Game pasties

Game pasties

These pasties are a really good way of using a combination of different game. I usually buy a game casserole mix from my game supplier or sometimes use a combination of cubed shoulder venison and belly pork for a slow-cooked intense flavour. The main difference to a classic beef pasty is that you cook the filling separately, chill and then use to make into the pasties. Depending on what you use, adjust the cooking time accordingly older, tougher cuts need a couple of hours cooking whilst the more tender, younger meats will be ready in under an hour.

Serves: 4. Prep: 30 mins. Cook: up to 3 hrs

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 6 shallots, skinned and quartered
  • 2 small carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 350 - 450g (12oz 1lb) game casserole mix
  • 150ml (¼ pint) red wine
  • 150ml (1¼ pint) chicken stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 large potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1 small swede, peeled and cubed
  • 2 tbsp redcurrant jelly
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 500g pack puff pastry made with butter, thawed if frozen
  • salt and ground black pepper
  • beaten egg to glaze
  1. Heat a tbsp of the oil in a flameproof casserole and add the game. Brown on all sides then remove with a slotted spoon.
  2. Add the shallots, carrots and garlic and brown, then return the game to the pan with the red wine, stock and bay leaves. Season and bring to the boil then cover the casserole and simmer gently for up to 1-2 hrs until the meat is tender.
  3. Remove the lid, add the potato and swede and stir in the redcurrant jelly and half the balsamic vinegar. Cook for a further 15 mins until the liquid is reduced and the vegetables are tender.
  4. Leave to cool completely and chill until needed.
  5. Preheat the oven to 220C/fan oven 200C/gas mark 7.
  6. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured work surface and cut out four 20cm circles (use a plate as a guide).
  7. Divide the game mix between the pastry circles and brush the pastry edges with water. Fold up and press together to seal. Pinch to create a fluted edge. Chill for 15 mins.
  8. Place the pasties on a damp baking sheet and brush with beaten egg. Cook in the oven for 25-30 mins, covering if they get too brown, until the pastry is crisp and golden. Serve hot or cold with salad.
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  • pictures David Merewether