To celebrate British Game Week (25 November to 1st December), we’ve teamed up with the British Game Alliance to bring you these wholesome recipes featuring duck, pheasant, pigeon and partridge – which aren’t just tasty, they’re lean, high in protein and low in fat. On a dark winter evening, you can’t beat a steaming hot game pie with lashings of ale-rich gravy. It’s simpler than you might think to cook your own; we’ve used ready-made pastry and pre-prepared confit mallard to make the whole thing even easier.
GAME PIE WITH MUSTARD MASH
Serves 4-5, Preparation time 1 hour, Cooking time 1 hour
For the pie
• 2 duck breasts, diced
• 2 pheasant breasts
• 2 pigeon breasts
• 1 tin confit duck leg meat (containing 4 portions)
• 100g/4oz plain flour
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 4 white onions, peeled
• Olive oil, for frying
• 50g/2oz chestnut mushrooms, wiped and torn into pieces
• 2 sticks celery, chopped
• 2 tomatoes, cut into wedges
• 400ml/14fl oz game stock (or chicken/beef stock)
• 1 tbsp redcurrant jelly
• 1 x 375g packet ready-rolled puff pastry, thawed if frozen
• 1 egg yolk, beaten, to glaze
For the mustard mash
• 1kg/2 1/4lb red skin potatoes
• 150ml/1/4pt milk
• 85g/3 1/2oz butter
• 1 tbsp wholegrain or Pommery mustard
• Salt and white pepper
For the ale gravy
• 1 x 550ml bottle any good ale
• 200ml/7fl oz chicken or beef stock
4 tsp gravy granules
For the broccoli
• 500g/1lb 2oz Tenderstem broccoli
Vegetable oil, to coat
Dice all the game but the confit duck leg meat, into 2.5cm/1in cubes.
Season the flour and then coat the diced meat in the season flour, brushing off any excess.
Coat the meat in seasoned flour then place in a hot dry frying pan and fry off until crisp and fully cooked. Transfer the meat to a pie dish.
Slice the onions and fry them in a little hot oil until softened. Add the mushrooms, celery and tomatoes and, when coloured and softened, tip over the top of the meat.
Heat up the game stock and add a little redcurrant jelly to sweeten before pouring over the pie mix. Leave the pie mix to cool and add the confit duck leg meat.
Preheat the oven to 180°C, 350°F, Gas 4.
Cover the whole pie dish with the pre-rolled pastry, cutting off any excess, and brush the top with beaten egg yolk, crimping around the edge with the prongs of a fork to seal. Make a slit or 2 in the top to allow steam to escape while cooking then transfer the pie to the preheated oven and bake for 40 minutes until the pastry is golden and risen and the filling piping hot
While the pie is in the oven, peel the potatoes and boil in a saucepan of lightly salted water until soft, then mash with the butter and milk. Add 1 tbsp of mustard to the mash, or more to taste, Season with salt and white pepper and set aside.
To make the gravy, pour the ale into a saucepan on a high heat and reduce it by half. Add the game stock and thicken with the gravy granules.
Finally, prepare the broccoli. Rub oil into the broccoli then drop into a very hot pan and seal until it begins to wilt and slightly blister.
Reheat the mash and gravy if necessary and serve the pie as a centrepiece alongside serving dishes of the mustard mash and broccoli. Finish with a big jug of your ale gravy.
For more recipes like this and more information, visit britishgamealliance.co.uk.