Raised game pie

15 Oct

Raised game pie
My heart sank when the Great British Bake-off contestants were set the task of making a raised game pie.

According to BBC Good Food (where I found this Paul Hollywood recipe), “a game pie always makes a spectacular centre piece and… is amazingly straightforward to make – especially if you buy mixed game meat ready-prepared from a good butcher.”

That may be so, but I found the idea pretty daunting. It took me a couple of weeks to raise the nerve to tackle one.

As I happened to have a pheasant in the freezer, I opted to use a mixture of that and venison for the meat.

I briefly considered buying a raised pie tin like the contestants used, but it seemed a waste for something I may only use once. Instead, I went with a 20cm springform cake tin.

While I would never describe the process as “amazingly straightforward”, it was a surprising amount of  fun. I particularly enjoyed working with the hot water pastry, which seems more forgiving than regular pastry.

My pie did spring a small leak, resulting in a bit of sogginess in one spot. But overall, I was pretty proud of the final result. Maybe I will be making another raised pie…

Raised game pie

For the filling:

  • 1 white onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 700g diced game meat (I used a mixture of venison and pheasant)
  • 200g minced pork belly
  • 200g back bacon, diced
  • 2 Tb Madeira wine
  • ½ tsp ground mace
  • ½ tsp ground allspice
  • 2 Tb chopped parsley
  • 2 tsp thyme
  • salt and pepper

For the pastry:

  • 450g plain flour
  • 100g strong white bread flour
  • 75g cold unsalted butter, diced
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 100g lard, plus extra for greasing
  • 1 egg, beaten, to glaze
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°C/200°F. Grease a 20cm spring-form cake tin (about 7cm deep) with lard.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the shallot, garlic, game, pork belly mince, diced bacon, Madeira, spices and herbs. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Using your hands, mix all the ingredients together.
  4. For the hot water crust pastry, combine the flours in a bowl, add the butter and rub in by hand.
  5. In a small pot, heat 200ml of water, the salt and lard until it just boils. Pour the mixture into the flour and mix. Once cool enough to handle, tip onto a lightly floured surface and knead into a smooth dough.
  6. Working quickly, cut off two-thirds of the pastry, roll it out and use to line the tin, leaving any excess hanging over the edge. Ensure there are no cracks or holes. Roll out the remaining pastry for the lid.
  7. Spoon the filling evenly into the tin, pressing it firm.
  8. Brush the edge of the pastry with beaten egg, then position the lid on top. Pinch the edges to seal and trim off the excess pastry. Brush the top with egg. Make a hole in the middle of the lid for steam to escape.
  9. Place the pie on a baking tray and bake for 30 minutes. Turn the oven down to 325F/160C and bake for a further 1¾ hours.
  10. Allow the pie to cool completely in the tin before removing. Serve at room temperature.

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7 Responses to “Raised game pie”

  1. The Culinary Jumble October 15, 2015 at 1:35 pm #

    Oh wow! How stunning and delicious does that pie look?!

    • Andrea October 15, 2015 at 2:08 pm #

      Thank you! I was both surprised and pleased at how well it came out. Could even see myself making another one…;-)

  2. Tanushree Ghosh October 15, 2015 at 5:35 pm #

    wow!! This looks so good. It’s beautiful!

    • Andrea October 15, 2015 at 6:18 pm #

      Thank you so much! It was my first time working with hot water pastry and I really enjoyed it.

  3. Yana October 20, 2015 at 9:46 am #

    Wow, Andrea, this is one GOOD LOOKING PIE!! Great effort! 🙂

    • Andrea October 20, 2015 at 3:15 pm #

      Thank you, Yana — I was very surprised and pleased by how well it turned out!

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