British Pie Week, one of the most delicious weeks of the year, is celebrated from 7-13 March 2022.
Located near Melton Mowbray – surely the UK’s pie epicentre – Stapleford Park Hotel is an authority on the subject. Try Head Chef Anthony Fitt’s Glorious Game Pie, a hearty and comforting winter treat, using the best of seasonal, local produce.
1 Whole Pheasant
2 Whole Partridge
1 Whole rabbit
4 Duck Legs
250g Diced Venison
3 Garlic Cloves (cut in half)
4 Bay Leaves
10 Juniper Berries
2 Sprigs of Thyme
2 Sprigs Rosemary
500g Plain Flour – sifted
200g Diced Butter
5-6 tbsp Cold Water
2 Large Onions (sliced)
100g Smoked Bacon (diced)
150g Chestnut Mushrooms (sliced)
2 tbsp Flour
2 tsp Chopped Thyme
Pinch Grated Nutmeg
Pinch of All Spice
400ml Red Wine
1.5 Litres Game Stock
1 Litre Veal Stock
1 tsp Red Currant Jelly
Remove all the meat from the whole game and dice. Place all the mixed game in a bowl with all the items for the marinade & leave in the fridge overnight.
For the Game Stock
- Roast all the bones in the oven at 160 degrees for 20 minutes.
- Sweat the onion, garlic, celery, leek & carrot until golden brown, then add the chestnut mushrooms & tomatoes.
- Add the bones to the vegetable mixture, use tongs to lift the bones to leave any excess fat behind. Cover with 2.5 litres of water.
- Toast the aromats -black pepper, cinnamon stick, star anise, juniper & bay leaf in a dry pan. Add to the stock.
- Bring the stock to a gentle boil & leave to simmer, skim any excess fat. Then cook for 2 hours and pass through a fine sieve & leave to one side.
For the Pastry
- Place the flour, salt & butter in a bowl, rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
- Add the water to the mixture and mix until the dough comes together (more water can be added if required) form the dough into a ball. Wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge.
For the Pie Mix
- Heat a suitable size pan, add a little oil & fry the meat in batches until evenly coloured. Once all the game has been coloured, add the sliced onions & bacon to the pan & cook until golden brown.
- Add the game mix to the onions, flour, sliced mushrooms & thyme. Coat all the game & allow to cook for a few minutes. Add the red wine & stir in.
- Add the game stock & veal stock, bring to a gentle boil & leave to simmer for 1.5 hours. Add the red currant jelly & season to taste.
- Once the game is cooked, pass the liquid through a sieve and place into another pan back on the stove. Reduce until the liquid thickens up.
- Add the reduced liquid back to the game mixture, season to taste.
Assembling the Pie
- Heat the oven to 200 degrees. Cut the dough in half, roll out half of the pastry on a floured surface to fit a suitable sized pie dish. Brush the dish with oil, lay the pastry over the dish, ensure the pastry is pushed tight into any corners, leave any excess over hanging.
- Heat the oven to 200 degrees, fill the pastry case with baking paper & add baking beans, to weigh it down. Bake for 15 minutes. Then carefully remove the paper & beans & cook the pastry for 5 more minutes.
- Pack the pie filling into the dish, using a small knife trim any excess pastry. Brush the inside rim with egg yolk. Roll out the other piece of pastry to the same thickness as the first. Lay the pastry on top of the pie mix, pinch the edges together, so that the pie is sealed. Brush with egg yolk & repeat 2 more times.
- Set the oven to 180 degrees & place the pie in the oven & cook for 30 minutes, turn the temperature down to 160 degrees and cook for a further 25 minutes.
Recipe kindly supplied by Head Chef Anthony Fitt at Stapleford Park