made a video showing the steps of making it, which you can watch here on Instagram.]

La Buvette Terrine

Adapted from La Buvette: Recipes and Wine Notes from Paris by Camille Fourmont and Kate Leahy If you've not made a terrine before, this one is extremely easy, and delicious. Don't let my wordiness put you off; I'm trying to be descriptive and give tips on the steps, but basically, you're mixing chopped meat with seasonings, then adding dried fruit and nuts, packing everything into a pan, and baking it. And that's it. I hand-chopped the meat into pieces that were about 1/2-inch (1.5cm), which was a tad time-consuming but you can ask your butcher to grind the meat coarsely for you. If you don't have a butcher, I've made it with regular ground pork but I recommend coarsely hand-chopping the fatback and livers, as the larger pieces of meat give the terrine an irregular look and are nice to have individual bites of. (Note: When I made it with regular ground pork, not coarsely ground, it threw off quite a bit of liquid during cooking. If that happens to you, just drain that off from the baking pan after it's baked and cooled a bit.) Although you could ask the butcher to coarsely grind that too if you want to make it easier. Food processors don't do a great job of grinding meat like this, so I don't recommend using one. To make the meat easier to hand-chop, if going that route, cut the meat into relatively small pieces or strips and freeze them until firm, about 30 minutes. Working in batches, remove a few pieces of meat from the freezer, keeping the rest cold, and hand-chopping it with a chef's knife. I wasn't quite sure of what fatback was, in French. But found out its lard. Pork belly is similar and can be used, which is called poîtrine fraîche in French and either should work. Don't use smoked meat, though, as the taste is too strong for this terrine. Baking Time: The original recipe is baked in a glass or clay terrine mold or loaf pan, which are much narrower than the bowl I used. The instructions in the book said to bake the foil-covered terrine for 35 minutes in step 3, then remove the foil and bake for another 35 minutes, which was accurate for a loaf pan. But my terrine baked in the 7-cup bowl (1.75l), which is much wider than a loaf pan, took longer. So I added a cooking temperature for how to tell when it's done if using an instant-read thermometer. To mix things up a bit, you could give it a go with dried figs or pitted prunes in place of the apricots, and replace the cognac with armagnac, Calvados, or another brandy. Note: A few commenters noted that their terrine came out rather crumbly and not spreadable while others had their turn out fine. I didn't have that issue, whether I used preground pork or hand-cut pork, and posted a video of making it here.
Servings 12 servings
  • 12 ounces (340g) chicken livers, trimmed of any sinew, cut into 1-inch (3cm) pieces
  • 1 pound (450g) boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1/2-inch (1.5cm) pieces, or coarsely ground (see headnote)
  • 8 ounces (225g) skinless fatback or pork belly, cut into 1/2-inch (1.5cm) pieces, or coarsely ground
  • 3 tablespoons cognac or Armagnac, or another brandy
  • 1 tablespoon kosher or sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon pimente d'Espelette pepper, or paprika (sweet or smoked)
  • 2/3 cup (160ml) heavy cream
  • 10 dried apricots, cut in half or quarters
  • 1/4 cup (50g) shelled pistachios, preferably unsalted
  • Mix together the pieces of chicken livers, pork shoulder, fatback or pork belly, Cognac, salt, black pepper, and pimente d'Espelette in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 12 hours, or overnight.
  • Preheat the oven to 375ºF (190ºC.) Have a 9 x 5 (23x18cm) rectangular loaf pan or terrine mold ready, or an ovenproof bowl that will hold close to 6- to 7-cups (1.5-1.7L) of mixture. Place the pan or mold in a larger pan that you will use to create a water bath to bake the terrine in.
  • Mix the heavy cream, apricots and pistachios into the meat mixture. Transfer the mixture to the baking pan or mold, smooth the top, and cover snugly with foil. Add hot water to the larger pan the terrine pan or mold is sitting in, so it's coming up halfway up the sides of the pan or mold. Bake for 35 minutes, then remove the foil and bake another 35 minutes, or longer, until the terrine is done. (My terrine baked in a clay bowl took longer to bake than in the metal loaf pan I used the second time I made this; after removing the foil, mine in the bowl took an additional 65 minutes. If using a loaf pan or rectangular pâté or terrine mold, it should be done after removing the foil and baking it for the remaining 35 minutes.) You can verify the temperature with an instant-read thermometer, which should read 150-155ºF (66-68ºC) when done. The temperature of the terrine should continue to rise to 165ºF (72ºC), considered a safe temperature
    , after you take it out of the oven.)
  • If you don't have an instant-read thermometer, bake the terrine until the juices run clear when you poke a sharp knife down into the center.
  • Remove the terrine from the oven and the water bath and let cool on a wire rack completely. When cool, cover and refrigerate for at least 24 hours before slicing and serving.


