Monthly Archives: December 2012

Pheasant and Rabbit Pie for New Years Day

Every new year I make a meat/game pie and a veggie/fish pie for the veggies. i’ve been doing this now for the past 6 years, they are always different! I’ve made this game pie before at new years and it has been requested again for the 1st Jan 2013! Its from a handwritten cookery book that my mum has at home. I’m making this ahead of New Year’s Day, but I will leave the pastry for New Year’s Day, just before it hits the oven, the preparation makes the final stages so much simpler! (Especially if you over did it the night before)

Pie Ingredients
1kg 20g Pheasant
680g Rabbit
(The meat should equate to 1kg without the bones)
226g carrot
170g celery
170g onion
56g butter
4tbsp vegetable oil
‘Jus’Rol’ Puff pastry, (Enough to cover the top of your dish!)
4level tbsp plain flour
3/4 pint Chicken stock
4tbsp brandy
1 Bay leaf
1 egg beaten
Salt and pepper

This pie is straight forward and certainly seems to help with any hangovers on New Year’s Day!
I bought the Pheasant and Rabbit this year from the covered market at M Feller the veg was from the grocers.

Put all of your meat into a large bowl, and set aside.
Dice the carrots and celery into quarter pieces
Chop the onion roughly
Heat the oil and butter in a heavy based pan and add the vegetables, cook until lightly brown. Then lift this out of the pan and set aside in a bowl.

Stir the flour and seasoning through the game pie mix, then add a little at a time in the residual oil. Once all the meat is in the pan, replace the vegetables back into the pan. Add the stock, brandy, bay leaf and gravy browning to the pan. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 1 hour.
Leave this to cool overnight. On New Year’s Day roll out your pastry and cover the top of the pie, I have a blackbird for my pie, to raise the pastry and create the hole in the middle.
Cook the pie at 200C for 30mins. Then lower to 180C for a further 20mins, if necessary then cover with foil. This way you won’t burn the pastry.

This year I’ll be serving the meat pie with hassle-back potatoes and some greens, hopefully the diners will enjoy!



An alternative Christmas Wellington

Another Christmas without a turkey and I’m pleased to say my dad thoroughly enjoyed his Christmas dinner. It was still meat, I have not yet and never will, convert him to go veggie for a Christmas Day dinner. What was it if it wasn’t turkey you might ask? It was Gordon Ramsey’s Venison Wellington with port sauce.
The meat was purchased from my parents local butchers, Collingtons, in Wymeswold, Leicestershire.
We took Ramsey’s recipe and omitted the pancake section, as we felt that over Christmas so much is eaten over the few days that an extra layer could be too filling. The great thing about this dish was that it can be made on Christmas Eve morning or afternoon and completed on Christmas Day. Creating a better kitchen atmosphere on the 25th December. If you worry that venison might be too expensive, you could substitute this with beef.

Port Sauce
The sauce can be made 2 days in advance and reheated in the saucepan, adding a splash more stock if too thick.
1 finely chopped shallot
a small knob of butter
a sprig of thyme
300ml port
600ml fresh chicken stock

Sweat 1 finely chopped shallot in a little butter with a thyme sprig. Pour in 300ml port and reduce by two-thirds, then add 600ml fresh chicken stock and reduce again by two-thirds until syrupy. Strain into another saucepan ready to be reheated.

Starting the Wellington, you will need:
2 tbsp olive oil
1 trimmed loin of venison weighing about 1kg, cut into 2 equal pieces. Ask for the loin or the loin fillet off the bone, well-trimmed
2 tbsp English mustard
300g mixed wild mushrooms , trimmed and cleaned. (Go for fresh rather than dried.)
6 slices prosciutto a packet of prosciutto will cover this.
500g pack all-butter puff pastry
3 egg yolks , beaten

Trim as much fat off your meat as possible then split your venison loin in half. This will make the sandwich effect simpler. Next heat 1tbsp olive oil in a frying pan and quickly seal the venison for about 2 mins on each side until browned. Remove the meat from the pan, brush all over with the mustard and leave to cool.
While this cools, whiz the mushrooms in a food processor. Now place the pan back on the heat with the rest of the oil and add the mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper and fry over a high heat for 5 mins until the excess moisture has evaporated and you have a thick paste. Check your seasoning and transfer the mushrooms to a bowl and leave to cool.

Lay 2-3 large sheets of cling film overlapping each other on a clean surface. Lay the slices of prosciutto overlapping lengthways in 2 rows of 3. Take a tablespoon of the mushroom mixture and press this out onto the prosciutto, don’t take this to the edge, as it will ooze out. Now sit one of the pieces of venison in the middle of the prosciutto and mushroom mix. Take another spoon of the mushroom mix and press this over the venison and sandwich with the other piece of venison. You can add the remainder if the mushroom mix to the top of your second piece of venison then, with the help of the cling film, roll the prosciutto into a tight package around the mushroom and venison and leave to chill in the fridge for a few hours.
Imagine it is a Christmas parcel, so make sure the prosciutto wrapping covers the Venison gift!


That evening or afternoon, roll the pastry out to a large rectangle big enough to easily wrap the meat in, then brush all over with egg yolk. Unwrap the cling film from the wrapped venison and roll to completely encase in the pastry. Tuck the ends in and trim any excess. Lay out more cling film and finally roll into a tight package to get an evenly thick log. Tie the ends of cling film to keep the package tight and leave in the fridge overnight or if you leave this until the day of serving, freeze the package for an hour.


When you are ready to cook, heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Remove the cling film and brush the Wellington all over with egg yolk. Sit it on a baking tray lined with baking paper and lightly score in a feathered fashion.
Bake for 50 mins for medium rare, dropping to 200C/180C fan/ gas 7 if the pastry becomes too brown.
Remove from the oven to rest for 20 mins. At this point you can start to get you port sauce re heated and ready to serve!
Trim the end of the pastry, carefully carve in slices about 3-4cm thick and serve. Below I have made a mini version served with carrots and mash.


For the original recipe with the pancakes: go to the BBCGoodFood website.