Game Pie using Pheasant.

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A brace of birds is usual payment for working your dogs on a shoot.

The brace of pheasant I used for this pie were birds I received as payment for working my dogs on a shoot last Friday. They had hung too long for me as roasting birds so I decided to use the breasts and legs to make a game Pie.

After preparing the birds set them aside, turn the oven on to preheat  and make the pastry. Regular shortcrust pastry is fine. I used 12 oz self-raising flour to 6 0z full fat butter. Set aside to rest in a cool place.

Meanwhile chop an onion and at least 2 cloves of garlic. Peel and chop into fairly small pieces 2 potatoes.

Melt a generous knob of butter on a pan and add in the pheasant joints to brown. Remove from the heat to cool slightly and add in the onion and garlic to soften in the juices. Also add some chilli flakes, salt, pepper and Lea and Perrins Worchester sauce ( invaluable ingredient)…

Remove the onion and add a carton of the small bacon pieces from Lidl. These are great as they come ready chopped, have plenty of rind and are slightly smoked.

Shred the meat into smallish pieces and add it and the onion mix to the bacon pieces. Pour in a generous slug of Tawny Port and about 300mls of chicken or pheasant stock. Turn the heat down and allow the sauce to reduce slightly.

Par boil the potatoes.

Line a deep pie dish with some of the pastry and once the potatoes are ready add them to the meat mix and pour everything into the pastry lined pie dish.

Cover with a lid of pastry, glaze with some melted butter and place in the pre-heated oven at 180 degrees celcius for about an hour.

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The true test of a great pie is will it hold shape the next day??

Remove from the oven and serve with a suitable French Red Wine. There will be quite an excess of juices left when serving hot straight from the oven.

Of course the true  test of a good Game pie is the following day when all of those excess juices have soaked into the pastry crust and the layers hold their shape when cut through….it did 🙂 and my recommendation for today’s cold pie is a deliciously cold bottle of Jarv’s homemade Apple Cider made using some of the apples from our own trees. Bliss….

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Jarv’s homemade cider.

Oven cooked teal with a hint of the orient.

Time for another recipe.

Teal has a very delicate flavour

Teal has a very delicate flavour

This week my friend Malcolm presented me with six teal all oven -ready, ( gotta love friends like that…).

They are a lovely bird to eat but can be easily overcooked which ruins the flavour and dries out the meat. The game cookery book suggests cooking them whole in a hot oven for twenty minutes and to flavour only with butter and sage. I wanted to be a little more adventerous so rooted through my chinese cookery book and added an oriental twist to these little birds.

Ready for the oven.

Ready for the oven.

Make sure the oven is hot. Place the birds, breasts up in a large ovenproof dish. Generously massage with oil, ( I use sunflower oil as olive oil has too much flavour ), then season with salt. Add a chopped red onion, red pepper and squeeze in some garlic paste between the birds. Sprinkle on some whole cloves, about 6 and then about a quarter teaspoon ginger. Finally grate the zest of one orange over the dish and squeeze on some orange juice.

Cook the birds for 20 minutes then blast with fan for another 5 minutes.

Ready to be served.

Ready to be served.

Serve with curly fries and seasonal vegtables and a good bottle of Bordeaux while watching strictly come dancing….