Storage: The terrine will keep up to two weeks if well-wrapped and refrigerated. Many say terrines improve with age and I agree that they do get better a few days after they are made. I've not tried freezing this terrine but terrines and pâtés don't taste as good if they've been frozen, but you could freeze it if you must. You might think this makes a lot, but trust me, you'll go through it faster than you think.



    • Cherie D

    I like to make a terrine at Christmas, and this one has jumped to the top of my list. I may sub half weight of the apricot for dried cranberries… maybe. Thank you for sharing, David.

    • Gayle

    Yes, Cherie, I agree, dried cranberries and pistachios would be lovely at Christmastime.

    And the best part is, you can make it a few days ahead and it only improves.

    A win-win!

    • Eric

    Looks good. Can I substitute something for the liver without ruining it? I hate liver in any form.

      • Tabby Ivy

      I’m with you, Eric!

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      You could use more ground meat but the liver helps hold everything together and gives in a nicer texture. But if you don’t like it swap out the same amount of finely ground meat. (If you have some you could add a handful of breadcrumbs to help hold it together.)

        • Angela Knauss

        I was wondering if a game meat like venison or rabbit would be good instead of liver.

          • David
          David Lebovitz

          I think you could substitute any of the meat/liver ingredients by weight in the recipe and have a successful result. If you try it with another meat, let us know how it turns out in the comments!

            • Claudia Zeballos

            Hi David, I made this terrine today and while the taste was amazing it fell apart. I noticed there were no eggs in it to bond it together and comparing it to the terrine facile in your book which has eggs, I thought this could be why. Or maybe I cut into it to soon and didn’t leave it in the fridge long enough?

            • usi

            I, too, made your terrine (in a ceramic mould) and I followed the instructions closely. But like Claudia Z., my terrine fell apart – the organic fresh chicken livers did not hold the mass together at all. Although the terrine unmoulded beautifully, we all had a heap of choppy stuff on our plates, tasty but quite unsightly and not at all looking like a real terrine!

            • David
            David Lebovitz

            I had a talk with Kate, the co-author of the book about the terrine and after I made it a second time using preground meat (and had no problem with that) she also remade it and you can see hers here. She ground the meat herself at home. I guess some people will have different results with the same recipe, but it’s still delicious!

            • Raisa Mayor Berriz

            David, I made this yesterday. I ground up everything myself. I added extra liver and doubled the recipe as well. One set had dried cherries and pistachios,the other just as made. It held together well. This recipe is incredible!

            • David
            David Lebovitz

            Happy it was a success!

    • Tabby Ivy

    I would love to try this recipe, however I cannot do liver. Is there a plausible substitute?

    • Suzanne B

    This is a mouthwatering recipe. I will try it in my long and not often used terrine mold!
    Thank you david!

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      Yes, it’s a good chance to use a terrine mold if you have it!

    • Parisbreakfast

    So the French cut of meat called ‘buvette’ has nothing to do with this delicious looking terrine? I find French bouchers terrifying and have yet to set foot in one unless buying a rotisserie-cooked chicken. Have you written about them? I was searching… That snooty waiter could have walked out of Emily in Paris.

      • Patrick

      The French cut of meat that you mention is called “bavette”. So no risk of confusion with “buvette” (a place to drink and nibble on snacks like the terrine in this article).

      • Annette C

      Carol, venture up to Boucherie des Arènes (should be within your allowed 1 km from home). He is the kindest man and will ease your fears ;)

        • Annette C

        31 rue Monge

    • Shira

    When I indulge in pâté I like it to look just like that terrine. There is a restaurant in the 16th near me that serves a similarly rustic version gratis along with the bread basket. My cousin visiting from the US had the nerve to ask for more, two times. I have to give kudos to the waiter who smiled tightly and brought extra servings.

