James St Recipes: Chicken and Leek Pie, and Game Pie

This week’s recipes are two classics. Over the past 10 years at the restaurant, we’ve always had a rotation of delicious pies on the menu.

One of my favorites this time of year is a game pie as it covers a multitude of flavors and tastes.

The game pie can be a complete mix of all birds, pheasant, pigeon or you can include rabbit or deer scraps. It’s an earthy dish and a great comfort food for those dark evenings.

A more family-friendly pie is the classic chicken and leek pie. Although it can be bought in the store, it always tastes better when you make it yourself. On days like this I always have pastry hidden in the freezer to unroll and yes, store bought is pretty good.

:: For more information or to book an experience at Waterman Cookery School, visit cookinbelfast.co.uk.


Game pie

1kg of pheasant, pigeon, rabbit and venison, skinless and boneless

2 glasses of red wine

2 peeled carrots, chopped

1 peeled onion, chopped

1 teaspoon of tomato puree

1 garlic clove, chopped

4 juniper berries, crushed

1 bay leaf

1 tablespoon of picked thyme

2 tablespoons of rapeseed oil

1 liter of beef broth

3 tablespoons of plain flour

25g butter

1 egg

300-350g puff pastry

Salt and pepper


Marinate the game in a bowl with the red wine, garlic, thyme, bay leaf and berries covered with cling film and place in the refrigerator up to 2 days in advance.

Once marinated, drain and keep the marinade aside. Heat oil in a skillet. Sprinkle the meat lightly with flour, season and fry, turning it out once colored.

Heat the butter and sauté the onion until tender. Add the carrot and remaining flour, tomato puree and stir for a minute. Stir in the marinade, add the broth and bring to a boil, add the meat and simmer for 2 hours until tender. The sauce should have a thick consistency, and the meat should be braised.

Once cool, transfer to a pie dish, discarding the bay leaf.

Spread the puff pastry on a floured surface and cover the pie dish, pinching the sides to form a seal. Brush lightly with a beaten egg and make a small slit in the center to let the steam escape. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 ° C for 30 minutes or until the skin is golden brown.


Chicken and leek pie


300-350g shortcrust pastry

30g butter

30g of flour

500 ml of milk

3 tablespoons of sour cream

2 tablespoons of mustard

100 ml of chicken broth

10 chicken thighs

2 leeks, chopped

30g butter

70 g diced bacon

1 bunch of fresh tarragon

Salt and pepper


First prepare the white sauce by melting the butter. Once melted, add the flour over medium heat. Gradually add the milk, stir vigorously to avoid lumps.

Then add the cream, chicken broth and mustard and let the sauce thicken over low heat while continuing to stir.

Preheat the oven to 190 ° C. Arrange the chicken and leeks in the bottom of an ovenproof dish and cover with sliced ​​tarragon leaves. Pour over the white sauce and season with salt and pepper.

For the flour filling a clean surface and roll out your dough. Trim the edges and seal with water or a beaten egg. Crimp the edges and make a hole in the center to allow steam to escape. Brush with egg so that your pie is golden brown.

Bake 25 to 30 minutes.

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