Sunday, 5 January 2014


We love games here at Rockingham Forest Cider. Traditional pub games in particular, but we're not fussy and will have a go at just about any game given the chance. This week our game of choice has been Pheasant and Partridge. Because it's the game season. And we're nothing if not game for a bit of seasonal game, particularly when it comes in a lovely crusty-topped pie. With gravy. Yum!

There's game a-plenty at this time of year. Shooting & Beating friends often have more than they need, and far be it for us to look a gift cock, or indeed hen in the mouth. Besides, it's a tasty treat in the right hands, and all that messy plucking and drawing malarkey gives me a rare chance to pretend I'm a proper country type, rather than the soft townie chump I really am...

So... Here's our tasty Mixed Feathered Game, Leek, Cider & Apple Pie creation for you to bake along with should you wish:

This made a generous pie for two which could probably stretch to four at a push. I used the Breast & Leg Meat from a Pheasant and a Partridge, plus half a Free Range Chicken Breast and a couple of rashers of Bacon. These all need chopping into chunks, which represents a great opportunity to look for any potentially tooth-bothering 'shot' in the game birds and also remove any particularly shot-up meat.

Fry the meat in a good knob of Butter until lightly browned, then remove from the pan. Add a little more butter or oil and saute a finely chopped Leek until tender. Return the meat to the pan and sprinkle with a good tablespoon of Plain Flour. Stir until the flour has been cooked out a little then gradually add half a pint of good Dry Rockingham Forest Cider (or similar), stirring to create a thick sauce. Add a similar quantity of Chicken Stock to thin things down a bit.

You'll now want to season the bejesus out of it, with plenty of good old fashioned White Pepper in particular. Add a bunch of Thyme, Bay Leaf, a teaspoon of Wholegrain Mustard, and probably a bit more of that lovely white pepper. Trust me!

Cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes until all the game is reasonably tender. If the sauce is too thin, remove the lid and allow to reduce and thicken. In the last couple of minutes cooking, add a peeled, cored and chopped Apple to the pan. I used a medium sized Blenheim Orange, one of the last wizened fruit that didn't make it into the cider, but a couple of Cox's would work well too. You may like to finish with a little Double Cream, but this isn't essential. When allowed to cool a little, your mix is now ready to pie-up however you wish.

* Please note: Images are for guideance only. Other pies were made and photographed during the making of this blog post. Including one with mushrooms. Like the one above.


Neil Worley said...

Looks very appetising, Mark. We also get a lot of game at this time of year as there's a shoot based at the farm where we make our cider - and the boys are partial to a nice drop with their lunch. Quid pro quo... They also take most of our pomace to help the birds to 'stick' - pheasants apparently love to scratch around in it to find and eat all the pips!

Mark said...

Thanks for the comment Neil. Pie in this house represents a great way to get the missus to eat game and other cute furry things like Rabbit.