      • Stephen & Arliss Willis


      My wife and I have spent Jan-Feb in the 16th for the past 9 years what is The name of the restaurant and do you have other favorites. One of our favorites is Stella on Victor Hugo and Pompe.
      Thank you
      Steve W

        • Shira

        Hi Steve,

        I hope you get to stay in Paris again soon, it’s all so uncertain. The restaurant I was referring to is

        I’ve only been there a couple of times, it’s good solid food, but only the terrine was memorable to me! Chez Tony across the street is a homier mom and pop place. Our favorites are actually a pair of restaurants owned by a Sicilian chef: Non Solo Cucina and Pane e Olio. Stella in VH is a nice location but I’ve only been there for drinks.

          • Stephen

          Thank you for the information. Looks like you are close to where we stay. We rent on Bd Émile Augier. If you get over to the 7th, two favorites are La Fountaine de Mars for dinner or Les Cocottes for lunch.

    • Linda

    Dear David
    I’ve been dreaming of a country pate recently…and my dream has materialized! I’m inspired. Thank you!
    Love your newsletter and recipes.


      • David
      David Lebovitz

      You’re welcome – enjoy the recipe!

    • Marianne Ahrne

    This looks like a great addition to my only two terrine recipes. Shouldn’t the dried apricots be soaked in advance?

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      I suppose you could but the recipe doesn’t call for it. I used Turkish apricots which are what’s available in France (we don’t get the tangy California apricots here, which are drier than the plump Turkish ones) but if you want to soak them in some of the cognac, you certainly could.

    • Gerlinde

    Your terrine looks great and reminds me of the happy hours I spent in wine bars in Paris. I have an old hand cranked grinder that might work on this recipe. Thanks David!

    • Patrick

    I suppose you could chill the pork in the freezer and then pulse in the food processor? I do this for getting a course grind to make chili, or Cajun boudin.

    While I also don’t eat liver on its own, in a recipe like this it adds a depth of flavor that cannot be replaced. It’s like omitting an anchovy from Cesar salad. You get a good dressing but it ain’t the same. So try it. You might like it.

    • Ina

    Hi David, thanks for sharing that recipe and your encouragement to make one on your own, what I will try.

    Looking at your recipe, I am still a little bit confused about the size the meat needs to be cut in. It is said half inch and then (1/5 cm). You meant 1,5 cm (= 15mm European way of writing numbers) ?

    What do you mean with heavy cream? Crème chantilly en bouteille 31% fat or something else?

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      Sorry, I hit the / key rather than the . at that one place in the recipe so it should be 1.5cm. (I reiterated that in the headnote.) I use what’s labeled crème entière in France (which goes by a few names), which is similar to heavy cream in the US, but you can use anything with a similar range of fat, ~30-36.

    • Richard Schinella

    Would using pork liver be okay for this recipe. I know it’s stronger than chicken liver, …but I’ve got a big piece of it that I’d like to put to use.

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      Sure, it should work just fine.

    • JNT

    David, I would love your next book to be all about terrines! This sounds delicious. And I agree – you should try the liver, even if you don’t like the taste, it adds a little bit of something to the terrine. I like to line my terrine mold with bacon, which makes it look really lovely when I present it.

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      You’re right. Even though the taste of the liver isn’t strong, it really adds to the texture. I sometimes have pureed it to add to a terrine since it binds everything together so nicely. As for a book, I think having a few terrines in one’s arsenal is a good idea (they’re great party food; make them in advance, and they serve a lot of people) but I have a super easy one in Drinking French and another one in My Paris Kitchen, and a few on the blog, so I think I’ve got them covered ; )

    • Susan Nieland

    Any sub on cognac – I have bourbon, whiskey, grand marnier, various other distilled spirits but no cognac?

      • John Heckendorn

      No brandies? Always good to have a bottle on hand for cooking…or even drinking! :)

        • corinne dieterle

        Wonder about adding chunks of butternut squash?

    • Claudia Toutain-Dorbec

    Hi David, what would you use in place of the cream to keep it dairy free? Coconut milk would not have enough fat but possibly coconut cream? How about a plant-based margarine?

    • Bricktop

    I bought a pre-owned terrine mold or three from the charcutier at the Grenelle market in Paris 15th for 1 Euro apiece. They have a basket of maybe 10 to choose from. They are at the end near the La Motte Piquet Metro stop under the elevated part of Line 6. (Starbucks end).

    They are on the big side, but really thick porcelain.

