Rabbit & Pork Belly Terrine with Roasted Pomegranate Cippolines & Grapes

Rabbit & Pork Belly Terrine with Pomegranate Roasted Cippolini Onions & Grapes

It may be early week but I’m thinking of two parties coming up at week’s end; I’ve promised to bring appetizers to both. These are serious food loving folks; the kind of people who chew their food slowly, with intensity, deliberating if the subtle notes of juniper complement the tannins in the wine. I’m sweating at the brow. What to make?


Mincing garlic with a pinch of salt releases moisture making mincing easier.


I use a pestle to grind the herbs together.


Simmer Madeira into onion mixture until evaporated.


Evenly distribute seasonings and pistachios through meat.


Press mixture firmly into terrine.


Cover with strips of bacon.


Cut parchment paper to fit interior and press into meat mixture to adher.


Wrap top of terrine tightly with foil and place in a larger pan filled 2/3's with hot water.


After baking, pour off excess fat.


Weight terrine (be creative) and refrigerate 2 days for flavors to combine.


Peel cippolini onions.


Toss grapes and onions with pomegranate molasses before roasting.


Separate onion layers with fingers; cut in half if large.


This relish would also be delish served with poultry and game.

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A friend I  see at the gym, Reynold Lowe (the owner of the fabulously appointed antique furniture and lighting store, Materials Unlimited), provided the answer. We regularly discuss culinary delicacies as we work-out, and he rhapsodized over the Rabbit Terrine his family enjoyed on Thanksgiving. That’s it – a lovely terrine – I haven’t made one in years; the perfect complement to elegant wines. Alas, I wasn’t able to procure his recipe prior to my having cobbled and ordered ingredients for another, but it was similar in spirit.

Don’t let terrines fool you. Really, they’re just meat loaves, kicked up several notches. My recipe was inspired by something that looked fairly simple to make, but had ingredients I imagined would produce something quite grand. It’s from Miles Collins, a British chef, but the “recipe” makes a lot of assumptions about the cook’s culinary ability. I think Chef would approve my more exact interpretation, especially if he sampled it with the Roasted Pomegranate Cippolines and Grapes. (The recipes in his food blog, by the way, sound marvelous.)

I purchased the rabbit and pork belly from Sparrow Meats in Kerrytown. I ordered it late last week giving them instructions to grind the meat for classic French-styled country paté. (They get these types of requests frequently.) It’s hard to find dried juniper berries; but not so if you’re in Kerrytown. The Spice Merchants (upstairs from Sparrow Meats) sells them crushed and whole, as well as any other spices your cupboard may lack. Everyday Wines stocks 1/2 bottles of Madeira.

Experience has taught me that terrines need two solid days sitting in the refrigerator to develop their flavor profile. They hold up a good week or so after that. So if I make the Rabbit Terrine today, I can make the Crostini tomorrow (those keep a week in a tin, too) and the Roasted Ciopollini Onion and Grapes with Pomegranate Syrup on Wednesday (recipe below), which will improve with age. With these three items at the ready, I can put together elegant appetizers through the weekend in minutes.

Since my appetizer remains constant through the week, hopefully the guest lists will be different at the parties I attend. Though I wouldn’t be adverse to savoring this lovely treat daily. As long as I eat oatmeal every morning and hit the gym, I’m good.

Recipe: Rabbit & Pork Belly Terrine with Roasted Pomegranate Cippolines and Grapes


  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion (1 small onion)
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground juniper berries
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground fennel seeds
  • 1/2 cup Madeira
  • 2- 2 1/2 pounds coarse ground rabbit (include livers)*
  • 2 slabs (about 1/2 pound) course ground pork belly*
  • 1/4-1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/4-1/2 tablespoon ground pepper
  • 1/3 cup (shelled) coarsely chopped pistachios
  • 3 slices raw bacon
  • Terrine
  • Parchment Paper


  1. Preheat oven to 350˚.
  2. Place onion, garlic, thyme, juniper berries, fennel and Madiera in a heavy bottomed pan. Bring to a boil and cook until Madiera has been absorbed. Let cool.
  3. Sprinkle 1/4 tablespoon of kosher salt and 1/4 tablespoon pepper over rabbit and pork belly and thoroughly combine. Fry a pinch in a sauté pan and taste. Add additional salt and pepper to mixture if desired. (I used 1/2 tablespoon of each.)
  4. Thoroughly combine onion mixture with meat mixture and pistachios; make sure pistachios are well-distributed into the meat. Press meat mixture into a lightly oiled terrine. Place bacon lengthwise over meat mixture. Cut parchment to fit over terrine and press into mixture. Wrap tightly in foil and place in another baking dish, larger than the terrine, which is filled 3/4 with hot water.
  5. Bake on center rack of oven until it reaches an internal temperature of 160˚-170˚, about 80-90 minutes.(Temping unfortunately causes a bit of flavorful juices to escape. If you’re confident your oven temperature is accurate, bake the terrine 80 minutes and you should be fine.)
  6. When cool enough to handle, remove foil and pour off excess fat. (The flavorful juices may be used later for a sauce or soup.) Remove terrine from dish, tightly cover, and refrigerate two days for flavors to combine. Slice and serve, at room temperature, with baguette slices or crostini; accompanied with cornichons, coarse mustards or Roasted Pomegranate Cippolines and Grapes (recipe follows).

*A reputable charcuterie or butcher can provide this for you (I purchased my mixture from Bob Sparrow in Kerrytown, giving him advance notice). I requested that two boned rabbits, their livers, and a couple of slabs of pork belly be put into the mincer. This worked out to be about 2 1/4 pounds of total meat.

Active Time: 50 minutes

Bake Time: 80 minutes

Rest Time (refrigerated): 48 hours, if time allows

Number of servings (yield): 1 terrine

Copyright © Peggy Lampman’s dinnerFeed.

Recipe: Roasted Pomegranate Cippolini and Grapes


  • 3 cups washed, small, seedless red grapes, plus an additional small bunch of grapes for garnish, if desired
  • 16 small cippolini onions, peeled (slice off root and stem ends, then dip in boiling water 30 seconds for easier peeling)
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate molasses, divided
  • Grand Marnier, optional


  1. Preheat oven to 350˚.
  2. Line a cooking sheet with parchment paper, oiled foil or a silpat.
  3. Coat grapes with 1/4 cup of molasses. Brush additional molasses over bunch of grapes, if using.
  4. Roast on middle rack of oven until just shriveled but not collapsed, 20-35 minutes, depending on size. Remove from oven and reserve.
  5. Coat cippolinis with remaining molasses and season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Change paper or foil if burnt. Roast 10 minutes. Remove from oven and, with prongs, turn over. Continue roasting until onions are well-browned, just tender and caramelized, an additional 10-20 minutes, depending on size.
  6. When onions are cool enough to handle, separate layers with fingers and cut larger onions in half.
  7. Combine onions with grapes. If desired, pulse until a coarse texture in processor and season to taste with Grand Marnier.  (This mixture may be made several days prior to serving.)

Active Time: 10 minutes

Total Roasting Times: 45-60 minutes

Number of servings (yield): 2 packed cups

Copyright © Peggy Lampman’s dinnerFeed.

More Recipes Filed Under "Cold appetizers"

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