So the game season has finished and I still had some knocking around in the freezer. I had some pheasant breasts, venison and a rabbit so I decided to cut off the meat and chuck them altogether in a pie. It was delicious and a nice nod to the end of the season until it returns in autumn winter. I love eating like this as you really look forward to different things in the different seasons. I doubt I will eat squashes, game or Brussel sprouts now until nearer the end of the year, though I can look forward to juicy tomatoes, strawberries, courgettes and much more in coming months.
Ingredients (serves 4)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 500g mixed game meat, cut into chunks
- 75g pack smoked pancetta or bacon
- 2 banana shallots, peeled and finely chopped
- 250g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 large garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
- 6 juniper berries
- 4 cloves
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 3 tbsp plain flour
- 1 tbsp sun dried tomato purée
- 330ml bottle of pale ale
- 500ml chicken stock
- Seasoning to taste
- 1 pack of ready rolled puff pastry
- Milk for brushing pastry
- Heat the oil in a heavy based lidded pan or casserole pot, add the game mix and brown all over for around 4-5 minutes, set aside on a plate.
- In the same pan brown the lardons for a few minutes, remove with a slotted spoon and place with the browned meat leaving behind the fat.
- Add the shallots and mushrooms to the bacon fat and cook for about 8 minutes until soft. There should be enough liquid from the mushrooms to stop them catching but if not add a splash of water. Add the bay leaves and garlic and cook for a further minute until fragrant.
- Grind the juniper and cloves add to the pan along with the ground ginger, flour and browned game and lardons. Give it a good stir to coat everything and cook out the flour for a couple of minutes.
- Add the tomato purée and ale, bring to the boil then simmer for 5 minutes to reduce.
- Add the chicken stock and water if needed to submerge the stew. Taste and season, bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer, put on lid and simmer for 1 1/2 hours.
- Heat the oven to 200 degrees fan. Uncover the meat and simmer for another 30 minutes until the sauce has thickened.
- Tip the meat mixture into a pie dish. Roll the pastry over the top and seal by crimping the edges with your fingers. Cut a small cross in the center of the pie to let the steam out. Make any pattern with the extra pastry and place on top.
- Brush the lid with milk or egg wash and bake for 30 minutes. Enjoy 😊