    • Cyndy

    I make my husband a country paté every year. This year’s will be yours, if I can find pork belly and lard here in backwoods Florida, miles from any big city. So missing all the rustic ingredients of SW France. (Will they ever let us Americans back in? Le sigh.)

    I do have some duck fat in the freezer, but I wonder if that would substitute for the lard.

      • Kelly

      My Costco has some handsome pork bellies. They’re a regular item now.

        • Monica

        Mine does not hold together, it just falls apart in crumbles. Any idea why?

          • David
          David Lebovitz

          Hi Monica, I answered that comment below as a few other people had the same results.

    • Margy

    I get that freezing a baked terrine doesn’t work, but what about freezing say half the mixture before baking? I’d love to be able to make less at a time, and I think this would be easier than trying to buy, for example, six ounces of chicken livers.

      • LB

      I was wondering the same thing, Would love to have one of these in The freezer. It works out great when I make traditionel scandinavian liver pate. But those are completely smooth which might make a difference.

        • David
        David Lebovitz

        You can certainly freeze it but it does change the texture somewhat. It’s not that noticeable but few (if any) in France would freeze a terrine or pâté.

    • AnnieD

    Does David have an affiliate link for Amazon? I was going to order a bunch of stuff, but would rather do it by clicking on affiliate link to benefit him.

    • Don M

    Thanks for this recipe. We usually spend a few months in France at our place on the Dordogne (this year being an unfortunate exception.) and my lunches are centered around terrines. I am going to give this a try. It would be nice to have a measurement for the apricots to approximate if one substitutes figs or other fruits. I just picked the last pears and once they’re dries….

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      The amount really isn’t that critical so I would just add what you think is a similar amount and (in figs) and it’ll be fine.

    • wildbill

    I’ve been dreaming of a good terrine since your email arrived. As it turns out where I live in California no butcher can even order chicken livers let alone carry them in the case. After calling five I’ve put the recipe in my que and poured an excellent Cognac to pair with my cornichons and cheese plate……c’est la vie

      • honore

      Try searching to see if any local farms near you have them. You can find almost anything here. Last year I found a certain rare heritage turkey just one town over.

      • Ida

      Asian grocery/ supermarket has chicken liver

      • jenniferc

      Just made this terrine David – thank you! I’m not a liver fan but I sneaked in a bite of the terrine (still hot) and the liver def gives the flavor an unctuous depth – really lovely.

    • Kevin

    Hi David, looks delicious! Can you recommend a heavy cream substitute to make it dairy free? Thanks!

    • Ellen

    I recently made David’s Chicken Liver Pate (with duck fat) for a small cocktail party and it was fabulous. Can’t wait to try this terrine. Thanks David.

    • Betsyohs

    I’m so excited that you posted a recipe with liver! I’m always trying to get more of it in my diet, but I struggle to eat it on its own. I can’t wait to try this! Any chance I could sub coconut milk or cream in for the heavy cream without the taste going totally wonky? My nursing baby can’t tolerate dairy in my diet. Or is there something else I could sub?

    • David
    David Lebovitz

    Claudia, Kevin and Betsyohs: I asked a friend who makes terrines if she thought soy cream would work and she said that’s probably the best idea for a substitute. When and if you try it, let us know how it turns out!

      • Richard

      Hello David,
      Do you think this terrine could bake successfully in a Pate Brisee?

    • Anisa

    Hi David, would love to make this but we don’t eat pork. What would be a possible substitute for it and the lard?

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      You could swap out veal and dark meat chicken or turkey. Both have less fat than pork so it may be drier, so check the cooking time and adjust so it doesn’t get overcooked. If you do try it with one of those, let us know how it turns out!

    • Grace Sadowski

    I made it and followed it to the letter. I live in Vancouver British Columbia which even in these covid times remains a foodie city. I was able to find gorgeous turkish apricots ( So necessary for the sweetness and unsalted pistachios. My cuisinart chopped the meats to the desired chunky consistency. Use short pulses and be sure the meat is very very chilled. This is a spectacular terrine. I would recommend following it exactly as written.
    Dear David thank-you xxxx

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      Thanks for letting us know it worked well! :)

    • Kerrie

    I so want to eat this. Might even get my grandma’s meat grinder down. Even the apricot look sensational.

    • Boni

    What can I substitute for the pistachios, severe allergy.

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      You can use another nut such as hazelnuts, lightly toasted.

        • David

        David, I also have a severe allergy, but the allergy is to all tree nuts (pistachios, hazelnuts, almonds, pecans, etc.).

