Saturday, 19 January 2008

Game Pie Redux

This week I discovered the joys of Waitrose RTC (reduced to clear): 2 packs of game casserole mix (partridge, pigeon, pheasant and mallard) reduced from £4.69 to 99p each. So I decided it was time to have another go at a raised game pie. I made quite a few variations to the Mark Hix recipe - added a finely diced leek, some smoked bacon lardons and some diced lamb kidney (because I had one from a meat box and neither of us are rapt with kidney). Unfortunately I realised at the bitter end that we were out of eggs, so I had to glaze with milk, which doesn't give nearly such a golden, appetising finish.

Still, it is out of the oven now and it smells nice. The filling again hasn't shrunk much, so I am not sure that I will be able to get any jelly into the crust, but I've run a knife around under the crust now while it is still warm and pliable, so I have hopes.

If, once cooled and jellied and sliced, it tastes good, I will post the recipe...

... and it tastes very good, so here is the recipe

Cold game pie

Serves 8-10 (or, in fact, 2 when snacked on for a week)

2tsp crushed juniper berries
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 medium leek, very finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
A good knob of butter
500g minced pork
200g diced smoked bacon
200g finely diced kidney (optional)
700g diced game meat (mixture of venison, rabbit, pheasant, partridge, pigeon and duck)
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
Freshly grated nutmeg
50ml dry sherry
3-4tbsp jelly (crabapple, wine or apple and chilli)
3tbs beef stock

For the hot-water crust

225ml water
200g lard
450g plain white flour
110g plain wholemeal flour
¾ tsp salt
1 small egg, beaten to glaze

Gently cook the onion, leek, garlic and juniper in the butter with a lid on for 2-3 minutes until soft.

Mix the diced meats with the pork (and kidney if using) and onion mixture, season to taste with salt, freshly ground white pepper and grated nutmeg and mix in the sherry.

Pre-heat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6. Mix the flours and salt in a bowl and make a well in the centre. Bring the water and lard to the boil in a saucepan, then stir it into the flour with a wooden spoon to form a smooth dough. Leave the dough covered for about 15 minutes until it is cooler, less sticky and easier to handle.

Grease an 18-20cm springform cake tin, line with baking parchment and place it on a baking tray (important, it will leak juices).

Take two-thirds of the dough and on a lightly floured table roll it into a circle about 1/3cm thick and about 25-26cm across, so it is large enough to line the cake tin and overlap the edge by a centimetre or so. Making sure there are no holes in the pastry, place the dough into the cake tin, carefully press into the corners and allow it to just hang over the edge. Roll the remaining dough into a circle just large enough for the top and cut a 2cm hole in the centre.

Pack the filling into the pastry, mounding it up a bit in the middle, and fold over the overlapping edges. Brush the edges with egg, then trim the edges with a knife and pinch the base and top pastry edges together with your forefinger and thumb to make a good join. Brush the top of the pie all over with the beaten egg and cook for 45 minutes. If it is colouring too much, cover with foil and turn the oven down. Remove the sides of the tin and brush the sides and top again with egg before baking for a further 15 minutes until nicely coloured. Remove from the oven and cool; then refrigerate for a couple of hours. Melt the jelly in a small saucepan with the stock until thick and syrupy, then leave to cool a little. Pour into the pie through the hole and melt more jelly if necessary; then leave to set again in the fridge. The pie will keep for about a week in the fridge.

1 comment:

lapetitepipistrelle said...

Loved reading this entry! ♥

I can see how well your additions of bacon and leek would be—the one for a smoky savour, the other for a subtle sweetness to enhance the rich game fowl.

Oh for that Teleportation Courier...


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