Traditional Christmas or modern Christmas? Turkey and Ham Terrine

The difference between a traditional and a modern Christmas menu is just like the difference between my mother in law and I. She is old-fashioned and honest; I’m creative and multi-cultural. Which is best? Roast vs. seafood? Pudding vs. chilled desserts? or bit of both?

There are some really good traditions in my extended family. They always try to all sit on one long pew at the Christmas eve church service. The number is getting bigger, it’s almost impossible now. My MIL always asks everyone in the family to stir the Christmas pudding and make a wish. I remember one year, I had to work on the night she was making the pudding, she drove to my work with the mixing bowl for me to stir, how lovely!

She is cooking whole turkey and ham again this year, and the pudding is already made. Can I add something to her menu? Last year I made a Cherry Pavlova, it was a very good alternative to those whom don’t like pudding. This year we were asked to bring some nibbles before the meal, anti-pasto it is, super easy! Or maybe this one – Turkey and Ham Terrine? I made it once for a Christmas dinner party with friends and it was so nice and looks beautiful!~!!

Turkey and Ham Terrine


250g pancetta
500g turkey fillet
300g turkey mince
300g ham
2 sprigs rosemary, roughly chopped
a small handful of parsley
1 sprig sage
3 fresh chilli,finely chopped
2 tsp salt
1/4 cup verjuice
Zest of 1 lemon
10 prunes
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup bread crumbs
2 tbsp olive oil


Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.

In a food processor, add the turkey mince, half of the herbs including rosemary, parsley, sage and chilli. Add 1 tsp of salt and 1/2 cup bread crumbs. Drizzle a little bit of olive oil. Mix well.

Dice the turkey fillet and ham into medium size squares. In a

large bowl, mix the diced turkey and ham with the other half of the herbs and the rest of the ingredients, including 1 tsp of salt, olive oil, verjuice, lemon zest, prunes & pine nuts. Use your hands to mix.

Spray a loaf tin with non-stick spray and line with baking paper and then plastic wrap, then line the base and sides with pancetta slices just overlapping each piece. Now let’s put the terrine mix in. There are 3 layers, the bottom(upside down, later become the top when serve) and the top layers should be turkey mince mixture. It’s because mince mixture with bread crumbs are solid and it will hold the shape well. The middle layer is the chunky turkey fillet and ham mixture. They look nice and taste great in chunks. Make sure you fill in the corners of the tin and firmly press by hand. Use more pancetta to cover the top and remember to overlap with the sides. Cover with the plastic wrap, then baking paper. Now we need to place some weight over it. Here is my little trick – place another loaf tin on the top, face up and place something heavy, like mortar and pestle in the top tin. Save you some bucks instead of buying a terrine mould.

For the plastic wrap, actually I’m not 100% sure whether you can leave it in. I was going to, but my husband was worried it will melt on the meat in the oven, so I took it out at the end. But I remember I read someone’s terrine recipe and they left it on. We cook the terrine in a water bath in the oven, so it’s not too hot. Maybe it’s ok?





Create a water bath by adding water in a large roasting tray, then sit the terrine tin in it. Cook in the oven for 1 hour – 1 hour and 15 minutes. Test with a wooden skewer or more accurately, when the

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internal meat temperature reaches 57 degrees. Remove from the oven and allow the terrine to rest in the water bath for 15 minutes until the internal temperature has reached 65 degrees. Maggie Beer said the magic temperature is 65-66 degrees finished internal temperature. I haven’t been able to master it yet.

Pour off any juices from the terrine and place into fridge to chill for several hours or overnight.

To impress your guests, decorate with fresh cranberries and baby rocket salad, looks just like holly :) I bought 1km frozen mixed berries and picked the cranberries out. Big job!

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3 Responses to Traditional Christmas or modern Christmas? Turkey and Ham Terrine

  1. Could you tell me what to do with the juices that are poured off. When cool should I
    pour over the cooked terrine?

  2. What should I do with the juices after they have cooled. Do I pour over the cooked terrine? Thanks

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