Based on Colonial Game Pie from The Williamsburg Cookbook
2 duck legs
1/2 tablespoon canola oil
1 ½ lb goat stew meat
2 lb venison
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup sherry
3 cups Sauce Diable (recipe follows) or basic brown sauce
1/2 Tablespoon Worchestershire sauce
1clove garlic, minced
½teaspoon black pepper, ground
1/2 cup currant jelly
1 lb wild mushrooms, quartered
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 lb slab bacon, cut into ¼ inch cubes
10-12 pearl onions
2 Tablespoons milk
**Note: Any game will work in this recipe. The original recipe calls for venison, duck and rabbit.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Rub the duck legs with salt and pepper to taste. In a cast iron dutch oven, heat 1/2 tablespoon canola oil over medium high heat. Sear the duck legs, about 2 minutes on each side, to begin rendering the fat. Once seared, place in the oven and cook until done – about 35 minutes, or when the internal temperature of the thigh reaches about 145 degrees.
Cut the venison into large cubes, combine with the goat, and season with salt and pepper. Saute the venison and goat in the vegetable oil in a large skillet until well browned, stirring and turning as necessary. Remove the meat and drain most of the oil from the skillet, reserving no more than a tablespoon.
Add the sherry to the skillet and boil for 2-3 minutes, scraping up any brown particles. Return the venison and goat to the skillet and add the Sauce Diable. Simmer for 45-60 minutes, or until the meat is tender.
Remove the goat and venison from the sauce, making sure to remove as little of the sauce as possible. Place the meat on a large cutting board. Remove any bones and tough tendons, and cut into bite-sized pieces. Do the same with the duck. Return all meat to the sauce and season with the Worcestershire sauce, garlic, pepper, and currant jelly.
Saute the mushrooms in the butter until lightly browned. Fry the bacon until crisp, and drain. Peel the onions, then pour boiling water over them. Once softened, brown the onions in the same pan that you fried the bacon in (use the bacon grease as your cooking oil).
Divide the game mixture into individual greased casserole dishes (we used 10 ounce gratin dishes) and garnish the top of each with mushrooms, bacon, and onions. Cover each dish with the pastry crust, trim the edges, and prick the tops to allow the steam to escape.
Beat the egg lightly with the milk to make an egg wash and brush the tops of the pastry with the mixture. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Serve piping hot.
Sauce Diable (Adapted from Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking)
3 Tablespoons cornstarch
3 cups homemade stock
2 tablespoons minced shallots
2 tablespoons butter
2/3 cup dry vermouth
1-2 tablespoons butter to finish the sauce
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
In a saucepan, whisk together the stock and the corn starch to thicken the stock into a more sauce-like consistency. It’s really important to use high quality beef stock, or better yet, homemade stock for this recipe.
In another saucepan, saute the shallots in the butter for about 2 minutes without browning. Add the vermouth and bring the liquid to a boil. Reduce until only 3-4 tablespoons of the liquid remains. Pour in the thickened sauce and simmer for 2 minutes. Add enough pepper for the sauce to have a little kick.
Whisk in the remaining butter and the parsley to finish the sauce.