Gefilte Fish Terrine

Please remember that the Jeffalites were one of the lost tribes.
Serves about 16 people
Shopping List

1 whole pike (about 3 pounds before cleaning)

1 whole whitefish (about 3 pounds before cleaning)

Vegetable oil (for greasing a mold)

4 large onions, divided

4 large carrots, divided

6 TBL matzo meal

4 large eggs

1 lemon

1 bunch parsley

1 bunch chives

1 cup fish stock (if not purchasing whole fish)


p>white pepper


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ATTNYou can purchase other kinds of fish, but the mixture of pike, whitefish and carp is very common. If you like ocean fish, halibut-salmon (in the ratio of 2:1) can be found in Joan Nathan’s recipe, which is the inspiration for this one. You should end up with about 3 pounds of fish fillets.

Ask the fish monger to gut and fillet the fish for you. They should remove the skin from the fillets. ATTN Be sure they give you the head, tail, skin and bones back, wrapped separately from the fish. Wash the skin, bones, etc with cold water until the blood has been removed and place them in a stock pot. Add

  • 2 onions, peeled and cut in half
  • 2 large carrots, cut in thirds
  • 2 tsp salt
  • ground pepper

Add just enough cold water to cover and bring to a boil and lower immediately to a simmer. After 20 minutes of simmering gently, remove from heat. Strain stock and reserve. Discard everything left in the strainer. Chill the stock until needed. This recipe only uses a small amount, so you will probably want to freeze the rest and use it to make a nice fish soup or risotto.

Preheat the oven to 350º F. Find a roasting or baking pan large enough to hold the mold you will be using. The mold should be about 10 cups capacity, like a bundt cake or spring-form pan with a center column. (I dislike silicone molds, but that’s what Joan Nathan used.) Grease the mold with a small amount of

  • vegetable oil (spray oil works well)

Fill the roasting pan with 1″ to 1½” of water, heat it on the stovetop to almost the boiling point and then ATTNcarefully transfer it to the heating oven.

Combine in a small bowl and set aside

  • 6 TBL matzo meal
  • 1 cup fish stock, at room temperature

Using a meat grinder, grind

  • 3 pounds fish fillets
  • 3 onions

Rinse and pluck

  • ½ cup parsley leaves (you only want the leaves, no stems)

Rinse and add

  • 1 bunch chives

And chop the herbs finely.

In food processor, chop

  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks

You may add the herbs if you don’t think you chopped them finely by hand, but I have to say that the herbs tend to be chopped better by hand, especially the chives.

In the bowl of an elecric mixer, combine the ground fish-onion mixture, chopped carrots, herbs, matzo meal/fish stock mixture and

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 TBL lemon juice
  • 2½ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground white pepper

Run the mixture with a paddle in the mixer for 10 minutes, stopping once or twice to stir down the mixture and clean the paddle. At the end, place 1 spoonful of the mixture in the microwave oven for 40-60 seconds . When it’s cooked, taste it, and adjust the seasonings as needed.

The mold, about to go into the oven.

Fill the greased mold with the mixture, smoothing the top. Transfer the mold into the roasting pan in the oven. The water only needs to come up about 1″ to 2″ on the side of the mold.  Bake for about one hour: it will be firm to the touch. ATTN If your mold has center opening (like a Bundt cake pan), one hour should be enough, but without the center opening it will probably take a bit longer to finish cooking.


The cooked terrine, with freshly-grated horseradish.

Remove from pan and allow to cool for 15-20 minutes. If your mold has straight sides, cut around the edges. Place a plate on top of the mold and inver the whole thing ATTN using caution as some water is definitely going to pour out of the mold when you do this. It may need a shake to loosen it from the mold. Drain away any excess liquid and chill several hours or overnight. Garnish with dill sprigs and serve with horseradish.


Inspired by Joan Nathan’s Alaskan Halibut and Salmon Gefilte Fish Terrine


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