Hot game pie

Hot game pie

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(9 ratings)

Prep: 1 hr Cook: 35 mins Plus chilling

A challenge

Serves 4
Gordon Ramsay creates the ultimate game pie – wonderful autumnal vegetables with pheasant and venison, all under a crisp crust.

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal987
  • fat61g
  • saturates23g
  • carbs39g
  • sugars1.9g
  • fibre10g
  • protein62g
  • salt3.14g
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    For the stock

    • 2 pheasants, about 800g each
    • olive or sunflower oil
      Sunflower oil

      Sunflower oil

      Sunflower oil is made from pressing sunflower seeds and extracting the oil. It's usually…

    • sprigs fresh thyme and rosemary


      This popular herb grows in Europe, especially the Mediterranean, and is a member of the mint…

    • 2 bay leaves
    • 1 carrot, chopped



      The carrot, with its distinctive bright orange colour, is one of the most versatile root…

    • 1 medium onion, chopped



      Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

    • 200ml red wine
    • 1 tbsp tomato purée

    For the filling

    • 1 small celeriac, about 600g, peeled and chopped into large chunks



      The unsung hero of the vegetable world, knobbly, odd-shaped celeriac has a subtle, celery-like…

    • 50g butter



      Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

    • bunch rosemary, thyme and parsley



      Rosemary's intense, fragrant aroma has traditionally been paired with lamb, chicken and game…

    • 3 venison sausages



      The term venison was originally used to describe the meat of any furred game, but in Britain it…

    • oil, for frying
    • 100g pancetta, skinned and cut in small cubes or use bacon lardons



      Pancetta is Italian cured pork belly - the equivalent of streaky bacon. It has a deep, strong,…

    • 125g shallot or baby onions



      Related to the onion (as opposed to being a younger version of it), shallots grow in clusters at…

    • 150g mixture cleaned mushroom (try shiitakes, ceps and chestnuts)



      The mushroom is a fungus which comes in a wide range of varieties that belong to two distinct…

    • 200g young parsnip, peeled and cut into 6cm sticks



      The fact that the parsnip is a member of the carrot family comes as no surprise – it looks…

    • 2 tsp clear honey

    To assemble

    • 2 tsp grain mustard



      A condiment made by mixing the ground seeds of the mustard plant with a combination of…

    • 250-300g puff pastry, thawed if frozen
    • 2 egg yolks
    • sprigs of thyme and sea salt, to decorate


      This popular herb grows in Europe, especially the Mediterranean, and is a member of the mint…


    1. Untie the pheasants and pull out the legs. Using the tip of a very sharp knife, detach the legs where the thigh joins the body. Then slice off the breast fillets from the rib cage as neatly as possible and set aside. Discard the rest of the carcass.

    2. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large pan, brown the legs and season. Add the carrot, onion and 2-3 sprigs thyme, rosemary, bay leaves and cook for 5 mins. Pour in the wine, boil to reduce by three-quarters, then mix in the tomato purée. Cook for 1-2 mins, pour in 1.25 litres water and bring to a rapid boil. Skim off any fat and scum that rises to the top.

    3. Simmer the stock until it reduces by half to around 600ml, about 15 mins. Strain the stock and pour back into the pan. Boil until reduced to around 300ml. You can make up to this point 2 days in advance or freeze the stock for up to 1 month. (The leg meat isn’t used in this recipe, but you can shred

    4. Make a celeriac purée. Sauté the celeriac in the butter with 2 sprigs rosemary in a covered pan for 15-20 mins until soft. Discard the rosemary. Heat the stock, put a small ladleful in a blender or food processor with the celeriac, then blitz to a purée.

    5. Slice the breast fillets into large chunks and poach in the stock for 7 mins until just firm. Remove and set aside. Add the sausages, poach for 8-10 mins, then remove and slice. Take the stock off the heat.

