This weekend we're welcoming back the show that has the monopoly on lurid violence, epic battles, and wholly unnecessary nudity: Game of Thrones. George R.R. Martin's ability to describe the crunching of a skull is rivaled only by his ability to describe the crunching of a pastry, so it's only fitting that this sexy saga is home to some serious food porn. And revenge porn. And porn porn. I'm a main character in this show, so my life is decidedly in danger this week.
2 pounds squab breasts
1 pound wild boar, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 pound rabbit, cut into 2-inch pieces
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 vidalia onion, diced and sautéed
2 tsp finely chopped sage
2 Tbsp finely chopped rosemary
2 Tbsp finely chopped thyme
1/4 cup dried cherries, soaked in madeira wine
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms, sautéed in butter
1/4 cup apple, finely chopped, sautéed in butter
16 ounces all purpose flour
3 1/2 ounces bread flour
1 tsp salt
6 ounces lard
7 ounces water
6 slices of bacon, cut in half
1 egg, beaten
Grain mustard (optional)
Makes 1 large pie
In a medium bowl, combine 1 pound of squab breasts with 2 Tbsp onion, 1 tsp rosemary, 1 tsp thyme, soaked cherries, 1 tsp salt, and freshly ground pepper. Set aside, and repeat with wild boar: onion, 1 clove garlic, 1 tsp rosemary, 1 tsp thyme, 1 tsp salt, and pepper. With the remaining squab breasts, combine the apple, 2 tsp sage, 1 tsp thyme, salt, and pepper. Finally, with the rabbit, combine mushrooms, 2 tsp thyme, and 1 tsp rosemary. Keep all meats separate.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Whisk together flours and salt in a large bowl. Bring lard and water to a bare simmer and add to the flour, stirring with a wooden spoon until a shaggy dough forms. Once it’s cool enough to handle, knead until it forms a smooth, tacky dough. Roll out 2/3 of the dough to a 24-inch round, covering the remainder with a warm/damp towel, and drape over a liberally-greased and floured springform mold. Gently coax the dough down into the mold and press into the corners, patching as necessary to seal it. Begin filling the pastry - first with the cherry squab, a layer of bacon strips, then the wild boar, another layer of bacon, the apple squab, another layer of bacon, and the rabbit. Make sure the meat is pressed deeply into every corner, and roll out a knob of dough until it’s the size of a lid for the pastry. Cover and pinch the edges, sealing like a pie. Cut a steam hole in the center of the lid, and decorate as desired with remaining pastry.
Bake pie for 30 minutes at 400°F, then lower the temperature to 325°F, baking for an additional 90 minutes, or until pastry is browned and filling reaches 165°F internally. Trim the crust as necessary so the springform can eventually release - allow to cool for at least 2 hours before attempting to remove, ideally refrigerating overnight. Slice and serve with grain mustard.