Pate and Terrines, the forgotten treasures


The Greeks made them, the Romans made them but the French mastered pates and terrines which are a big part of cuisines and menus all over Europe till date.

These dishes have had very humble and simple beginnings, which was more about using up leftover ingredients and making a meal out of it.  We can give a big thank you to Chef Marie Antoine Careme and of course the king of chefs & chef of kings, Auguste Escoffier.

Following the end of World War I in 1918, Escoffier had the prestigious task of cooking a menu to celebrate the end of the war at the famous Carlton Hotel.  With an acute food shortage, he came up with “pate en croute” using off cuts of meat, foie gras, truffles and moist breadcrumbs which catered to a lot of people.

Pates and Terrines for sure show the skill and talents of a very good Garde-manger Chef and in today’s time, the creations have become a masterpiece from the humble beginnings. Especially In culinary competitions, they have become a showpiece for creativity, precision, flavor, and texture.

In Europe, restaurants have not lost their popularity and when you go into delicatessens you are overwhelmed by choice. Not only do they look stunning, they also taste amazing so why not have a go and show off your creativity and skill!

Rabbit Pate with Figs & Pistachios Accompanied by fresh pear & fig salad

Makes 10 portions

Ingredients Yield:   Ingredients: Yield:
For the Rabbit Pate     For Pate dough 0.9kg
Rabbit 1.5 kg   All-purpose flour 500 gr
Chicken thigh, diced 250 gr   Butter 200 gr
Onion, chopped 100 gr      
Mushrooms, chopped 100 gr   Water 130 ml
Dried figs, chopped 100 gr   Salt 10 gr
Pistachios, chopped 50 gr   Egg yolk 50 gr
Fresh thyme leaves 1 tsp      
Cream 100 ml   For Salad  
Egg 1 each   Mixed Salad leaves 250 gr
Non-alcoholic White wine 50 ml   Pears , sliced 3 each
Leek, green part 2 leaves   Figs 3 each
Butter 30 gr   Dressing 100 ml
Seasoning To taste      
Smoked bacon rashers 26 each      
Clear chicken stock 150 ml      
Gelatin leaves 2 each      


For the dough:

  • Rub butter with the flour, then make a well in the center, add the salt, water & egg yolk and knead into a dough.
  • Rest the dough for 1-2 hours in the fridge before use.

For the filling:

  • Sauté off the onion & mushroom in butter then deglaze with the non-alcoholic white wine & let cool.
  • Blanch the leek in salted water.
  • De-bone the rabbit, keep the back-loin, and then chop the rest of the meat.
  • Sear off the loin and wrap in the leek.
  • Mince some of the chicken & rabbit meat, add the cold onions, mushrooms, diced figs, pistachios, thyme, cream, egg & seasoning, combine well to farce.
  • Roll out the pate dough to fit the terrine mould or loaf tin & cut the top including 2 holes to pour in the aspic. When layered, add the bacon rashers so they overlap, then add the farce halfway. Press in the rabbit loins then top up with the rest of the farce. Close up with the over lapping bacon rashers then add the top pastry and tightly close the pate.
  • Decorate the top pastry to your liking then brush with egg wash before baking in a pre-heated oven at 160C for 45min or until the pate is cooked.
  • When cold, pour in the aspic and let it set, then slice and serve with the salad.

Daniel Hiltbrunner

Chef Daniel Hiltbrunner trained and worked in Switzerland. He has also worked in the USA, New Zealand, Japan and Australia before relocating to the United Arab Emirates. Chef Daniel’s work experience encompasses stand-alone fine dining restaurants, hotel openings with international hotel chains such as Hilton, Parkroyal, and Accor together with large scale production kitchens in Convention Centres. In Australia he was a member of the cooking competition committee for the Australian Chef Association (ACF). He was also a member of the Australian national culinary team for the 2008 Culinary Olympics in Erfurt, Germany. He is a certified Master Chef and certified WACS judge with extensive international judging experience. He is a member the prestigious Academy Culinaire de France and La Chaine des Rotisseurs (CDR).

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