    6. Heat oil in a large frying pan and sauté the pancetta for 4-5 mins. Add the shallots or onions and some oil, then cook for another 5 mins. Tip the mixture into a large bowl. Add more oil to the pan and fry the mushrooms for 5 mins. Add to the bowl and toss together with your hands or a large spoon.

    7. Tip the parsnips into the pan with the honey and the leaves of a sprig of thyme. Season and cook for 5-7 mins, discard the thyme and remove to the bowl along with the meat. Chop a sprig each of thyme, rosemary and parsley, add to the bowl and toss everything together.

    8. Heat the stock and mix in 1 tbsp of the celeriac purée and the mustard. Spoon the remaining purée into the bottom of a deep rectangular 22 x 10cm pie dish. Tip the filling on top, then pour over the stock. The filled pie dish can be covered with cling film and chilled for up to a day.

    9. Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured board to the thickness of £1 coin. Beat the yolks until smooth and brush some around the rim of the pie dish. Lay the pastry on top and press down the edge to seal. Using a sharp knife, trim off the excess, then pinch the edges to crimp. Brush evenly with more glaze.

    10. Cut out some small oval shapes, score leaf marks down the centre and pinch the ends. Fix onto the pastry and glaze with the egg. Fix thyme sprigs on top and crush over some sea salt flakes. Bake the pie for 10 mins, then reduce heat to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4 and bake for another 20-25 mins until golden and crisp. Leave to stand for 10 mins before serving.

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    Comments, questions and tips

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    Issy33's picture
    15th Jan, 2017
    Searched for what to do with a brace of pheasant I got given and found this recipe and I also had some venison sausages in the freezer. It was a plesaure to make, yes it took time and I noted part way through you can make the stock part a few days ahead which will assist in prep time on this recipe. The end result was worth every minute of effort. I'm not normally a fan of phesant and made this for my husband and really enjoyed this, it was a truly winning combination and a real treat. I will definitely make this again.
    9th Nov, 2013
    A really interesting recipe. The stock prep is very time consuming, but sort of worth it. The inclusion of a layer of purée makes me wonder whether the sauce needs to be SO refined - it ends up as a (delicious) slurry. I had a problem with the onions and parsnips not being cooked through when the pie was ready. I'd chop them smaller if I was to do it again.... Which, honestly, I'm not sure I would. Too much faff!
    21st Jan, 2013
    I agree with a lot of the other reviews, the timing is very suspect as it actually took me nearly two hours to get the pie prepared for the oven. Having said that the end results make it worth while spending so much time in the preparation. My dinner guests rated the pie 10/10 and said all my hard work definitely paid off. I would recommend making it when you have plenty of time on your hands.
    8th Jan, 2013
    Hells bells!!! I think someone definitely needs to check the timings on this!! If you can prepare this in an hour I'll bare my rear on the town hall steps!!! Saying that once it's cooked it's gorgeous. I used swede instead of celeriac and it was was really tasty. Will make again but only when I have a spare week or 2!!
    28th Nov, 2011
    Really tasty but this did take a long time to prepare, closer to 2 hours. The end result was worth it though. Couldn't find venison sausages so used ordinary sausages instead - still tasted really good.
    31st Dec, 2010
    I made this for family on christmas eve. It was a lot of work but my daughter helped. It was well received and I got this thank you email We greatly enjoyed our Christmas in Lymm. Neil’s game pie was generally thought to be the principal culinary highlight..... (I did tell them that it was Gordon's game pie and not mine!)
    16th Feb, 2009
    Christ, I was about to print off the recipe when I saw that its 100cals and 60g fat per serving!
    30th Jan, 2009
    What a fantastic recipe, however i found that the preperation time was a lot longer than 1 hour. I used swede instead of celeriac, it worked a treat. If you happen to have a brace of pheasants hanging up in your garage, untie them and stick them in your pie, you won't regret it!
    9th Jan, 2008
    A lot of work but absolutely brilliant. Just take care with the amount of celeriac puree so as not to make the sauce in the individual pies too thick. A class act which will impress your guests.
    12th Dec, 2007
    Best game pie I've tasted
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