Anthony Legge, the founder of the butcher and deli Legges of Bromyard, shares an easy-to-make game pie recipe
With a passion for the rural community and an eye for quality local meat, fifth-generation Herefordshire farmer Anthony Legge founded butchers, deli and pie shop Legges of Bromyard in 2000. Fast-forward 15 years and Legges’ cuts take centre stage on dinner tables across the Midlands, and its handcrafted pies are being shipped to every corner of Britain.
Bromyard born and bred, Anthony wanted to give something back to his hometown when he finished his butcher’s training. He established Legges and worked hard to build a name and a niche in a county where reputation is everything. He is still proudly at the helm, stocking his shelves with delicious wares from more than 50 suppliers in Herefordshire alone, cooking up new ideas in the on-site kitchens, and exploring new meats and new potential.
A favourite since Roman times
The company’s commitment to sourcing locally is never more apparent than in its game pie. Game pies have been a staple on the British menu since Roman times — throughout the centuries, Brits have used the fantastic supply of meat and poultry surrounding them, and that certainly hasn’t changed now.
All the ingredients in Legges’ game pie come from Herefordshire, except the pheasant, which is shot at Shelsy in Worcestershire. The venison comes from Hampton Court at Hope-Under-Dinmore, while Ross-On-Wye provides the fantastic wild boar.
Here’s the recipe or buy the pies online
Anthony adds a little bacon, red onion and gherkin for a special Legges touch. Once cooked, it can be served with pickles, salad and hearty chips for real pie perfection.
If you want to have a go at making the pie yourself, here’s the recipe (see below) or you can purchase the cranberry-topped version online here at Legges of Bromyard.
Recipe for game pie with a cranberry topping (serves 4-6)
- Put the flour, salt and egg into a bowl and roughly mix together. Put the water and lard in a small saucepan and heat together until it reaches boiling point. Stir the hot water and lard into the flour mixture and mix gently until it is combined into a ball.
- Wrap the ball in cling film and rest at room temperature for five minutes before moulding into a 23cm (9in) pie dish. It is important to do this while the pastry is still warm, because it will harden as it cools. Make a lid by cutting a disc of the remaining pastry to the correct size. Make a hole in the centre.
- Once the pastry base is cool, mix the venison, pheasant, wild boar, bacon, gherkins and onion in a bowl with the salt, pepper, juniper, mace and nutmeg. Pack the mix firmly into the pastry base, and put the pastry lid on top.
- Cover with tin foil and cook at a temperature of 170°C (325°F, Gas Mark 3) for about one hour.
- Soften the leaf gelatine in some cold water. Meanwhile heat the venison stock to boiling point. Remove from the heat and stir in the softened gelatine.
- Gently pour the gelatine on top of the meat through the hole of the pie lid, until the pastry case is full. Decorate the pastry lid with raw cranberries and pour the remaining gelatine over them to hold in place. Leave to cool overnight.