Game can be enjoyed in so many ways! Often I like to cook the breasts of game birds or the loin of a wild rabbit on their own rather than roasting them whole, this leaves you with succulently delicious meat on the carcass to pick and use in a pie.

My game pie is a twist on a Delia Smith classic. However, you can make all sorts of amazing pies depending on what game is available. This pie has a slightly stiff filling so that I can share it out at a picnic without the filling spilling over everyone. If you'd rather enjoy it at home you could add gravy for good measure - but not too much as you wouldn't want to end up with a ‘soggy bottom’ (as those on The Great British Bake Off would say).

Ingredients

For the Filling

1kg of diced game (this can be rabbit, pigeon, venison, pheasant, partridge or Mallard duck)

150ml port

2 tbsp brandy

500g Saddleback Lardo, very finely diced

500g Saddleback Pork Mince

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp ground nutmeg

2 garlic cloves, crushed

Small handful of fresh parsley, chopped

200g streaky bacon rashers

Salt and Pepper to season to taste

800ml of stock

1 tbsp juniper berries

10g gelatine

For the Pastry

800g of Hot Water Crust pastry

1 free range egg, to glaze

How long?

Marinating: Overnight

Preparation and cooking time: 4 hours

How many for?

Feeds 8

Cooking method

1. First, marinate the meat overnight in the port, brandy and thyme.

2. Next day, preheat your oven to 150ºC, then butter your pie tin thoroughly.

3. Mix the lardo and pork mince together with the cinnamon, ginger, garlic, nutmeg, parsley and salt and pepper. Split into 4.

4. Get 600g of your pastry and roll it out to a size large enough to line your pie tin. The remaining 200g will make the lid. Work the pastry around your tin.

5. Next line the pastry with the rashers of bacon.

6. Add in your first layer of pork mix, followed by half of the marinated game, followed again with a layer of pork, then game, and finally with a layer of pork.

7. Top the pie with the pastry lid and squeeze the edges together to make a decorative rim. Then glaze with an egg and cut a small steam hole in the centre.

8. Cover and bake for 2 hours, then uncover and cook for a further 45 minutes until the pastry has turned golden.

9. Remove from the oven and allow to cool while you gently warm your stock, juniper berries and gelatine. Once the pie has cooled and the stock mixture has warmed slightly, pour it carefully and slowly into the steam hole until all of the crevices in the pie have been filled and no more stock can be retained.

10. Leave to chill a little longer to allow the jelly in the stock to set and then serve.

11. Our Chutneys and Marmalades go fabulously well with the pie.