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Pastie main
Harry Weir and Brian Clarke

Game Pasties

This hearty dish from Dermot Staunton is the ultimate comfort food.

Serving: 8
Difficulty: Medium


  • 500g shortcrust pastry, made with lard if possible
  • 2 egg yolks beaten with milk

For the game mix

  • 500g venison haunch, deboned and very finely diced
  • 500g pheasant thighs, deboned, skinned and very finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 banana shallots, finely
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and grated
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and finely diced
  • 2 sprigs thyme, picked
  • 1 tablespoon tomato purée
  • 200ml Madeira
  • 100ml ruby port
  • 1 teaspoon juniper berries, black peppercorns, 2 star anise and 1 stick of cinnamon tied up in a piece of muslin cloth
  • 1.5 litres brown chicken or game stock
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon redcurrant jelly
  • Worcestershire sauce and sherry vinegar, to taste


  1. Place a frying pan over a medium heat. Season the meat with salt and brown in small batches with a little sunflower oil. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  2. In a separate large casserole or stockpot, sweat the shallots down in the butter for five minutes. Season with salt, add the garlic, carrot and thyme and continue to cook for five minutes. Add the tomato purée and cook for a further two
  3. Add the Madeira, port and spice bag and reduce by half over a high heat. Add the meat and the stock. The stock should just barely cover the meat and vegetables. Bring to a boil, skim off any impurities and then reduce the heat to the lowest simmer and cover with a lid for 1½-2 hour or until the meat is very tender.
  4. Place the cornflour and mustard in a cup and whisk in some cold water. Whisk this mixture into the stew along with the redcurrant jelly and return to a boil. This should thicken your sauce, if not add a little more cornflour and water. Season the stew with salt, black pepper, a few dashes of Worcestershire and a splash of sherry vinegar. Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature. Place in the fridge, preferably overnight.
  5. To assemble the pasties, dust a workbench with flour and roll the pastry out to a thickness of about 3mm. Use a ring cutter or a small saucer to cut the pastry into circles roughly 10cm in diameter. Place on a floured baking sheet. Gather the pastry trimming and knead briefly. Repeat the process until all the pastry has been used. Cover with a damp cloth as you go.
  6. Place a tablespoon of the game mix in the centre of a piece of pastry and egg- wash the edges. Fold either side up to meet in the middle, and then carefully seal the edges, pushing out as much air as possible. It's useful to flour your hands at this stage to stop them from sticking to the pastry. Lay the pastie on its side so you’re looking at a semi-circle.
  7. Egg wash the edge and, starting at one corner, fold the pastry onto itself all the way around so that you are left with a pleated edge. Egg-wash the top of the pastry and sprinkle with flaked sea salt and some chopped thyme. Repeat with the remaining pastry sheets. When ready to serve, place in a preheated oven at 180ºC/gas mark 4 for 12-14 minutes. In the restaurant, we serve this as a starter with Jerusalem artichoke, chestnut purée and pickled chanterelles.


This recipe will make more than you need but the pasties freeze well and can be
cooked straight from the freezer. Have as a snack with some brown sauce and a
pickled onion.