Here's just a quick post as to a way to make your main meal halloween themed! A while ago I made a game pie, and decided to add some extra decorations/make a few improvements to the recipe. I also added in some pumpkin to the filling to give a real halloween vibe. Venison and duck are both amazing at the moment, but you could use something like chicken instead :)
I've only made a pie lid for this pie, as I had many issues with soggy bottoms. If you would like a base, just double the recipe for the pastry, and use half to cover the base and sides of the pie dish.
I also used a large 24cm pie dish, but a 23cm springform cake tin would work well too.
Makes one large pie - enough for around 8 servings
For the filling:
- 350g butternut squash or pumpkin, peeled and chopped into 2.5cm chunks
- 200g carrots, peeled and chopped into 2.5cm chunks
- 1 onion, peeled and chopped finely
- 250g mushrooms, chopped
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1kg venison, duck (or chicken if you want to cut down on costs!)
- 100g dried chopped apricots
- 100g mixed chopped nuts (I used a combination of peanuts, walnuts and almonds)
- 100g 0% fat greek yoghurt
- 100g black treacle
- 1 ¼ tsp salt
- 2 tbsp Schwartz Moroccan spice blend
For the hot water crust pastry:
- 55g butter
- 65g lard
- 1 tsp salt
- 265g plain flour
- 55g strong white bread flour
- 135ml boiling water
- 1 egg, beaten
1. Preheat the oven to 180c/160c fan/gas mark 4.
2. In a large frying pan, heat the oil and fry the spices for 1 minute. Add the meat, and fry for 3-4 minutes – this browns off the meat.
3. In a large mixing bowl, add the chopped vegetables, apricots, nuts and meat. Stir in the treacle and yoghurt, and season. Set aside whilst you make the pastry.
4. For the pastry, place the butter, lard, salt and water in a medium saucepan, and bring to a simmer. Stir occasionally until the butter and lard have melted and the mixture is bubbling.
5. Sieve together the plain and strong bread flour. Once the lard and butter have melted, make a well in the centre of the flours, and pour in the fat mixture. Mix with a wooden spoon at first, and then use your hands to make a smooth dough.
6. Once cool enough to handle, roll out two thirds of your pastry to about 5mm thick. This will be the pie lid.
7. Add the filling to the pie. Place the rolled out pie lid over the filling, and press the edges down with a fork (to help prevent leakage).
8. Roll out the remaining pastry and cut into a large pumpkin. Cut out the face, then place the pumpkin onto the pie lid. You can use any excess pastry to make a fancy rim around the pie if you like.
9. Brush the beaten egg over the pumpkin - this will make it stand out against the pie background. Bake for 1 hour. Check the pie, and cover with foil if it is browning too much. Use a meat thermometer to check that the game pie has cooked – it should be around 74c.
10. Enjoy the pie warm or cold.