        What could be substituted for the pistachios other than another tree nut?

          • David
          David Lebovitz

          You can just leave them out.

        • Roald

        Wow. I just made this my first terrine to spec – crazy delicious wonderful creation.

        I had a slice cold out of the fridge and then another just now more at room temp. Some forkfuls by itself to start but then with rustic buttered bread and cornichons. It all holds together well enough and, no, I’d concur with David that I won’t be framing it anytime soon and hanging it on a museum wall. But every element fits! Special mention are the visual and taste delight of green pistachios and orange dried apricots. The cognac mattered for sure. This is for me a transporting – to France – food experience!

        My one variance is I started it Monday and set aside the mixture overnight in the fridge as the recipe instructs but then got distracted (there was an election) and didn’t end up taking it out assembling and baking it until Thursday evening and trying it just now, TGIF, today.

        Merci! I’ll make this again and again!

          • David
          David Lebovitz

          Thanks for reporting back and glad you liked it, too!

    • Madonna Yancey

    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. I recently purchased a vintage Le Creuset terrine, and I’ve been searching for the perfect recipe for its first use. I think I found it. My father was a butcher, and I have his ancient meat grinder. I see an opportunity to put it to good use.

      • Toni McCormick

      I SO want a Le Creuset terrine!

    • Claire

    Sounds deeply yummy and we are missing France so much under the current restrictions and our little home near Uzès .
    Can you just clarify what heavy cream means ….. is that double cream ?

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      You can read more about that in my post here.

    • Helen Willis

    It looks beautiful and sounds delicious! – and I love your cassoulet bowl, even if a rectangular terrine shape is more convenient to cut.
    Thank you for the recipe

    • Linda Beuret

    I usually line my mold with blanched bacon strips, is it not necessary to do that in this pate?

    • witloof

    Hi David, I wish that you would only publish recipes that fit into my current food ideology. I was wondering if you could tell me how to make a dairy free vegetarian version of this terrine without nuts or dried fruit. Thanks!

      • honore

      Wouldn’t that be lentil loaf? just kidding… but you could easily make the vegetarian terrine of your dreams with seitan chunks and lentil paté (to replace liver). Just omit the pork belly. Use remaining ingredients as posted. Done and done.

        • honore

        coconut or oat cream to replace the dairy

        • witloof

        My comment was meant as a joke, since poor David has to contend with zillions of comments and complaints and questions about substitutions every time he publishes a recipe.

    • lamassu

    I will certainly try that
    sounds delicious
    + winter- the time for comfort-food-is coming!
    Is is possible to divide the mixture-
    I would like to use two mason-jars 0,75 or 1 litre)
    + how would this influence the baking time?

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      If baking the mixture in small molds or jars, you’d want to reduce the baking time. You can check the temperature with an instant-read thermometer, as I did, or the “poke” method that Camille suggests in her book. (Which I noted as well in the recipe.)

    • rainey

    I’m in LA. I have a friend in the Bay Area I’d dearly love to make this for for Christmas.

    Any chance it could survive a few days in the postal tide without making them ill or too trepidatious to try it?

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      I would not send unrefrigerated meat products unless using an overnight mailing service and packing the terrine with some sort of cold-packs (or maybe dry ice?) to keep it at a proper food-safe temperature in transit.

        • rainey

        Thanks. I guess I’ll have to come up with something else but it look so delicious and I’m sure it’s something they’d enjoy. Oh well…

    • Susan

    Could I use a ceramic soufflé dish for this?

      • jenniferc

      Susan – I used a ceramic souffle dish and it came out lovely! I encourage you to try it and keep an eye on the terrine as it bakes. My souffle dish is quite thin so I think I overbaked mine slightly but it’s still delicious :)

    • Ron Shapley

    So what we have here is a meatloaf with some enhancements…one question, is the water bath an absolute ?? I love meatloaf..

    • Renee Unger

    Could you sous vide instead of baking in a water bath?

    • Nancy

    Hi David,
    I’m a huge fan and couldn’t wait to try this recipe. Unfortunately it is a bit of a disaster. I did everything as directed. I even refrigerated the mixture overnight. My butcher coarsely ground the pork shoulder and the pork belly and I dealt with the chicken livers. I used a 9 x 5 loaf tin in the suggested water bath. All systems were go, until they weren’t. After the pate cooled I tried to slice a piece and the whole thing just disintegrated. It didn’t bind together at all. The flavor is fine but it looks awful on the plate. It is in the fridge now. Maybe this will firm things up. I hope so as it was very pricey to make. So disappointed.

