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Pork and fruit terrine will make an ideal emergency starter

An easy terrine flavoured with culinary spices will save the day if guests turn up unannounced

There are always occasions over the festive season when friends and loved ones turn up unannounced - and it often coincides with mealtimes.

However, cooks can still impress them with their culinary skills if they have some ready-made dishes seasoned with culinary spices to whip out at any opportunity.

In an extract from his new book Kitchen Diaries II published by the Observer, celebrity chef Nigel Slater recommends making a coarse pork and fruit terrine flavoured with garlic and thyme on or around December 18th, as it will keep for "a week or more".

To start, finely chop onion and garlic and cook them with butter until they are soft before transferring them to a mixing bowl.

Add minced pork and chopped liver, followed by thyme and mace, then season with salt and pepper and mix in the hazelnuts, fruit and brandy.

Press everything into the terrine dish, cover with greaseproof paper and foil, put it all in a roasting tin of water and then cook for one-and-a-half hours.

The resulting dish can be cooled overnight and then put in the fridge, ready to serve as an easy yet impressive starter.

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