Thursday, 5 December 2013

Game pie with leeks and mushrooms

When a reminder came last Saturday to have a look at the forthcoming vegetable box from Abel & Cole, I was curious to see what's on offer. A game pie mix looked good, so I added it to the basket. I looked through some of my cook books for inspiration and decided that I will make a festive game pie, with mushrooms, leeks and cranberries.

I was also impatient to test my two new OXO Good Grips gadgets: a Smooth Potato Masher and an angled measuring jug. A game pie would go nicely with mashed potatoes. I was very pleased to have a new measuring jug, as my old measuring cup has mysteriously disappeared. I suspect that one of my guys "helped" me by recycling it by mistake. I used OXO Good Grips measuring cup to measure the right amount of wine for the sauce, and milk for the mashed potatoes. It has a non-slip handle (great for when your hands are wet). You can see exactly how much liquid you have used, all the measurements are clear, both on the outside and inside the jug.

OXO Good Grips Angled Measuring Cup

Game pie
500g game pie mix
2tbsp olive oil
1 medium leek, finely sliced
2 medium carrots, chopped
1 parsnip, chopped
8 + chestnut mushrooms
a handful of chopped thyme and rosemary
1tsp wild rose el hanout spice mix
a handful of cranberries
300ml red wine (I used Cabernet)
1 mug of stock (I used a vegetable stock cube)
puff pastry for the lid

Brown the pieces of meat in a deep frying pan with the olive oil, then add the sliced vegetables, cranberries and chopped herbs. Cook for about 15 minutes, stirring from time to time. Season well. Pour the wine, about one third at a time, and add more, as it gets reduced, the same with the stock, don't pour it all at once, and cook under the lid for about 45 minutes on low. Put the contents of the pan in a deep pie dish. Cut the puff pastry lid with a hole inside. Place the pie dish in the oven preheated to 180C and cook for 20 minutes, until the pastry is golden.
I have asked my friends on Facebook if I need a pie funnel, or whether I would be fine without one. Some people suggested using an egg cup to support the lid. Well, we don't really use the egg cups, and those that we got as gifts are made of melamine, so not suitable for the task. I did cut out a small opening in the middle for the steam to escape, but as the pie was packed with meat and veg, there was no space for the lid to collapse, even if it wanted to. So, technically, I didn't really need a pie funnel. The pastry absorbed some of the juices but wasn't soggy.
It was a real comfort food, especially when served with the mash. A great combination of flavours and textures, with the cranberries adding a festive touch, and the red wine making it rich.

I have shamelessly used a ready-made puff pastry. I thought about making my own, then decided that I didn't have time or energy. I am sooo not the GBBO material. In fact, I am a self-confessed queen of Jus-Rol.

Testing OXO Good Grips smooth potato masher

For the mashed potato and parsnip, cook two chopped potatoes and two parsnips in salted water until soft. Add some warmed milk, a bit at a time and a generous dollop of butter.

Typically I use my old wooden masher, so I was curious to find out how the OXO Good Grips Smooth Potato Masher will do the job. It is very light, and works with less pressure on your hands. The handle is broad and soft and comfortable in use. A stainless steel mashing plate has a fine grid and mashes the vegetables smoothly and effortlessly, leaving no lumps. As the mashing plate is shaped as an oval, you can move it around the pan easily and get all bits mashed perfectly.
I would imagine it is very handy to make the baby food as well.
My score for both OXO products: 5/5.

Disclosure: I received two OXO Good Grips products for purposes of reviewing. All opinions and a recipe suggestion are mine.

Cooking with Herbs


  1. It looks gorgeous Galina. Coincidentally I popped a pack of game pie mix into my Abel and Cole order last week too. I'm thinking of using it in a steamed suet pudding.

    1. Thank you Jane! Would love to read your recipe once you blogged.

  2. Looks good. I'll replace the game pie mix with chicken or pork and I'll give it a try.

    1. Do let me know if you try it. I think it would be lovely with chicken

  3. I love game but have always passed by the game pie mixes. I wonder if someone has reviewed which combinations of game work best?

    1. I would also be interested in a review like that. The one from Abel & Cole is Wild venison, wild pheasant, wild partridge. I also have tried the game mix from Waitrose in the past, in casseroles, but don't remember what ingredients it had.

  4. A GORGEOUS looking pie Galine and such lovely filling ingredients too! Karen xxxx