Boxing Day Game Morel and Chestnut Pie
For this year’s Christmas edition we asked Tatiana to come up with a prepare ahead recipe – and here it is a fabulous game pie that can be frozen – ideal for Boxing Day
1 kg of mixed game meat (pheasant, partridge, hare or rabbit) boned
2 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, peeled and sliced
2 sticks of celery, chopped
120g cooking pancetta, chopped
100g chestnut mushrooms, cleaned and diced
20g dried morel mushrooms, rehydrated in boiling water
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
200g cooked peeled chestnuts
30g plain flour
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp of thyme, finely chopped
4 juniper berries, crushed
1 orange, zest and juice
1 tbsp redcurrant jelly
300ml game or chicken stock
200ml of red wine
100ml Port Wine
500g All butter puff pastry, cold
Sea salt and black pepper
1 beaten egg, for glazing
Start by heating a large, heavy bottom pan on a medium heat with half of your olive oil. Once hot, fry the game meat until well browned all over. Remove the meat and reserve.
Now add the pancetta and fry until golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and add to the rest of the meat.
Add the rest of the olive oil to the pan, and lower the heat. Add the onion and celery and cook until the onions become transparent, about 5 minutes. Now add your garlic and mushrooms and carry on cooking for another 5 minutes.
Once the mushrooms have softened stir in the flour and cook for about 2 minutes making sure you keep stirring constantly. Add the bay leaf, thyme, orange zest and juice, juniper berries , redcurrant jelly, drained morels, both wines and the stock. Season well with salt and pepper.
Bring the liquid to the boil and add the meats back to the pan. Cook on a low simmer for about 40 to 50 minutes or until the meats are very tender. Allow to cool down and add the chestnuts.
Once cooled, spoon the filling into a pie dish.
Pre heat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry until it is a little larger than the dish and the thickness of a pound coin. Make sure you keep your pastry cold until it goes in the oven.
Cut a thin strip of pastry from around the edge, stick it to the rim of the dish using a bit of water, then brush with a little more water. Now lift the lid of the pie and place it over your dish. Cut a small slit to allow the pie funnel to poke through, if using. If you don’t have any pie funnel cut 2 or 3 small slits in the pastry to allow steam to escape. Roughly trim the edges and crimp by using a fork, or your fingers.
If you are freezing your pie, this is the time to do it. Pop the whole pie in the freezer, once solid put it inside a freezer bag and keep in the freezer, ready to bring out on boxing day.
When you are ready to cook your pie, brush the pastry all over with beaten egg. Bake the pie for 15 minutes, then lower the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4 and bake for another 30 minutes (50 minutes if you are cooking from frozen) or until the pastry is nice and golden all over.
Serve with hot mashed potato and buttered peas.
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