Legendary Dishes | Game Pie


A puff pastry lid is adequate if the emphasis is on the contents, and it is easier but the traditional dish calls for thick hot water pastry.

Nowadays days the kind of pastry once used for raised pies is no longer acceptable, so the choice of dough is entirely personal.

This is the traditional hot water pastry recipe, the icing sugar a modern touch.

Game pies were always about the fruits, game, herbs, spices and vegetables of the field and forest, and this combination is still favoured across nothern Europe.


  • 450 g strong white wheat flour
  • 150 ml water
  • 125 g lard
  • 15 g pepper
  • 10 g salt
  • 1 tsp icing sugar

Meat Choices

  • Hare – breast meat
  • Partridge – breast meat
  • Pheasant – breast meat
  • Pigeon – breast meat
  • Rabbit – breast meat
  • Venison – loin meat


  • 1.25 kg meat, chopped small
  • 300 g forest mushrooms, chopped
  • 150 g bacon, chopped
  • 150 g chicken liver, chopped
  • 150 g onions, chopped small
  • 100 g chestnuts, chopped
  • 50 g apricots, chopped
  • 30 g sage, chopped
  • 15 g juniper berries, crushed
  • 5 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp rosemary / tarragon, chopped
  • Allspice, ground, large pinch
  • Sunflower oil, for frying



  • 150 ml red wine / stout
  • 30 g pomegranate seeds, ground
  • 15 g paprika, smoked
  • 15 ml soy sauce
  • 10 thyme sprigs

Marinate the meat overnight, drain any excess liquid.

Sauté garlic and onions in oil over a low heat in a large frying pan, add mushrooms and when they begin to wilt add the bacon and liver, cover and simmer for ten minutes, leave to cool.

Work the meat and mushroom mixture with the herbs and spices in a large bowl into a homogenous mass, add apricots and chestnuts, and any wild berries to hand. Set aside.

Bring the lard and water to the boil.

Sieve flour and salt into a large bowl, add pepper and sugar.

Pour the hot liquid into a well in the centre of the flour, and using a sturdy wooden spoon quickly form into a soft dough.

Push the dough into the bottom and sides of a large pie tin, cutting off the excess dough to use for the lid.

Preheat oven to 220°C.

Pack the tin with the filling, roll the remaining dough out, place over the filling, crimping the edges.

Left over pieces of dough should be shaped into decorations for the lid.

Pierce a hole in the centre of the lid.

Reduce oven temperature to 180°C, bake for 90 minutes.

If a golden colour is desired, remove pie from oven, brush lid with a beaten egg, then bake for 30 minutes at 160°C.

Heat the jelly stock, pour slowly into the hole in the centre of the pie lid, leave to cool.