When I was doing my A Levels, I took Home Economics. It may sound like a bit of a ‘doss’ subject, but it was creative and it was food and I loved it!
I chose to do my coursework on food waste and sustainability. I explored the possibility of my school becoming completely self-sufficient. You know what? It really is possible! It’s also something I really think should be introduced into schools. Can you imagine learning how to care for animals and how to plant and grow your own vegetables from a young age? It really is such an important lesson, people should learn.
Anyway, massively off topic, but I’ll get to the point now. During one of my recipe parts of the coursework, I created a recipe using game that my Dad had shot. Pheasant is a bird that is a luxury in the city, but in the countryside they are so common that the meat isn’t that highly regarded. Of course from a young age, being fed it a lot meant that we started to resent it. So I came up with a recipe that would make it taste luxurious and rich. The Ultimate Rustic Game Pie. The point is, that you can use any meat you have in it. Red meats work best, or game, but it totally is up to you.
Thick, rich, meaty juices with roughly chopped vegetables in a case of perfectly cooked pastry.
The best part about this is it can be made out of leftovers. If you had a roast on Sunday and want a hearty meal for Monday night, this is perfect!
The recipe is really rough as I just made it up as I went along, so forgive me if yours isn’t identical!
- 1 pack of mince meat (of your choice. I think we had lean turkey mince for this one)
- 4 Venison Sausages
- 3 Large Carrots
- 1 Sweet Potato
- 8 New Potatoes
- 1 cup of peas
- A small bottle of red wine (again your choice! I used Blossom Hill Merlot – 18.7cl)
- 1 Beef flavoured stock cube
- 1 Onion
- A few bay leaves
- Salt and Pepper to season
- Shortcrust Pastry (I used two packets, and no, I didn’t make it myself!)
- A large cake tin
- Baking Beans
- Cook off your meat, ensuring it’s completely sealed with no red bits. Although, do not cook until brown. You want the meat to remain soft.
- Roughly chop your onion and pop it in with your meat.
- While that’s cooking, chop up your carrots, sweet potato and new potatoes – no need to peel – pop them in with your meat and onion.
- At this point, you may want to transfer your ingredients to a deeper, two handled, pot as it’s going to get really heavy once you add the water. I didn’t so had to use two pans!
- While that’s cooking, you want to make your stock. Follow the instructions on the pack, but you want to end up with about a pint of stock.
- Pour a third of the stock on the meat and veg and let it simmer.
- When the stock starts reducing, pour over half the bottle of wine.
- Keep alternating between the stock and the wine, pouring over the food while it simmers and reduces.
- Season with salt and pepper and the bay leaves, then leave to cook for 30-45 minutes.
- While the food is cooking, heat your oven to 180 degrees celsius and roll out your pastry.
- I blind baked the bottom and sides of my pastry in the tin, before adding the filling as I knew the pastry would shrink away from the sides, so I could patch it up before adding the filling.
- The pastry should take no more than 10 minutes in the oven to blind bake.
- In the last five minutes of cooking the meat and veg, add your peas.
- Pop the meat and veg filling into the pastry case (obviously only once you’ve removed your baking beans), then cover in the rest of the pastry.
- Decorate to your liking then brush over with milk or egg and pop in the oven until brown (about 15-20 minutes).
The only thing left to do, is take the cake tin away from your masterpiece and serve. I served it on a simple white plate. Then we cut great chunks of it and ate it with gravy!
I love how rough and ready it turned out. A perfect country dish. Great for the weather we’re having at the moment!