• 1 rabbit, or rabbit portions 6
  • 200g pork belly, roughly chopped
  • 50g butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 8 large leaves sage, plus a few whole leaves
  • 3 tbsp brandy
  • for grating nutmeg
  • 4 pickled walnuts, well drained (squeeze out excess vinegar if necessary)
  • finely chopped to make 1 tbsp parsley
  • 300g rindless smoked streaky bacon rashers


  • STEP 1

    Put the rabbit on a board and remove as much of the meat as possible from the bone with a small, sharp knife. Put the rabbit meat – you should have around 450g – in a food processor with the chopped pork belly. Blend to medium smooth (too smooth and the texture becomes inappropriate to the recipe). You may need to remove the lid and push the mixture down a couple of times with a spatula. Flop the mixture into a large bowl.

  • STEP 2

    Heat the oven to 180c/fan 160c/gas 4. Melt the butter in a frying pan and cook the onion and garlic with the shredded sage until soft and deep golden. Add the brandy and cook until it has evaporated. Tip the onion mixture into the rabbit mixture and stir it all together with a generous amount of salt, lots of freshly ground black pepper and a grate of nutmeg. Slice the pickled walnuts and toss them with the chopped parsley. Fry a little of the meat and check the seasoning.

  • STEP 3

    Line a 1.2 litre terrine or ovenproof dish with 3-4 sheets of clingfilm, leaving some overhanging the edge. Stretch each rasher of bacon on a board with the back of a knife and use to line the terrine or dish, allowing the rashers to overlap slightly and leaving some overhanging the sides. Cut the bacon in half to line the shorter ends of the terrine if necessary.

  • STEP 4

    Put a third of the rabbit mixture into the dish, top with half the walnuts and continue the layers ending with rabbit. Use the overhanging bacon to cover the terrine, working from one side to the other alternately, down the length of the dish.

  • STEP 5

    Cover with the overhanging clingfilm and a lid or tight-fitting foil. put in a small roasting tin. Add around 2cm depth of just-boiled water and carefully put in the centre of the oven. Bake for about 35-40 minutes. The terrine is ready when a clean metal skewer inserted into the centre and left for the count of 10 feels very warm – but not hot – when pressed against your lip.

  • STEP 6

    Lift the terrine carefully from the water, remove the lid (or foil) and cover the surface with a new folded piece of foil. place a heavy weight down the centre of the terrine to press it – if using a round dish, put a snug-fitting saucer on top before weighting. Cool for an hour then transfer to the fridge and leave for several hours, or overnight. Turn out and remove the clingfilm. Serve at room temperature in thick slices, with the whole sage leaves and plenty of hot buttered toast.


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