Preparation info

  • Serves

    4–6

    • Difficulty

      Complex

Appears in

The Times Calendar Cookbook

By Katie Stewart

Published 1977

  • About

Use tender young game and lean steak in game pie so that the cooking time can be completed within the 1½ hours. Grouse, venison, pigeon or a mixture of game could also be used.

Ingredients

  • 1 plump pheasant
  • 1 onion
  • salt and freshly milled pepper
  • 4 tablespoons red wine
  • 225 g/8 oz lean steak
  • 3–4 rashers lean bacon
  • seasoned flour
  • 25 g/1 oz dripping or white cooking fat
  • 100 g/4 oz mushrooms
  • pinch dried herbs
  • 225 g/8 oz puff or flaky pastry
  • egg for glazing

    Method

    Cut the flesh from the pheasant, removing as much bone as possible. Place the wings and backbone in a saucepan. Add half the onion and a seasoning of salt and pepper. Add cold water to cover the carcass and bring to the boil. Skim and simmer gently for 1 hour. Strain and then boil rapidly to reduce and concentrate the game stock to about 3 dl (1 pint). Meanwhile cut the game flesh into neat pieces. Place in a shallow dish and add the remaining half onion, finely chopped. Season with salt and pepper and add the red wine. Leave to marinate until ready to use.

    Cut the steak into strips, trim and chop the bacon rashers. Toss the steak in seasoned flour and add to the hot fat in a frying pan. Fry gently until browned. Lift the steak from the pan and place in a 1-litre (-pint) pie dish along with the chopped bacon, trimmed mushrooms and the pieces of game drained from the marinade. Add the herbs.

    To the hot fat in the frying pan add about 1 level tablespoon of the seasoned flour. Stir over gentle heat until the flour has absorbed the fat and cooked to a good brown colour. Carefully stir in the reserved game stock and the strained marinade. Bring to the boil and simmer, stirring well to make a good gravy. Check for seasoning and then strain into the pie dish.

    Roll out the pastry and cut a top for the pie. Use the trimmings to line the greased pie dish rim. Damp the pastry rim and cover with the pastry top. Knock up the pie edges and brush the whole pie with lightly mixed egg. Make a hole in the centre and arrange an attractive decoration cut from any remaining pastry pieces.

    Put the pie to bake above centre in a hot oven (220°C., 425°F., Gas Mark 7) for 30 minutes. Then lower the oven heat to moderate (180°C., 350°F., Gas Mark 4) and bake for a further hour. Cover the pie top with greased paper or foil if it begins to brown too much. Serve hot.