Wild Game Meat Pie
A recipe shared by Ryan Lisson #ZeroToHunt
When I see several packages of different meats in my freezer, one recipe always comes to mind: a traditional English meat pie. It’s really rewarding to use the seasonal bounty from the previous fall with a recipe like this. While it may be foreign to many Americans, there’s something so satisfying about a savory meat pie like this, especially on a mid-winter’s day. As with fruit pies, I love the idea of stuffing a crust full to the brim with delicious fillings – in this case, various wild game meats.
You can get creative about the ingredients here based on what you have available. I happened to have venison and ruffed grouse on hand, but I’ve also seen recipes with pheasants, ducks, cottontails/hares, squirrels, wild boar, and even pigeons. Try different combinations and see what you like best!
Notes from the Chef: You can cook the filling first if you like, but the lean wild game meat can dry out. As long as the pie filling is about 160-165oF when finished (which is no problem at these temperatures), you’ll be good to go.
Yield: 8 servings
1¼ pounds venison stew meat/steaks (diced)
3 grouse breasts (1 pound, deboned, diced)
½ pound pork shoulder (diced)
½ pound bacon (diced)
½ cup yellow onion, finely chopped
2 shallots, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon each dried thyme, parsley, sage, oregano
½ teaspoon each black pepper, allspice
¼ teaspoon salt
Hot Water Crust Pastry:
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups bread flour
½ teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter
4 ounces lard
2 cups water
1 beaten egg (for brushing crust)
- Dice the meat (about ¼” cubes) and vegetables and combine with the spices and herbs in a bowl. Set in the refrigerator.
- Preheat the oven to 375oFor the pastry, combine the two flours and salt in a large bowl.
- Heat water in a saucepan over medium-high heat and add lard and butter. When the lard and butter are fully melted, pour the mixture over the flour and roughly combine with a spoon until cool enough to knead with your hands. Knead quickly (2-3 minutes) to form smooth dough.
- Grease the pan with extra butter or lard. Roll 2/3 of the dough out into a thin sheet (about 1/8-1/4 inch thick) and carefully line an 8- or 9-inch springform pan, leaving about a 1-inch overhang. Roll out the other third of the dough for the top crust, and set aside.
- Spoon the ingredients into the pie crust until just below the top, and level it off. Add the top crust, trim the overhang off, and crimp the edges to seal it tightly. Decorate however you see fit, but cut a vent hole in the middle of the top crust. Brush egg wash all over exposed crust.
- Place the pan on a lined cookie sheet (to catch drippings), and cook at 375oF for 30 minutes. Lower temperature to 325oF and cook up to an additional 1½ hours. The internal temperature should be over 165oF and the crust should be golden brown.
- Cool at least 2 hours and carefully release the pan. Cut into wedges on a plate to catch the drippings. It can be served hot or cold, but it’s traditionally served at room temperature.
About the Chef: Ryan is a wildlife biologist, hunting mentor, and outdoors writer from Saint Paul, Minnesota. He enjoys spending time outside with his wife and two kids, and preparing different wild game recipes. He is also the founder of zerotohunt.com, a website to mentor and coach new adult hunters so they can experience the outdoors too.