Wild duck is particularly good cooked this way, although any sort of game can be used. Try to mix at least two types of game for the best flavour.
serves 4 - 6
225 g (8 oz) plain wholemeal flour
large pinch salt
25 g (1 oz) white vegetable fat, diced
75 g (3 oz) butter or cooking margarine, diced
15 - 30 ml (1 - 2 tbsp) milk
for the filling
240 g (1 lb) cooked game, boned
100 g (4 oz) streaky bacon
6 tart apples, quartered and cored
2 large onions, peeled
50 g (2 oz) butter
5 g (1 tsp) caster sugar
salt and freshly ground pepper
mild paprika to taste
125 - 175 ml (5 - 7 fl oz) left-over game gravy
1 beaten egg to glaze
1. Make the pastry first. Put the flour and salt in a bowl and rub in the fats until the mixture resembles fine crumbs.
2. Mix the egg with 15 ml (1 tbsp) of the milk and add to the mixture to form a soft but not sticky dough.
3. If too dry add a little more milk. Wrap and chill while preparing the filling.
4. Cut or shred the game into bite-sized chunks.
5. Coarsely chop the bacon, and slice the unpeeled apples. Slice the onions.
6. Heat half the butter in a frying pan, and fry the bacon till golden brown and crispy. Drain and remove.
7. Fry the onions till soft and golden. Drain and remove.
8. Heat the remaining butter and quickly fry the apple slices with the sugar till caramelized. Drain and remove.
9. Layer up the filling in a greased pie dish in this order onion, bacon, apple, game, onion, apple, game, apple, onions and finally bacon. Add seasoning with each layer.
10. Pour over enough of the gravy to come 2/3 the way up the dish.
11. Roll out the pastry on a floured board to an oval 5 cm (2 in) larger than the dish.
12. Cut a strip the width of the rim of the dish.
13. Brush the rim with a little of the beaten egg. Stick the pastry strip on to the rim then brush with egg.
14. Cover the pie dish with the pastry. Seal well and flute the edges. Cut a small steam-hole in the top. Decorate the pie with any trimmings of pastry if wished. Glaze with beaten egg.
15. Bake in the preheated oven at 200°C (400°F) Gas 6 for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 190°C (375°F) Gas 5 and bake for a further 20 minutes or until the pastry is crisp and golden brown.
16. Serve hot.
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