This is a rich meat pie recipe from Galton Blackiston that combines a veritable zoo of game meat - rabbit, venison, pheasant and partridge, with added sausage thrown in for good measure. Further impress your guests by carefully and thinly slicing the pie, revealing a cross-section of the spectacular meat filling and flaky pastry.
There can't be many Michelin-starred chefs who started out selling homemade cakes, biscuits and preserves on a market stall in Rye in 1979. Yet, the quietly spoken, endearingly eccentric Galton Blackiston isn't like other chefs.
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Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas mark 6. Start by making the stock; take the meat off the partridges and the pheasant and reserve the bones
Place the bones in a large pot, followed by the carrot, celery, thyme, rosemary, and half of the onion
1 celery stick
1 sprig of fresh rosemary
1 sprig of thyme
Pour in the white wine and add enough cold water to just cover the bones. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 2 hours, skimming off any impurities that rise to the surface with a ladle
125ml of white wine
While the stock is simmering, in another saucepan, add the lard and water and bring to the boil, stirring constantly
110g of lard
280ml of water
Sieve the flour in a large bowl and add the salt. Make a well in the middle of the flour and add the hot lard and water mixture, mixing together quickly with a wooden spoon to form a dough. Cover with cling film and leave to rest for 20 minutes
500g of plain flour
2 tsp salt
Lightly grease a 20cm cake tin and put in the fridge for 15-20 minutes to firm up the butter
butter for greasing
Carry on with the filling; mix together the sausage meat, the rest of the onion, the crushed garlic, and tarragon in a bowl
50g of sausage meat
1 garlic clove
1 tbsp of tarragon
Roughly chop the game meats: the partridge, pheasant, rabbit and venison, and stir into the mixture, then season well with salt and pepper. Sprinkle over the mace and crushed juniper berries. Mix well and set aside
1 pinch of mace
6 juniper berries
500g of loin of rabbit
450g of venison shoulder
After the dough has been resting for 20 minutes, lightly flour your work surface and roll out two thirds of the dough, reserving the final third for the pie lid. Use the pastry to line the cake tin and spoon the meat mixture evenly into the pie
Roll the remaining pastry dough into a piece large enough to cover the cake tin, and cut a circle the size of a £2 coin in the middle
Using a pastry brush, lightly coat the edges of the pie with the egg wash and lay the dough lid over the pie. Crimp the edges, and brush a layer of egg wash over the top
Place the pie on a baking tray and bake in the oven for 30 minutes, then lower the oven to 180°C/Gas mark 4 and bake for a further 1 hour and 30 minutes, until the top of the pie is golden-brown
Remove from the oven and allow to almost cool completely
Take the stock off the heat and strain through a sieve. Return to the stove and reduce the stock to approximately half a pint
Allow the stock to cool slightly, then pour through the hole in the top of the pie and place in the fridge to set overnight
When ready to serve, cut into slices and serve with piccalilli or pickled onions
1 tbsp of piccalilli
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