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      Hi Nancy, Sorry you had that issue. Mine came out as pictured and I included a link to a picture from the original restaurant in the post, so people could see that the texture is quite crumbly there. (Mine wasn’t very crumbly, as you can see in the post.)

      I did a video of how I made the recipe which you can watch here, and it came out very well and was sliceable.

      • jenniferc

      Hi Nancy – mine crumbled when I took it out of the oven and cooled it on my kitchen counter. It binds nicely after 24 hours in the fridge – at least mine did. I suggest you try again. It’s so delicious!

    • Claudia Zeballos

    Hi David, I made this terrine today and while the taste was amazing it fell apart. I noticed there were no eggs in it to bond it together and comparing it to the terrine facile in your book which has eggs, I thought this could be why. Or maybe I cut into it to soon and didn’t leave it in the fridge long enough?

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      Hi Claudia, I answered that question just above. Check my notes there.

        • Claudia Zeballos

        Hi David, update! The terrine rested in the fridge for 24 hours and voila!
        It cut beautifully and held together. The resting time in the fridge made all the difference.

          • David
          David Lebovitz

          Thanks for circling back and glad it came out great in the end! : )

    • Judith Rich

    I loved this recipe and followed it exactly using first-rate meat, which I even chopped into small pieces as directed. Alas, the terrine NEVER set. The meat fell apart in pieces and the bottom was all liquid. It did taste delicious, however.
    I baked it in a classic 7 cup porcelain French terrine mold baking it first for 35 mins covered in foil and removed it from the oven (which I had tested to make sure the oven temperature was 375F) after an another 35 mins when the terrine reached 155 F in temperature. I removed it from its water bath and allowed the terrine to cool on a rack. It should have been perfect. But it wasn’t. What did I do wrong?

    • David
    David Lebovitz

    Claudia, Judith, Nancy, and Monica: Sorry that you had an issue with it not holding together well. Mine came out exactly as pictured and I included a link to a picture of the terrine at the original restaurant in the post, so people could see that the texture is quite crumbly there. (Mine didn’t hold perfectly together either, like the one at the restaurant, but we enjoyed it very much anyways.) I often put eggs in my terrines or puree the liver – the recipe for the terrine in My Paris Kitchen is made that way – but this one turned out well for me, so not sure why you had that happen. I test the recipes I post on the blog very well before I share them and this was something that came out very well for me, in my kitchen.

    I added a note to the headnote of the recipe that people might want to puree the liver here, too, but I circled to Kate, one of the authors of the book, as I thought it might be a difference between American and French meat products. She had someone test it in the U.S. but will recheck her notes and get back to us.

    As Grace noted in her comment, hers worked perfectly. But you could also try putting any crumbly pieces in a food processor and pulsing them together to make a spread, although I haven’t tried that, but it might be a way to make it servable. Hopefully that’ll help.

    UPDATE: I did remake the terrine and documented the steps by video here. It came out very well, held together nicely, and was sliceable.

      • Sara G

      Thanks David! I love the flavor of this and as noted by a few others, mine was more crumbly. I wondered about weighing it down for the cooling process next time?
      Also, I wonder if the fatback was supposed to melt and bind? Mine was still in cubes.
      Anyways – was a marvelous adventure! Thank you as always

    • Nancy

    Thanks, David. I was wondering about the differences in the American vs. French meats. I went to an excellent butcher, but after rechecking your meat photos and remembering what mine looked like, my meats were much, much fattier. Will be interested to find out what super-sleuth Kate discovers. I honestly can’t think of anything else that may have caused this.

    • Kate Leahy

    Hello, all – a quick note about the terrine texture when made in the US. I made it in SF and had a tester make it in a Chicago suburb. Our tester said the hardest part was finding pork fatback, but she did track it down. (You can also use the fat on pork shoulder if you buy the kind with a thick layer on top.) I’ll reach out to ask her if she found the texture of the terrine off – the initial notes didn’t indicate she felt this was the case. On texture, this is definitely a rustic kind of a terrine, and it does get a bit crumbly. To bind it (loosely), the livers and cream together are key. If chopping the livers by hand, save half and puree them, like David suggests. When you put half the livers through the grinder, they also essentially become pureed. Thinking through everything, I wonder if the cook time is the problem, especially for ovens that run on the hotter side. I’ll try making it again this week with a metal pan and I’ll check the internal temperature, which will likely be above 165F. The internal temperature will be a better indicator of doneness than the cook time. l will report back! So sorry this didn’t work for everyone, but thanks for your interest and questions!

