Quick terrine a l’Italienne

mixed meat terrine with pork, veal, ham, mortadella

GALANTINA. This is one of those recipes for which I’ll be grateful forever. It’s easy to make, can be prepared in advance, it’s a crowd pleaser and – with the appropriate presentation – it’s actually quite fancy, great for parties and holidays.
My mum called this dish galantina, but technically speaking this is a terrine . A galantine is made by stuffing de-boned fowl with a mixture of meat, eggs, spices. It’s then poached and served cold in aspic. It’s an ancient dish probably developed to use and add flavor to inferior cuts of meat. A similar preparation is mentioned as early as the 4th century AD  in the bible of aristocratic Roman cuisine, De Re Coquinaria.
A terrine is basically a galantine without the bird outside. Terra means Earth in Latin. The name terrine derives from the earthenware pot used to cook the stuffing.
This is a relatively light terrine baked in a loaf mold with no lining of fat, nor marinades or weighing after cooking. Simple, Italian style.

  • 200 gr (1/2 lb) each lean pork, veal, turkey breast
  • 100 gr (3.5 oz)  each mortadella (the real Italian one, not bologna), cured ham, grated Parmesan
  • 2 eggs and one yolk
  • salt, pepper and nutmeg
  • a 1.3 lt. (5-cup) terrine mold or loaf pan
Find a kind butcher. Ask him to grind all the meats together. Alternatively buy ground meat and chop ham and mortadella very finely.
Preheat oven at 180 °C (350 °F).
Mix the ground meats, eggs, Parmesan, a pinch grated nutmeg, a sprinkle of black pepper and 1 teaspoons salt in a large bowl.
Butter generously a terrine or loaf mold. Fill terrine evenly with ground-meat mixture, making sure it is compact. Cover the terrine tightly with a double layer of foil.

Place it in a deep roasting tin, then pour around enough just-boiled water to come halfway up. Bake in the oven for about 1 1/2 hours or until a fine skewer inserted into the centre comes out hot and the juices run clear.
Take the terrine out of the bain-marie and leave to cool at room temperature for 3–4 hours. If you need to keep it, chill it before slicing for up to 2 days.
Cut in 1 cm (1/2 inch) thick slices. I always serve them on an oval plate surrounded by spoonfuls of lovely peas and ham.
Makes 24 slices, serves 8.


  1. Letizia, I admire how you research the history of the food you write about! The galantine has such an interesting history, but I think I would also prefer your more simple terrine, without the bird casing!

    • Grazie Sandra! The turkey skin is actually quite delicious when the galantina is slowly roasted, but one needs so much work for it, I’d rather go for a regular roast. This galantina can be done by anyone and any time. As you know I love dishes that make my life easier!

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