This pie is made with some prepared packets of wild game casserole meat that I was delighted to stumble upon in my local M&S. You could make it with any mixture of game
-this one I used comprised pheasant, partridge and rabbit- although I wouldn’t mix venison in with birds or rabbits. You can make the pie filling well in advance –in fact you need to make it a little ahead of time as the filling should cool before being topped with the pastry.
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 770g wild game casserole meat (see intro)
- 4 pork sausages, skinned and rolled into gobstopper-sized balls
- 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 medium-sized carrots, peeled and finely chopped
- 30g butter
- 3 heaped tablespoons flour
- 600ml chicken stock
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon juniper berries, crushed
- 150g button mushrooms, halved
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped flat leaf parsley
- 375g puff pastry
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon milk
- Heat one tablespoon of the oil in a flameproof casserole dish and brown the game meat in batches, for about 2-3 minutes. Set aside. Brown the sausage balls in the casserole for 2-3 minutes until evenly coloured-you shouldn’t need any oil as the sausagemeat will release oil on heating. Add to the game meat.
- Heat another tablespoon of oil in the casserole dish and sauté the onion and carrots for about 10 minutes, until softened and lightly coloured. Add the butter to the vegetables and melt. Stir in the flour and cook for one minute. Gradually stir in the stock and bring to the boil, stirring until thickened. Add the bay leaf and juniper berries and stir in the meat. Season with salt and ground black pepper. Cover with a lid and leave the dish to simmer gently for 45 minutes.
- Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a frying pan and brown the mushrooms over a lively heat –about 3-4 minutes. When the casserole has finished cooking, take off the heat and remove the bay leaf. Stir in the parsley and mushrooms. Taste and season again if necessary. Spoon into a pie dish and leave to cool.
- Heat the oven to fan 190˚c, mark 6. Cover the pie with the puff pastry. Mix the egg yolk with the milk and brush the top of the pastry with the glaze. Bake in the oven for about 25-30 minutes until the pastry is puffed and golden brown. Serve with mashed potatoes and celeriac and braised cabbage.