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    Game Pie 2007

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    Game Pie 2007

    "We hold with the tradition that savoury pies are decorated and sweet ones not. I like to top ours with leaves - holly leaves at this time of year, and a Christmas message - but you can use any shapes you like."

    • Preparation time: 1 hour 40 minutes, plus 24 hours chilling
    • Cooking time: 40 minutes to 45 minutes
    • Total time: 2.3 hours to 2.4 hours, plus 24 hours chilling 30 minutes

    Serves: 8


    • 600g game casserole meat or any boneless meat from pheasant, partridge, pigeon or duck, cut into bite-size pieces
    • 200g Venison shoulder meat, cubed
    • 2 tbsp plain flour
    • 2 tbsp dripping
    • 2 onions, peeled and chopped
    • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
    • 200g smoked lardons
    • 200g mushrooms, sliced
    • 75g dried wild mushrooms, soaked in 150ml warm water
    • 200g chestnuts, peeled and sliced
    • 250ml chicken stock
    • 375ml red wine
    • 1 bouquet garni
    • 1 tbsp redcurrant jelly
    • 1 egg
    • 1 tbsp milk for beating with an egg
    • 350g puff pastry


    1. Toss the game meat and venison in seasoned flour. Melt the dripping in a large, ovenproof casserole, then add the floured meat and brown on all sides. Remove from the pan and set aside. Add the onions, garlic and lardons; sauté until lightly coloured. Add the mushrooms, drained wild mushrooms (reserve their soaking water) and chestnuts; sauté for a further 5 minutes. Add the stock, wine, water from the wild mushrooms, bouquet garni, redcurrant jelly and meat. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook gently for about 1 hour until the meat is tender. Allow to cool, and chill for 24 hours.
    2. Preheat the oven to 220°C/gas 7. Transfer the meat mixture to a deep, 30cm x 20cm pie dish. Place a pie funnel in the centre. Roll out the pastry to the thickness of a £1 coin - about 3mm. Brush the top lip of the pie dish with water and press on a 2cm strip of pastry. Brush with water, then lift the rolled pastry and lay it carefully over the pie dish. Press the edges to seal, make a hole in the centre around the pie funnel and trim the excess. Brush the surface with the egg wash. Cut out some decorative shapes from the pastry trimmings; arrange these on the surface, then glaze them.
    3. Put the pie in the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes until the pastry is golden and the pie is cooked through.

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