Game Pie for Christmas Entertaining

This is a sensational and impressive dish to lay at the centre of your Christmas table and is wonderful to eat on Boxing Day after a bracing walk!  Lay the table with Betty Twyfords Audrey table cloth and napkins if you wish to look really Christmasy…


Betty’s Recipe for Game Pie for the AGA (Inspired by Dawn Roads)

To make Hot Water Crust Pastry:-

450g plain flour

1tsp salt

115g lard

225ml water

Lard for greasing

Beaten egg to glaze

Sieve the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl. Mix the water and lard together in a saucepan and slowly heat, bring to the boil and then stir into the sieved flour and salt, quickly to bind the mixture together. Form into a ball (be careful, it’s hot) and cut one third to set aside to keep warm and to use for the top, use the other two thirds to line the GREASED Game Pie Dish, pressing into the sides to come above the top. (Leave to slightly ‘drip’ over the sides)


250g Venison, cubed, 250g good Lardons

500g mixed game, cubed (use rabbit, pheasant, guinea fowl – whatever is available) (you can buy packs of mixed game in good supermarkets)

1 onion finely chopped


100g chopped dried apricots

50g chopped mushrooms

50g chopped chestnuts (from a vacuum pack)

A handful of cranberries

Mix all of the game and Lardons together in a basin, along with the finely chopped onion, dried apricots, mushrooms and chestnuts and cranberries. Season well. Set aside.


1.2 litres of stock made from a mix of vegetable or chicken stock, some port (a very large splash) & 2 tablespoons redcurrant jelly

1 sachet of gelatine

Couple of grinds of black pepper

2 bay leaves
Heat the stock and then reduce it by boiling quickly – to 600 ml (1pint), sprinkle in the gelatine and whisk into the stock, allow cooling and then refrigerate.

Place the filling into the Game Pie Dish, cover with the rest of the pastry and crimp to the excess pastry hanging from the dish to form a seal. Make a hole in the centre of the pastry. Brush with beaten egg

Place the pie dish on the oven grid shelf set on the floor of the Roasting Oven with the cold plain shelf on the second set of runners down, and cook for 45 minutes. Protect the top with foil or bake O Glide. Transfer to the Simmering oven for 2 hours, carefully remove the tin from the pastry and brush with egg and return to the Roasting oven for 5-10 minutes to brown. Cool the pie.
Heat the refrigerated stock gently and allow cooling until syrupy, pour through the hole in the pastry lid. Tilt to allow it to spread evenly inside the pie. Refrigerate until set. Serve with salad
If you are using a conventional oven, use a hot oven (between 200-230 degrees C, Gas Mark between 4-6)) for 1 hour, and protect the top of the pie as for the AGA. Turn the oven down to low (between 125-150degrees C, Gas Mark between 1-2) and continue to cook for about 2 hours and follow the procedure as for the AGA.

Temperatures given for conventional ovens are approximate according to your oven.
Photo credit Ash Photography

Posted in Aga Tips, Christmas, Recipes

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