“Traditionally this was made with a hot water crust pastry, but I have found this pastry works as a simpler, delicious alternative. The flavour of game at this time of year is very tasty and this makes a fantastic seasonal dish. Serve it with a sweet, tart garnish, like piccalilli.”
Bruce Wilson, head chef Paternoster Chop House
Pastry ingredients: (makes two large 20cm pies or six small 12cm pies)
- 125g butter
- 125g lard
- 500g plain flour
- 20g salt
- 4 medium egg yolks
- 100-150ml ice cold water
Pre-heat the oven to 160°C.
Rub together the fat, flour and salt to the stage where it resembles breadcrumbs.
Add as much egg yolk and water as it takes to form the mixture into a dough (do not overwork). Cut in two, wrap in clingfilm and place in the fridge to chill.
Roll out the pastry and line the pie dishes then chill for 20 minutes.
Blind bake for 10-12 minutes at 160°C then reduce to 140°C for a further 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and glaze with a little egg yolk then return to the oven for a final 1-2 minutes.
Roll out the rest of the pastry and cut into disks large enough to cover the form lids for the pies.
Ingredients for the filling (enough for the pastry above):
- 1 leek, chopped
- 2 generous sprigs of thyme
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 50g duck fat
- 1 tsp fennel seed, crushed
- 1 tsp juniper berries, crushed
- 1 tsp allspice, ground
- 100ml port
- 1 mallard duck, plucked and drawn*
- 1 pheasant, plucked and drawn*
- 1 partridge, plucked and drawn*
- 50g bacon fat, minced
- 100g pork mince
- 150g venison mince
- freshly milled pepper
- 3 egg yolks, beaten
* If you are not comfortable stripping meat off the bone of game birds, ask your butcher to do so for you
Method for the filling:
Sweat the leek, thyme, onion and garlic in the fat. Once soft, add the fennel seed, juniper berries and allspice.
Deglaze the pan with the port and reduce, before taking it off the heat and leaving to cool.
Take all the game off the bone. Put the leg meat into a food processor and blitz into a rough mince, then mix in the bacon fat, pork mince and venison mince. Dice up the breasts of the game birds and add to your mixture.
Next, add the beaten egg, cooked leek and onion, season and mix thoroughly, either with your hands or a wooden spoon.
Split the mixture between your blind-baked pastry cases. Egg-wash the lip, place the lid on top and gently seal the edges by pressing.
Finally, egg wash the pies and bake at 155°C for 35-45 minutes then leave to cool before serving.
Homemade hot buttered crumpets from Bruce at Paternoster Chop House> READ MORE
A recipe from Bruce Wilson, head chef at Paternoster Chop House> READ MORE