    • Claudia Zeballos

    Thanks very much David for your reply. I am from Australia so what about Australian meats? Would they behave like U.S or French meats? (just joking). We will eat the terrine nonetheless, it was delicious and won’t go to waste. I will try your one in Drinking French next time. Love your books, . I have all of them.

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      Thanks Kate & Claudia,

      I’m going to give it another go this week and will report back. The original recipe does say to run the liver through a meat grinder if you have one, but I hand-chopped the liver and it came out fine and I’ve had this at La Buvette and there are big pieces of liver in there (which I know Camille likes.) I’m going to give it another go this week and will report back!

      And thanks for circling back Claudia that once it was cool, and refrigerated, it sliced nicely and came out great. Happy to hear!

        • David
        David Lebovitz

        Hi all, To make sure the recipe worked, I made the Terrine again and it came out really well. I chronicled the process in video steps on Instagram and you can watch them here. I did make it in a metal loaf pan to verify the baking time and used ground pork, to see how that would work, and it worked just as well as the hand-chopped pork. : )

        [Note that I edited the original post to include information about the metal loaf pan, to confirm the baking time, and to report on how well the preground pork worked.]

    • Fenella

    I made this on Tuesday, and we had it for lunch yesterday and today. It is extremely good, and ridiculously simple to make. Thanks, David, another winner! Ate it with Farm Boy Swiss brown bread if any other Ontarians are following, which was the perfect accompaniment.

    • Monica k

    My family with 2 young kids went to the Dordogne region of France last year and they got to taste delicious pate, duck, blood sausages…all so affordable and delicious.
    Back to America, a duck leg costs more than $10 at a so-called gourmet store. I guess America doesn’t produce enough duck.
    I still indulge on pâté from D’Artagnan and three pigs (I think?) and all my friends and family think I eat too fancy.
    If I can afford foie gras terrine every day, I’d say that’s fancy.

    • Philip

    Delicious! The most difficult part of this recipe is waiting the 24+ hours before slicing into it. Plus if using ground pork, as I did, be sure to pour away all the liquid it throws off (after letting it cool down some) otherwise the bottom of the pate will be very wet and crumbly. I thought it would turn to jelly, but it didn’t.

    Next time, I’ll probably chop the chicken livers more and use pink salt in the cure for more color contrast– since i used prunes instead of apricots, the result is very… brown.

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      Thanks for circling back. Yes, I also found that using preground pork threw off a lot of liquid, much more than I thought! (I added that to the headnote to alert others it might happen.) Happy you liked it too!

    • Patrink


    I made this in a loaf pan, with the only variation was, after much discussion with the Boss, to add an egg. I also used the MagiMix to process the meat and got a little finer chunk size than from chopping by hand. Results are delicious, and there was no problem with it holding its shape. Really surprised the apricots add such a touch of sweetness to the terrine.


    • Steve in TLV

    It is resting in the fridge, 18 more hours to go…

    I can’t wait…

    • Rob

    Julia Childs’ recipe calls for weighting the terrine with a twin pan or a board cut to fit, and some canned goods for the first night in the refrigerator. I think this makes it easier to slice.

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      I do that too with certain terrines but in my experience this one didn’t need it. If you do try it with this recipe, let us know how it turns out!

    • Yves Li

    Funny that when I eat pate or rillette I always dig for bigger chunks of meat as they just exist there as big rewards. I should just make terrine instead XDDD This one is water-bath baking so I’m thinking that I might be able to make it by steaming, as I don’t have an oven right now and don’t see any possibilities of getting one soon. I will definitely update the result of the steaming way XD It would be fun no doubt. Trying to convince my mum that dry fruit and nuts in a salt dish (and its meat!) can be good plus imagining her face of liking it but trying to find words to defend her belief simply add the pleasure~~

    This looks so beautiful with the apricots and pistachios shining in grayish pink (or pinkish gray?). This orange and green combination makes me think of the salt cake (forget the right term for it) you once posted some time ago, which is also amazing that I had to make another loaf to stick with the plan as I had eaten the first one too much when I noticed.

