Country Pie


Making this classic Country Pie takes time, but reaps rewards.

1 small duck

1 small chicken

350 pork belly, minced

1 egg, lightly beaten

2 shallots, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg

5 ml worcestershire sauce

finely grated rind of 1 lemon

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

150 ml red wine

175g ham, cut into cubes

salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Jelly:

all the meat bones and trimmings

2 carrots

1 onion

2 celery sticks

15ml red wine

1 bay leaf

1 whole clove

1 sachet of gelatine

For the pastry:

225g hard white fat

300ml boiling water

675g plain flour

1 egg, lightly beaten with a pinch of salt


Cut as much meat from the raw duck and chicken as possible, removing the skin and sinews.

Cut the duck and chicken breasts into cubes and set them aside.

Mix the rest of the duck and chicken meat with the minced pork, egg, shallots, spices, worcestershire sauce, lemon rind and salt and pepper.

Add the red wine and leave for about 15 minutes for the flavours to develop.

To make the jelly, place the meat bones and trimmings, carrots, onion, celery, wine, bay leaf and clove in a large pan and cover with 2.75 litres of water.

Bring to the boil, skimming off any scum, and simmer gently for 2 1/2 hours.

To make the pastry, place the fat and water in a pan and bring to the boil. Sieve the flour and a pinch of salt into a bowl and pour on the liquid. Mix with a wooden spoon, and when the dough is cool enough to handle, knead it well and let it sit in a warm place, covered with a cloth for about 20-30 minutes or until you are ready to use it.

Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Grease a 25cm loose-based deep cake tin. Roll out about two-thirds of the pastry thinly enough to line the cake tin. Make sure there are no holes and allow enough pastry to leave a little hanging over the top.

Fill the pie with a layer of half the minced-pork mixture; then top this with a layer of the cubed duck and chicken breast-meat and cubes of ham.

Top with the remaining minced pork. Brush the overhanging edges of pastry with water and cover with the remaining rolled out pastry.

Seal the edges well. Make two large holes in the top and decorate with any pastry trimmings.

Bake the pie for 30 minutes. Brush the top with the egg and salt mixture.

Turn down the oven to 180°C. After 30 minutes loosely cover the pie with foil to prevent the top getting too brown, and bake it for a further 1 hour.

Strain the stock after 2 1/2 hours. Let it cool and remove the solidified layer of fat from the surface. Measure 600ml of stock. Heat it gently to just below boiling point and whisk the gelatine into it until no lumps are left.

Add the remaining strained stock and leave to cool.

When the pie is cool, place a funnel through one of the holes and pour in as much of the stock as possible, letting it come up to the holes in the crust. Leave to set for at least 24 hours before slicing and serving.

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