January. It’s a bit of a D month, don’t you think? Dreary, drizzly, dull. It’s not really A-list, not like, say, blossoming April or sultry August. OK, enough of the word play, you get my drift. Christmas has long gone, everyone’s broke…it is, officially, the most depressing month of the year. Still, we’ll soon be crossing the boundary into February, onto Valentine’s Day and one step closer to spring.
But January has got at least one thing going for it: game. Whether you go for deep rich venison, flavoursome pheasant or the more delicate rabbit, game feels like a real luxury in this bare month. Make the most of the season while it lasts and why not mix up the meats with a hearty, full-bodied pie like this one?
500g mixed game (such as venison, partridge, pheasant), diced
2 rashes of streaky bacon
1 onion, diced
1 tablespoon plain flour
A good slosh of red wine (optional)
400ml beef stock
A generous pinch of Herbs de Provence
A packet of ready-rolled puff pastry
Salt and pepper
Add a little oil to a large pan and brown the game over a medium heat. Remove it and set aside.
Add the bacon to the pan and sauté it for a few minutes then add the mushrooms and onion. Continue to sauté for until the onion and the mushrooms start to colour and then add the browned game back to the pan.
Stir in the flour until everything is coated and then add the wine, if using, stock and herbs. Season well and bring to a simmer. Simmer for about 50 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the game is tender and the sauce reduced and thickened. If the sauce thickens too much stir in a little water.
Preheat the oven to 200c, fan 180c.
Transfer the game to a pie dish and then top with puffed pastry. Put a small hole in the middle, using a knife, to allow steam to escape.
Bake the pie for 30-40 minutes until the pastry is golden.
I must make more pies. This pie, in fact. Love pastry and love game (lucky for me it’s around in Ludlow much longer than just January).
I could probably work it all out for myself, but I must admit this recipe looks a bit light on instructions…? : )
Oops, I published the draft recipe! That’s unlike me. Thanks for letting me know, Matt.
Great looking pie. I love game and boned, rolled, stuffed and balotined it, but never made a pie. This looks delicious so game pie for this weekend. GG
Beautiful Pie, Julia.
I love game and I miss the days when I lived in France, when come autumn the local hunters would share their hunt (mainly wild boar) with the villagers.
I had many shoulders of wild boar passing my oven. Yum.
Game pie is just perfect for a winter day – it looks so inviting and comforting. I’m not sure that I don’t prefer January to February – by February I’ve really had enough of winter. And February gets so bored with itself it can’t even be bothered to have as many days as other months.
Aww thanks guys, so glad you like this one.
Phil – yes, I see what you mean! Roll on summer, eh?
This pie looks really good. I’ve got four pheasant breasts in the freezer so I think I know what to do with them now.
At times I mix the game up with some chicken just to mellow the flavour a bit for people who can’t take the full on gamey flavours.
Thanks for the inspiration!
There is something magical about crust and mushrooms, isn’t there? Wonderful!
Recipe sounds amazing. I’m gonna have to try this.
I just LOVE venison. Your pie looks delicious cause it’s not “well done”.
Wow this looks so good. I want to cook this for some friends this weekend I know they will LOVE it. I know our bellies will be full after eating this!
I love me a good pie. Looks so nice and meaty!