The Storks of Böbs

The Storks of Böbs
A Very Fine Pair

An Autumn Game Pie

First get yourself a nice bit of game, this is a perfect  use for any game that has been too damaged to be roasted or braised whole (in this case it was all in order but was from last year’s shoots so needed using up as my deep-freeze is full)

2 pigeons
2 hare rear legs
A nice piece of wildsau (female boar) shoulder (about 1 kg bone in, it should give you about 500g of pure meat)

2 carrots
¼ of a celeriac globe (peeled and diced)
1 large leek (or 2 small ones)
½ a large onion (the other half is used for the stock)
1 tsp. of game spices
2 glasses of red wine (you will need some for the marinade and some for the sauce)
10 brown mushrooms, cleaned and halved (larger ones quartered)
Salt and pepper to taste
100 ml of vegetable oil

12 Sausage stuffing balls made from 200g of sausage meat and chopped herbs (parsley, thyme and rosemary), browned in a little oil before adding to the pie dish.

To start off, pick over the game, removing any shot, broken bone or feather stubble. Remove the breasts from the pigeons, the meat from the legs of the hare (trim away as much of the silver skin as possible) and the  dice shoulder of the wild sau.

Dice the meat into bite size pieces, place into a bowl and sprinkle with the game spices and a glass of good red wine, cover, and place in the fridge until required (at least 4 hours).

Now make your stock.

Bones and trimmings from the game
3 bay leaves
3 juniper berries
3 pimento berries
A few parsley stalks
6 cloves
1 fat garlic clove crushed and chopped
½ tsp of coriander seeds
½ tsp mace
1-10cm piece of cinnamon bark
1 half of a squeezed lemon (Linda had made a very nice Turkish Hummus to go with her stuffed Aubergines the evening before)
2 ltr of vegetable (game or chicken) stock
5 tbsp.  of vegetable oil (Rape seed will do, Aldi have it on special offer at the moment)
Place the bones and trimmings into a large stock pan (this part can be done in a pressure cooker if you wish) along with ½ of the diced root vegetables and all of the rest of the stock ingredients, brown on a high heat, then cover with 2 ltr of made up vegetable stock (I always use Marigold, but any will do). Bring to a rolling boil and skim. Lid on but a slightly open (you can put a wooden spoon under it) and allow to simmer for a good two hours (30 mins if using a pressure cooker).
The Vegetables and Aromatics
Brown the veg, bones and carcasses
Add the stock

Bring to a rolling boil
Skim the scum as it rises


Keep the stock hot.

In a large pan, heat  the oil, put in the rest of the diced vegetables, the onion, garlic and then the diced game, brown and add enough of the game stock to cover the meat, lower the heat and simmer until the meat is tender, add the marinade and the mushrooms.

While all this has been going on make your Rough Puff Pastry for the pie crust.
225g of plain flour
¼ tsp of salt (often called a pinch)
150g of ice cold fat, I used 50% butter, 50% margarine diced quite small
A couple of table spoons of ice cold water (you may not need it all)

Sieve the flour into a large basin, add the salt and then stir in the fats with a knife (before adding the water you should still see small flecks of margarine and butter. Add the water a little at a time to form a stiff dough.
Roll out on a floured board into an oblong about 30cm x 15 cm, fold into three onto itself (1/3 in towards the middle and then the other 1/3 over the top, turn it so that one of the open ends is towards you roll out again and then repeat the procedure, Roll out to an oblong fold, turn and roll for a total of 3 more times. Cover in cling film and allow to rest in a cool place (fridge) until required (at least 20 minutes).

Assembling the pie.
Fry the sausage meat balls.

Put a pie funnel into a pie dish.
Place your stuffing balls in the base of a the pie dish.

Remove the meat and vegetables from the pan with a slotted spoon (in this case a one with holes in, but it served the same purpose) and add to the stuffing balls in the pie dish. 

Now make your sauce.

Add a glass of red wine and the brandy to the sauce and add some knobs of Beurre Marnier allow to cook out and thicken, pour this over the meat in the pie dish. 

Allow to cool, but in the meantime (we cannot have you doing nothing) roll out your pastry large enough to cover the pie, cut a strip (or two) off but make sure that the pastry is large enough to still cover the pie. Cover with cling film.

When the pie filling is cool, wet the rim of the pie dish with a little water and push the strips around and on top of the pie dish edge (this is to form a seal for the top. Now cover the pie with the pastry lid, pushing it down onto the edges, cut a small hole in the middle for the pie funnel to pop through. (I used to have a nice black bird one but it had an unfortunate mishap and broke its neck, this one is a much sturdier piece of cooking equipment that I picked it up for next to nowt at Newcastle Granger Market).

Decorate the top with roses and leaves and things (I would have cut out pigeons and hares but I am useless at doing that). Beat and egg and egg wash the top.
Heat the oven to 230°c,  put the pie in and bake for about 20 minutes until golden, reduce the heat to 180°C for a further 25 minutes, Pie done!

I had made Pommes Boulangère (this was in the oven before and while the pie was cooking)

1 kg of waxy potatoes
3 large shallots
1 clove of garlic (chopped)
A small amount of chopped fresh herbs
Fresh ground pepper
200 ml of stock
25 g of butter

Butter a baking dish, slice the potatoes quite thin (I used a mandolin) into a layer covering the base of the dish, cover these with shallots, a few slithers of garlic and a sprinkling of herbs. 

Wet with a little stock a grinding of pepper and dot with butter, continue with another layer repeating the procedure, and lastly finish off with a layer of potatoes, pour over the remaining stock, add the last of the butter flocks and a final twist or two of pepper. Place this in the oven covered at 180° and bake for 1 hr removing the cover for the last 10 minutes (I take it off and place under the grill).

We also had shredded Savoy cabbage with loads of butter and nutmeg.

Also garden peas, broad beans, butter beans mixed together with sautéed onions and diced speck (bacon pieces).

We had a nice glass of deep red Portuguese Ermalinda to accompany the meal (the same wine that I used for the marinade and the sauce.

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