A Good Common English Game Pie

Baked 2 hours.

Method

Raise the flesh entire from the upper side of the best end of a well-kept neck of venison, trim it to the length of the dish in which the pie is to be served, and rub it with a mixture of salt, cayenne, pounded mace, and nutmeg. Cut down into joints a fine young hare which has hung from eight to fourteen days, bone the back and thighs, and fill them with forcemeat No. 1, but put into it a double portion of butter, and a small quantity of minced eschalots, should their flavour be liked, and the raw liver of the hare, chopped small. Line the dish with a rich short crust, lay the venison in the centre, and the hare closely round and on it; fill the vacant spaces with more forcemeat, add a few spoonsful of well-jellied gravy, fasten on the cover securely, ornament it or not, at pleasure, and bake the pie for two hours in a well heated oven. The remnants and bones of the hare and venison may be stewed down into a small quantity of excellent soup, or with a less proportion of water into an admirable gravy, part of which, after having been cleared from fat, may be poured into the pie. The jelly, added to its contents at first, can be made, when no such stock is at hand, of a couple of pounds of shin of beef, boiled down in a quart of water, which must be reduced quite half, and seasoned only with a good slice of lean ham, a few peppercorns, seven or eight cloves, a blade of mace, and a little salt. One pound and a half of flour will be sufficient for the crust; this, when it is so preferred, may be laid round the sides only of the dish, instead of entirely over it. The prime joints of a second hare may be substituted for the venison when it can be more easily procured; but the pie made entirely of venison, without the forcemeat, will be far better.

Obs.—These same ingredients will make an excellent raised pie, if the venison be divided and intermixed with the hare: the whole should be highly seasoned, and all the cavities filled with the forcemeat No. 18,* or with the truffled sausage-meat. The top, before the paste is laid over, should be covered with slices of fat. bacon, or with plenty of butter, to prevent the surface of the meat from becoming hard. No liquid is to be put into the pie until after it is baked, if at all. It will require from half to a full hour more of the oven than if baked in a dish.

* The second or third forcemeat mentioned under this No. (18), would be the most appropriate for a game pie.

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