Game season is well and truly upon us, and for me that means pie! I like making game pie at home as a lot of pubs and restaurants tend to use rabbit or hare in their's and these are literally the only things in the world I don't eat, so I end up missing out. Game doesn't have to be scary, and if you choose something like the pre-packaged mixed game from Gressingham (I'm a big fan of their work) then you can't go wrong. Mine, below, was a mixture of pheasant, partridge and venison. I had a can of scrumpy left over from a NYE party two years ago, and you will also need onion, garlic, fresh sage, lazy pre-made puff pastry and some flour. The below made two good sized individual pies.
Start by caramelising your onion in a large pan with a knob of butter and the lid on over a low heat for 10 minutes or so. Add the garlic towards the end and then your diced game over a medium heat to get some colour onto the meat. When it's looking good, dust the contents of the pan with flour and stir in before adding about half the can of cider and maybe some chicken stock if you've got some handy. Leave to reduce down in the manner of a French onion soup. Have your oven on at about 200C to preheat. You should be left with something resembling this when it has adequately reduced - think good gravy consistency. Season to taste and sprinkle with finely chopped sage:
If your dish has a lid you can use this to cut out the correct size pastry. I would usually say that a pie must have a pastry top and bottom, but these are calorie cutting times and halving your pastry allowance goes a lot towards being thin! Place the pastry lid over your dish and use a fork to crimp the edges, pierce the middle for steam to escape and eggwash for shine.
Pop in the oven for 20 minutes and then see how its doing. Meanwhile make your sides. We had mashed swede (carb saving and yum) and some kale sauteed in red wine vinegar. Lovely winter warmer.
Cosy, comforting and a non-frightening way to enjoy game. Why not try as an alternative to your Sunday roast?