Warm Game Tart with Roast Winter Vegetables & Green Peppercorns
SERVES 6 SUPER EASY
For the filling
300 g. game meat, well trimmed ( i.e. pheasant legs, venison shoulder, hare, pigeon, etc.)
150 pork sausage meat, good quality from a butcher
75. g. streaky bacon
75 g. back fat
1 Tblsp., brandy
1 shallot, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 Tblsp. fresh parsley, chopped
1 Tblsp. fresh thyme, ( or 1/2 tsp. dried thyme)
1 tsp. black pepper, freshly ground
1/2 tsp. salt
For the sauce
150 ml. double cream
150 ml. meat gravy or stock
1 Tblsp. green peppercorns
2 Tblsp. whiskey or cognac
900 g. assortment of carrots, potatos,brussel sprouts, mushrooms, baby onions, etc. ( use what you like or have available )
120 g. butter
salt and freshly ground black pepper
200 g. puff pastry
1 egg yolk mixed with 1 tsp. water
To make the filling, check that all the game meat is well trimmed, that it has no “off” bits, or tough sinews. Slice all the meat and fat into managable pieces( approx. 7.5cm x 2.5 cm , 3” by 1”) Combine all the filling ingredients together in a bowl and mix them roughlyl Put this mixture through the coarse blade of your mincer attachment, ( if you don’t have one you could ask your butcher to do this, or chop by hand very finely) Beat it well with a wooden spoon, or by your hand, to ensure that it is blended thoroughly. Form into a ball, and place in the fridge.
On a floured surface, roll our the puff into 2 large rectangles, each piece should be approx. 30 cm. by 30 cm. and no thicker than 1/3 cm. Chill these two sheets for at least 20 minutes.
When they are nice and cold, bring out one piece, and cut into a large, ( about 24 cm. ) circle. The easiest way to accomplish this is to use an over turned bowl, or plate as a guide.
Brush this base completely with the egg yolk wash, taking care to not let it drip over the sides.
Place the filling in the center of the base, and with your hands, pat into a even dome shape. There should be a perimeter of at least 4 to 6 cm. of puff all the way around the filling. Take the other piece of puff from the fridge, and quickly reapply egg wash to the perimeter of base before carefully laying the second piece on top. Carefully, with your hands gently pat this piece into place. This means to shape the puff over the filling, and to seal the two edges of puff together. Try not to let there be any big air pockets inside, and try to not stretch the top piece of puff, or it will lose shape during cooking.
Brush the whole top of the tart with the egg yolk wash, making sure not to let it drip over the edges, and cut the edges so that they are even with each other. Pierce a small hole in the center of the top, this is to let the steam be released during cooking, and decorate the egg yolk wash as you like. You can achieve this using the back of a knife, the tines of a fork, or even a toothpick. Put to chill again in the fridge for 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 190’C. Place in a moderately hot oven for about 30 minutes.
Bake the tart in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes, until golden brown.
To make the sauce simply boil the meat stock or gravy with the cream until it has thickened to sauce consistency. Add the whiskey or cognac and the green peppercorns, ( lightly crushed to help them release their flavour and aroma ) Simmer again over low heat for 1 or 2 minutes, and then check the seasoning. Add salt as needed. Keep warm.
To prepare the vegetables, boil or steam the vegetables that you have chosen, until they are just cooked. Allow them to cool slightly.
Heat the butter in a large casserole until it is foamy and is just turning brown. Throw all the vegetables in at once, and allow them to cook gently in the butter for approx. 5 minutes.
Turn them gently from time to time to ensure that they are all coated with the butter, and season with salt and pepper.
To serve, present the tart to the table as a whole, with the vegetables either surrounding it on the plate, or on the side in their own serving bowl. Someone can then cut the tart into individual portions, plate it, serve the vegetables, and pass the sauce so that each may take as much or as little as preferred.