By: Antonia Walls
Meal Type: Main
Cook time: 3 Hours
Servings: 6 people
A deliciously rich and flavoursome pie. You can use any mix of game though - aim for perhaps four different types and try to include some venison if possible. You need to allow time for the filling to cool, before topping your pie with pastry. I often make a pie filling the day before and refrigerate overnight.
Heat the oil and butter in a large casserole or lidded ovenproof pan on the boiling plate. Add the shallots and cook for a few minutes before adding the carrot and celery. Cook briskly until the vegetables are starting to soften and brown a little. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Add the lardons to the pan and fry briefly until browned. Set aside with the vegetables.
Sprinkle the game with flour, salt and pepper. Brown the meat in batches. You may need to add a little more fat to the pan. You can choose to brown the vegetables and meat on the floor of the roasting oven, rather than the boiling plate. Set aside with the vegetables and bacon.
Pour the wine into the pan and bubble, scraping the pan as you go. Add the redcurrant jelly and herbs. Return the game, bacon and vegetables to the pan and pour over the stock. Bring to the boil, cover with a lid and, after a few minutes bubbling away on the boiling plate, transfer to the simmering oven for 2 hours.
Once the filling is ready, you may find you need to thicken the gravy/sauce somewhat. You can do this by removing the lid and reducing the sauce by bubbling on the boiling plate. Alternatively, use 1-2 tbsp. cornflour mixed to a paste with an equal quantity of water. Add to the casserole and bring to a simmer – the sauce will thicken).
- Set filling aside until completely cool.
- When ready to bake, roll out the puff pastry to a size slightly larger than the pie dish. Brush the lip of the dish with water. Transfer the pie filling to the dish and lay the pastry over the top, pressing down to seal. Trim the edges and press the tines of a fork around the edge to make an attractive design. You can use the trimmings to decorate the top of the pie with shapes too, if wished. Cut a few holes in the top with a sharp knife to allow steam to escape. Chill the pie for 20 minutes in the fridge before baking.
- Brush the pie with beaten egg to glaze. Place the pie dish on a grid shelf on the floor of the roasting oven and bake for approximately 30 minutes. After 20 minutes, rotate the pie and, if the pastry is already very bronzed, slide the cold plain shelf onto the second runners to protect the pastry whilst continuing to cook the filling.
- The pie is ready when the pastry is puffed up and golden and the filling bubbling beneath.
Aga Range Cooker Tips:
- Use the boiling plate or floor of the roasting oven to soften the vegetables and brown the meat. Cook the base in the simmering oven of your Aga range cooker and bake the pie in the roasting oven.
- When frying or browning meat, use the floor of the roasting oven as an extra hotplate. This saves having the lids open too long and prevents messy oil splashes on the enamel top.
- Aga oven temperatures vary according to age and model. Keep a close eye on the puff pastry and use the cold shelf to protect the top from burning if necessary. Similarly, if your roasting oven is on the cooler side, the pie may take a little longer.
- Vary the vegetables in the filling – mushrooms are a delicious addition, or try swede instead of carrot.
"I am Antonia Walls, a keen family cook who is passionate about the Aga way of life. I live in the beautiful Cotswolds with my husband, two energetic and endlessly hungry young boys and two greedy labradors. Our cooker is the heart of our home and I’m never happier than when leaning against it’s comforting warmth! I love developing flavour-packed recipes from around the globe and am a huge fan of ‘hands-off’ one pot dishes."