Preparation time: 1 hour
Cooking time: 35 minutes (Plus chilling)
Serves 4

This ultimate game pie with crisp crust is made using autumnal vegetables, pheasant and venison.

Nutrition Facts

987 K. calories
62 grams protein
39 grams carbohydrates
61 grams fat
23 grams saturates
10 grams fiber
1.9 grams sugar
3.14 grams salt



Pheasants – 2, about 800 grams each
Oil – Sunflower or olive oil
Fresh thyme and rosemary sprigs
Bay leaves – 2
Carrot – 1 chopped
Onion – 1 medium (chopped)
Red wine – 200 milliliters
Tomato purée – 1 tablespoon


Celeriac – 1 small (about 600 grams; peeled/chopped into big chunks)
Butter – 50 grams
Bunch thyme, rosemary and parsley
Venison sausages – 3
Oil for frying
Pancetta – 100 grams (skinned and cut into small cubes; or use bacon lardons)
Shallots/baby onions – 125 grams
Mixture cleaned mushrooms – 150 grams (try shiitakes, chestnuts and ceps)
Young parsnips – 200 grams (peeled and cut into sticks of 6 centimeter length)
Clear honey – 2 teaspoons

To assemble

Mustard grain – 2 teaspoons
Puff pastry (thaw it if frozen) – 250 to 300 grams
Egg yolk – 2
Sprigs of thyme, sea salt for decoration

Method of Preparation

Pull out the legs of the pheasants after untying them. Use the tip of an extremely sharp knife to detach the legs at the point where the thigh is attached to the body. Now, cut the breast fillets off from the rib cage and keep it aside. The remaining parts of the carcass can be discarded.

Take a large pan and heat 2 tablespoons of oil. Brown the legs of the pheasants and season them. Add carrot, onion and 2 to 3 sprigs rosemary, thyme, bay leaves. Cook for about 5 minutes. Add the wine and boil the mixture to reduce it by three-quarters. Now, add the tomato purée. Continue cooking for 1 to 2 minutes. Add 1.25 liters of water and bring it to a boil. Remove the scum and fat that rise to the top.

The stock can then be simmered for about 15 minutes till it gets reduced by half to approximately 600ml. Strain the stock out and then pour it back into the pan. Continue boiling till it gets reduced to around 300 milliliters. The dish could be prepared up to this point as many as 2 days in advance. Or else, the stock could be frozen and stored for about a month. (The legs are not required for this recipe. However, they may be shred.)

Use a covered pan to prepare a celeriac purée by sautéing the celeriac in butter along with 2 sprigs of rosemary. Heat the pan for about 15 to 20 minutes until they become soft. The rosemary can then be discarded. Now, heat the stock and add a small ladleful into a blender/food processor along with the celeriac. Blitz to a purée.

Poach the large chunks of cut breast fillets in the stock for about 7 minutes or till they become just firm. Remove them and set them aside. Now, add the sausages and poach for about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove and slice and also remove the stock from the stove.

In a big frying pan, heat oil and sauté the pancetta for about 4 to 5 minutes. Now, add the shallots/onions and a little bit of oil. Cook for 5 minutes more. Transfer the mixture to a big bowl. Add oil to the pan and fry the mushrooms for about 5 minutes. Transfer the mushrooms to the bowl and toss them together or mix with a large spoon.

Transfer the parsnips onto the pan along with the honey and also the leaves from a sprig of thyme. Season and cook for about 5 to 7 minutes. Now, discard the thyme. Transfer the content into the bowl together with the meat. Cut one sprig each of rosemary, thyme and parsley into small pieces and add to the bowl. Toss everything together.

Heat the stock and then add the mustard and 1 tablespoon of celeriac purée. Transfer the remaining purée to the bottom of a rectangular pie dish that is deep and has a size of 22 centimeters × 10 centimeters. Transfer the filling on to the top and pour the stock over. You can cover the filled pie with a cling film and chill it for a day or so.

Heat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius or 180 degrees Fahrenheit or gas level 6. Now, roll the pastry on a board that is lightly floured. Beat the yolks till they become smooth. Then brush a little of it around the pie dish’s rim. Put the pastry on top and seal by pressing down the edge. With the help of a sharp knife remove the excess and pinch the edges to crimp.

You can cut some oval shapes, leaf marks in the center and pinch the ends. Fix thyme sprigs and sprinkle sea salt flakes. Keep the pie in the oven for about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 180 degrees Celsius or 160 degrees Fahrenheit or gas level 4 and bake for an additional 20 to 25 minutes. Wait for 10 minutes and then serve.

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