By Jane Curran
A game pie is a hearty and warming winter pie, making the most of traditional game meat that most of us don’t use nearly enough. You can now buy game pie mixes in some supermarkets, which will usually contain a mix of venison, rabbit, pheasant and sometime partidge. Combining the game meat with rich red wine and smoky bacon makes this game pie so tasty.
HOW TO MAKE GAME PIE
- Toss the game pie mix in the flour. Heat a sauté pan and fry the lardons until browned, then remove with a slotted spoon. Now heat the oil (you may not need all of it) and brown the game pie mix in batches. Remove to a pot with the lardons. Add the red wine.
- Heat any remaining oil and gently fry the onions and carrots. Add to the pot with the game pie mix. Now add the orange zest and juice, bay, juniper,beef stock and seasoning. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 3 hrs, covered.Once it’s all tender, strain through a colander. Return the liquid to the pan. Slacken the cornflour with a little water, add to the liquid and boil until thickened. Return the game mix to the sauce. You can freeze it at this point.
- When ready to serve, put the game mix into a pie dish. Heat the oven to 200C, gas 6. Roll out the pastry. Cut a thin strip of pastry and glaze the edge of the dish. Stick on the strip of pastry, glaze with egg, then top with the pastry. Glaze again with the egg and decorate (we made stars), then glaze again. Bake for 30-40 mins. The timing will depend on how hot your game pie mix was when it was put into the dish. Serve with seasonal vegetables.
- 2.5kg game pie mix (usually venison, rabbit and pheasant)
- 3tbsp seasoned flour
- 140g smoked bacon lardons
- 3tbsp oil
- 400ml red wine
- 2 large onions, chopped
- 400g carrots, in chunks
- zest and juice of 1 large orange
- 5 fresh bay leaves
- 6 juniper berries, lightly crushed
- 800ml rich beef stock
- 1tbsp cornflour
- 250g puff pastry, to top
- 1 beaten free-range egg, to glaze
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