These hearty, robust pasties are absolutely perfect for bringing along to shoot days, and are also great for using up surplus game meat...

credit: Archant

pot-shot pasties

Makes 10-12/Preparation and cooking time: 50 mins, plus 1-2 hours for chilling of pastry


For the pastry

*500g plain flour, plus extra for dusting

*10g salt

*200g rapeseed oil

*1 tsp ground turmeric

*Enough ice-cold water to make a soft, but not sticky, pastry. Around 75ml is a good place to start

credit: Archant

For the filling

*250g of minced game

*100g minced pork fat (or 50-75g lard/butter/duck fat/mutton dripping)

*2 tsp turmeric powder

*2cm piece of fresh ginger, finely grated

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*2 hot red chillies, finely chopped, seeds and all

*1 small onion, finely diced


*1 tsp ground allspice

*2 tsp each of cumin and coriander seeds, toasted and lightly crushed

*zest and juice of a lime

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To finish

*Egg wash made of 1 egg and 2 tbsp of water, lightly beaten together

*flaky sea salt

*fennel seeds

credit: Archant


1. Make the pastry. In a food processor, place all the ingredients except the water and blend for a few seconds. Add the water while the machine is running until a dough is formed. Remove this from the mixer and place on a lightly floured surface, and knead briefly then shape into a nice plump round and wrap in cling film and refrigerate for an hour or two.

2. Preheat the oven to 180°C, then make your filling. Heat a splash of oil in a small frying pan over a medium heat. Mix all the filling ingredients together in a large bowl. Add a teaspoonful to the pan and fry until cooked through. Check the seasoning. If you are not happy, re-season and repeat the process.

3. Once you are happy with the filling, line a couple of baking sheets with non-stick baking parchment.

4. Lightly flour the work surface and roll out the pastry until it is the thickness of a 10p piece. Cut into rounds using a saucer or small bowl as a template. Re-roll the leftover pastry and repeat, placing all the cut-out rounds on the work surface.

5. Divide your filling into equal amounts (totalling the number of pastry rounds you have) and place in the middle of each round. Brush the egg wash around the edges of the rounds, then bring the pastry sides together at the top and crimp to create a pasty shape. Prick each pasty with a fork, brush with more egg wash and sprinkle with a little salt and a few fennel seeds.

6. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool, and refrigerate until needed. It’s a good idea to take them out of the fridge a few hours before you want to serve them so they are not too cold.

credit: Archant

I always like to turn up to a shoot with some sort of homemade foodie contribution for the day. If you are the host and someone brings something nice I think it adds to the day, and if you are a guest it’s a brilliant way to show how much you appreciate the invitation. It’s thoughtful to take something to share with the other Guns and don’t, for God’s sake, forget to take enough for the beaters or you may well find yourself top Gun on the fines list! This is never truer than around Christmas. Shooting over the festive period often has a more relaxed and social feel about it and a distinct lack of rushing. No one likes to think about it too much but we’re also careering towards the end of the season, and this means that there is plenty of game around at home, often in the freezer awaiting some attention, so it’s a great time to get creative in the kitchen and kill two birds with one stone.

These pot-shot pasties have proved very popular and the recipe changes every time depending on what I have to use up. It could be pheasant and pigeon one day, and goose and venison the next. I like to make mine spicy but you might not, so simply leave out the spices and season the meat mixture accordingly.

Whatever you do, make sure that you add plenty of fat to your filling mixture – either minced bacon/pork fat, butter, lard or rapeseed oil, depending on what you have at your disposal and your personal preference.

This recipe is a tried-and-tested favourite of mine. The pastry isn’t the most delicate when baked but it will stand up to being knocked about in the tub or tin in the back of the beaters’ wagon or the Gun bus. It’s deliberately robust so it needs to be rolled quite thinly; don’t worry, though, as it’s fairly easy to handle even when rolled out.

credit: Archant