    Reading some of the replies about falling apart and referring to my own experience in cooking (mostly Chinese and very amateur though) , I believe maybe cooling the mixture down a bit or pressing it like you do with a very fluffy pie crust dough would help, or wouldn’t anyway. But grounding the meat not that coarse or using regular ground meat should help – for this I am 95% sure, and of course this would bring more juice and a tighter/harder texture. This tighter texture could be avoid by hand cutting the meat to very fine dices but the process is tiring and time-consuming, at least challenging especially without a very good knife processing 12-16 servings, so I don’t really recommend it unless one needs some in-work meditation to think about the meaning of one’s life and physical existence…

    • Jennifer

    After chasing down chicken livers, which for some reason were surprisingly hard to come by, I’m happy to report that this came out perfectly and I’m looking forward to having it for dinner. I followed all the advice I could find from other commenters to help bind the ingredients and it worked great. Specifically: I ground the pork and pork belly at home, I pureed half of the liver and chopped up the other half, I let the cooked terrine cool completely and then weighed it down in the fridge overnight. I also didn’t pour off any of the fat that was bubbling around it while cooking. Seemed like I might want that during the cooling process. It unmolded perfectly and I sliced off a fairly thin slab with no crumbling.
    My husband isn’t a big liver fan but even he likes this a lot. Thanks for sharing this delicious recipe!

    • Deborah

    I’m wondering if anyone has tried this using duck liver which I like much more than chicken livers? Thoughts anyone?

    • Roald

    I really love this terrine!

    I’ve made it four times now and it is becoming a favorite light lunch of choice – a slab of La Buvette a hunk of buttered bread and half-dozen cornichons when I have them.

    This last time I experimented making it into 8 individual ramekins to facilitate just bringing a ramekin to work for lunch. Forking out the individual ramekins in the lunchroom is a hoot.

    But also just to try freezing the ramekins and see how that worked having a “supply” on hand. So far as I can tell freezing works darn good!

    One maybe funny tangential question – I’m an amateur “self-taught” cook and I know how fundamentally important it is to “adjust the seasoning” to dishes as you go along. How, pray tell, do cooking maestros adjust the seasoning as they go along on terrines like this?

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      Hi Roald – Thanks for letting us know the freezing and ramekin tips and tricks : )

      For terrines, and to check seasonings, cooks make a little patty and fry it in a skillet, then let it cool to taste for salt and others seasonings before baking off the entire terrine. Once you’ve got a recipe you like, then of course you don’t need to do that every time, but that’s the best way to do it when testing & developing a recipe.

        • Roald

        Oh thank you David! I just added a further reply before I’d refreshed my screen and noticed your prompt reply.

        Thank you. Interesting. I knew there must be a technique but what you describe didn’t occur to me at all.

      • Roald

      I mean this conundrum must be addressed at the CIA!

    • Jessica ainsworth

    Thanks for the information on freezing pâtés. I just got six ounces of one last week and was thinking of freezing as the sell by date is tomorrow. I’ll have to eat up, instead!

    Do you consider this also Pâté de Campagne? Looks like a fabulous recipe that I will try!

    • Su Su

    Hi, David. I prepared the ingredients for the terrine over a few days and finally baked it last night in a metal container as it didn’t fit into my loaf tin. I was good and refrigerated it and have just cut it and had my first taste – it is delicious. I might add a bit more cognac next round. Like others, it crumbled when I cut it even after refrigeration. There was a lot of juice at the bottom as I used ground meat from the butcher and cut the chicken livers but didn’t grind any in the food processor. I believe my problem is temperature mainly (my oven does run a bit hot) and also I didn’t stir the ingredients together vigorously so that they would become sticky before I put the lot into the metal container. The apricots really are nice and I substituted cashew as I didn’t have any pistachios.

    I noticed when I checked the terrine after the baking time that the liquid in the middle was very pink and so put it back into the oven for 10 minutes. After I removed the terrine from the oven and the water bath, I noticed that the terrine left the side of the container all around and had shrunk a lot while yours in your pictures was very much still stuck to the sides of your ceramic dish. Next time, I will adjust the temperature and also grind some chicken liver and stir the whole mixture so that it gets sticky before I bake. I think that should solve the crumbly problem. Thank you very much for the recipe. It is delicious and such a treat. Thank you also for all the tips and follow up advice.


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