Venison Terrine (Dádýrakæfa)

  • Serves

    serves 6-8


Venison is a great substitute for the traditional reindeer meat in this rustic cranberry-and-pistachio-studded terrine from Iceland. This recipe first appeared in our December 2014 issue with the story Northern Lights.


  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 small white onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 12 tsp. ground ginger
  • 18 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1 lb. boneless venison, chopped
  • 8 oz. pork fatback, chopped
  • 8 oz. venison or chicken liver
  • 3 tbsp. tawny port
  • 2 tbsp. potato starch
  • 1 tbsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 eggs
  • 12 cup pistachios, roughly chopped
  • 12 cup dried cranberries
  • Boiling water, for baking
  • Fresh red currants and parsley sprigs, for garnish (optional)


Step 1

Heat oven to 200°. Grease a 1½-qt. terrine mold with 1 tbsp. oil. Heat remaining oil in a 10" skillet over medium-high; cook garlic and onion until soft, 5–7 minutes. Add thyme, ginger, and cloves; cook 1 minute and transfer to a food processor. Add venison, fatback, liver, port, potato starch, salt, pepper, and eggs; purée until smooth. Transfer mixture to a bowl; fold in pistachios and cranberries and spread into prepared mold. Cover with aluminum foil and place in a 9" x 13" baking pan; pour boiling water into pan to come halfway up sides of terrine. Bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center reads 160°, about 2 hours. Let cool; garnish with currants and parsley sprigs, if you like.

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