The first week of March each year is British Pie Week; a week to celebrate one of Britain's favorite foods and one we have been enjoying for centuries. Each year a competition, sponsored by Jus-Rol, a popular brand of pastry in the UK, searches the nation looking for a pie, worthy to win the British Pie Challenge.
One winner was Ashley Robbins at the Keystone in Guildford for this hearty Game Pie recipe. Many have since gone on to win the challenge, but this still remain a classic, hearty recipe.
British game is in season in the autumn, you wil lbe able to buy it from a good butcher, and also online. In the recipe, use whichever game you most enjoy, a mixture of different meat is recommended though.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours, 10 minutes
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2.2lbs/1 kg mixed game (inc. venison, rabbit, pheasant and pigeon)
- 2 large red onions, peeled and diced
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
- 4 ½ oz/120g smoked back bacon, diced
- 4 ½ oz/120g field mushrooms, sliced
- 1 oz/25g all purpose/plain flour
- 4 bay leaves
- Zest and juice of an orange
- 1 tbsp redcurrant jelly
- 300 ml chicken stock
- 70ml Port wine
- Salt and pepper
- 1.2kg shortcrust pastry
- 1 free-range egg, beaten
- Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large pan, brown the game meat in batches, keep to one side.
- Heat the rest of the oil, cook the onions until starting to soften but not color. Add the garlic, bacon & mushrooms and cook for a further 2-3 minutes.
- Stir in the flour & cook for 2 minutes. Season well & stir in the bay leaves, orange juice & zest, redcurrant jelly, stock & port.
- Bring to the boil, add the meat & simmer gently for 1 hour or until the meat is tender. Allow to cool.
- Heat the oven to Gas 5.
- Flour the inside of metal skillet – do not grease. Roll out enough pastry to fit the inside of the skillet plus 1/2"/1cm. Gently press the pastry base into the skillet leaving an overhang of 1/2"/1cm. Fill the pastry case with the meat mixture. Roll out the remaining pastry for a lid. Brush the top edge of the pastry base with beaten egg & lay the pastry lid on top. Press down edges with the end of a spoon. Cut a steam hole in the center. Brush the pastry with beaten egg to glaze.
- Bake for 30 minutes on bottom shelf of the oven followed by 30 minutes on top shelf, until the pastry is golden brown & the filling piping hot.