Culloden House Highland Game Pie

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Serves

    8

Appears in

Floyd on Britain & Ireland

By Keith Floyd

Published 1988

  • About

This is a hearty winter pâté baked in a large rectangular dish a good 14 in. (35 cm) long – the kind of thing that’s well worth making for a Christmas buffet. You will have to order the venison fillets from your butcher, unless you are lucky enough to own a private hunting lodge!

This is really good served cold with a purée of blackberries, so if you are one of those people who are sensible enough to keep a little bottled fruit from the summer or indeed even a few frozen blackberries, put about 1 lb (500 g) of them in a saucepan with the juice of 1 lemon and a couple of ounces (50 g or so) of caster sugar and simmer them until they are all mushy – don’t add any other liquid. Liquidise and strain through a very fine sieve. Allow to cool. To serve, put a little of this sauce on each plate. Lay a slice of the terrine on the sauce and garnish with a finely chopped winter salad – say, endive, crisp lettuce, a bit of frisée and some small pieces of tomato, nicely chopped together in nut oil and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb (500 g) venison, minced
  • 1 lb (500 g) pork, minced
  • 1 lb (500 g) smoked back bacon, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon mixed herbs (rosemary, thyme, parsley)
  • 6 juniper berries, crushed
  • Grated rind of ½ lemon
  • Grated rind of ½ orange
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 tablespoons oil
  • 4 oz (125 g) shallots, finely chopped
  • 3 fl oz (75 ml) Cognac
  • 2 × 6-7 in. (13-17.3 cm) fillets venison

For the pastry

  • 2 lb (1 kg) flour
  • ¼ oz (7 g) salt
  • 1 lb (500 g) lard
  • Water to mix
  • Beaten egg and milk to glaze

Method

First make the pastry. Sieve the flour and salt and rub in the fat. Add sufficient water to make a firm dough. Roll out the pastry into a large rectangle. Cut out one piece of pastry slightly bigger than the top of the terrine to form a lid. Use the rest of the pastry to carpet the bottom and sides of the terrine, leaving a little overlap on the sides so that later you can pinch the top on.

Meanwhile, with the exception of the 2 fillets of venison, mix all the other ingredients together. Allow to stand for 1 hour at room temperature. Fill half the terrine with the mixture, then lay the venison fillets from end to end down the middle (you might find that you have one long fillet and do not need 2 bits – you can never tell with these things). Now add the rest of the mixture, put on the pastry lid and pinch it with your fingers in an attractive shape all the way around the edges. Paint the top with an egg and milk wash and pop into the oven at gas mark 3 to 4, 325° to 350°F (160° to 180°C), for about 2 hours. (You may need to cover the pastry with foil to prevent it burning during long cooking.) Check that the pastry is cooked by gently pushing a knife down the side between it and the tin. If it’s OK, leave the pie to cool completely before tipping it out and serving.