Make this impressive looking pie and keep it in the fridge, ready for a lunch buffet. The simple hot water crust pastry is well worth the effort
- 200g fresh or frozen cranberries
- 50g golden caster sugar
- 800g mixed boneless game, such as rabbit, venison, wild boar, pheasant, partridge or pigeon, finely chopped
- 300g pork belly, minced (ask your butcher to do this, or pulse in a food processor)
- 200g smoked lardons
- 150g cooked chestnuts, roughly chopped
- ½ tsp ground mace
- 2 large pinches of ground nutmeg
- small bunch sage, finely chopped
- 1 tsp chopped thyme
- 1 tsp ground white pepper
- 200g lard, cubed, plus a little for greasing
- 575g plain flour
- 1 egg, beaten
- 4 gelatine leaves
- 300ml chicken stock
MethodTip 150g of the cranberries and the sugar into a saucepan, add 1 tbsp water and bring to a simmer. Bubble for 4-5 mins until the cranberries have softened and you have a glossy sauce. Cool completely. Mix the remaining filling ingredients (including the remaining cranberries) in a large bowl and season well.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 140g pack cubed pancetta
- 1kg braising steak, cubed
- 4 tbsp plain flour
- 1 bottle red wine or 750ml beef stock
- 4 thyme sprigs
- 600g whole shallots
- 2 tbsp redcurrant or cranberry jelly
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 egg yolk
- 350g plain flour
- 1 tbsp English mustard powder
- 200g butter, frozen
- Heat half the olive oil in a large pan and cook the pancetta for a few mins until golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Dust the steak with the flour, then brown in the hot pancetta oil – to stop the pan getting overcrowded, do this in two batches. Return all the steak to the pan along with the pancetta.
- Add the wine and thyme and bring to the boil. Partially cover with a lid, leaving a gap of about 1cm, and simmer for 2 hrs until the meat is tender, stirring from time to time, and once the sauce has thickened and reduced a little, cover the pan completely.
- Meanwhile, heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Toss the remaining olive oil and the shallots together. Spread out on a baking sheet and roast for 45 mins until soft and golden brown.
- To make the pastry crust, sift the flour and mustard into a large bowl, then coarsely grate in the frozen butter. Drizzle over 6-8 tbsp cold water and taking care not to over-handle it, lightly bring together to make a firm dough. Wrap and chill for 30 mins.
- Stir the roasted shallots, jelly and vinegar into the beef and season, then spoon into a 2-litre pie dish. Raise the oven temp to 220C/200C fan/gas 7.
- Roll out the pastry and lay over the filling – it’s a good idea to use a pie funnel to support the pastry and prevent it going soggy in the centre, but it’s not essential. Mix the egg yolk with a little salt, then brush over the top of the pastry. Bake for 30 mins or until the pastry is crisp and golden and the filling is hot right the way through.
- 500g floury potato, cut into chunks
- 1 medium swede (weighing about 600g/1lb 5oz), cut into chunks
- 200g tub low-fat soft cheese with garlic and herbs
- 150ml vegetable stock
- 4 tsp cornflour, blended with 2 tbsp cold water
- 650g skinless, boneless cod, cut into large chunks
- 100g cooked peeled prawn
- 1 tsp chopped fresh parsley
- Cook the potatoes and swede in boiling water until tender (about 20 minutes).
- Preheat the oven to 190C/gas 5/fan 170C.While the potatoes and swede cook, put the soft cheese and stock into a large saucepan and heat gently, stirring with a wooden spoon, until blended and smooth. Now add the blended cornflour and cook until thick.
- Stir the fish into the sauce with the prawns and parsley. Season with some pepper.
- Tip the mixture into a 1.5 litre/2¾ pint baking dish. Drain the potatoes and swede, mash them well and season with black pepper. Spoon the mash over the fish to cover it completely. Bake for 25-30 minutes until piping hot, then transfer to a hot grill for a few minutes to brown the top. Serve with frozen peas or sweetcorn.
- 85g unsalted butter
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 8 medium ceps (about 400g/14oz), cleaned
- 150ml/¼pt dry white wine
- 12 cooked whole chestnuts
- 8 large sprigs thyme, two whole, six with the leaves carefully picked from the stalks
- 2 tbsp sunflower oil
- 12 scallops, as large as you can find, cleaned and coral removed
- Heat half the butter in a medium saucepan and sweat the onion and garlic for 5 mins. Meanwhile, remove the stalks of the ceps from the heads, cut them into chunks, cut the heads in half and set aside. Stir the chopped stalks in with the onions, raise the heat and fry for 2 mins until coloured. Pour in the wine and reduce by half. Add the chestnuts, 2 sprigs thyme and 400ml/14fl oz of water. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 40 mins.
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Put in the cep heads, cut side down, around the outside, followed by the scallops in the centre. Fry over a high heat for 1 min each side until golden. Turn over and fry for 2 mins more. Sprinkle over the thyme leaves, season if you want and turn off the heat.
- Remove the thyme and stir in the second half of the butter. Spoon the compote into the four deep plates and top with the scallops and fried ceps.