Game Pie Recipe

It is seasonal and warming and the perfect recipe for a winter’s weekend. Try a traditional Game Pie from our Cape Winelands Cuisine Cookbook.

The traditional method for making game pie by stewing the game with marrow bones and/or strips of unsmoked pork/bacon or mutton tail fat and a combination of spices- such as cloves, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, coriander, pepper, nutmeg, and bay leaves, and brown sugar, vinegar and wine- is still in use today, in the Cape Winelands. In the original recipe bacon could be substituted for marrow for added richness. Some cooks prefer to add herbs such as thyme, sage and rosemary.

Do serve it with a glass of our 2017 La Motte Syrah!

Game Pie Recipe

Serves 8


1 kg venison shoulder or leg, cubed

200 g smoked bacon, cut into thin strips

3 cups (750 ml) good quality dry red wine

1 tsp (5 ml) ground cinnamon

6 whole cloves (wrapped in a muslin bag)

¼ tsp (1 ml) ground ginger

Pinch of saffron (optional)

2 Tbsp (30 ml) lamb’s tail fat, lard or oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 onion, chopped

1 cup (250 ml) dried peaches

2 Tbsp (30 ml) tamarind, dissolved in 1 cup (250 ml) water of 1/4 cup (60 ml) vinegar

2 Tbsp (30 ml) brown sugar

8 cups (2 litres) venison, beef or lamb stock or water

1 buttermilk pastry (please see below*)

Milk, for brushing

Freshly ground sea salt


Place the venison, bacon, wine cinnamon, cloves, ginger and saffron (if using) in an earthenware dish and marinated overnight.

The following day, preheat the oven to 160°C (325°F).

Used a large, heavy-based casserole dish with a tight fitting lid that can also be used on the stovetop, heat it and add the fat, lard or oil.

Remove the venison and bacon from the marinade (reserve the marinade) and pat dry with paper towel. Season with the salt and pepper and brown in the fat.

Add the onion and fry for 5 minutes.

Add the peaches, tamarind water or vinegar, sugar, reserved marinade and stock. Fid the lid and place in the oven for 2-3 hours until soft.

Place the dish on the stove and cook until the sauce thickens or add a little cornflour mixed with water.

Check seasoning and leave to cool in the pot.

Increase the oven temperature to 200°C (400°F).

Placed the pastry on a lightly floured surface and roll out 2 cm thick to the size of the casserole pot. Place on top of the meat, covering the whole surface. Alternatively you can make little balls of pastry and place them tightly next to each other on top of the meat.

Brush the surface with the milk and sprinkle with feshly ground sea salt. Bake for about 45 minutes until golden brown.

*Recipe for Buttermilk Pastry

This recipe is an easier alternative to puff or flaky pastry.

Makes 1 kilogram.


3 cups (750 ml) cake flour

1 Tbsp (15 ml) sugar

1 tsp (5 ml) salt

1 ½ Tbsp (22.5 ml) baking powder

1 tsp (5 ml) freshly ground black pepper

1 tsp (5 ml) fresh thyme leaves

¾ cup (190 ml) butter

¾ cup (190 ml) buttermilk

¼ cup (60 ml) milk

1 egg

1 egg yolk


Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl.

Work the butter into the dry mixture using your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs.

Mix the buttermilk, milk, egg and yolk together, and then add it to the dry mixture.

Work lightly until it forms a dough – don’t overwork it.

Wrap in plastic wrap and rest in the refrigerator for 1 hour before using.