Her reflection was broken by a demanding pounding on the table and Sebastian rose to his feet and tugged on her arm.
“What are you doing?” she hissed.
“Time to stand up, princess. Show people you’re home,” he said softly.
Frey reluctantly stood.
The hubbub of voices died down as Sebastian spoke.
“I present to you Lady Alfreya of Tyrswick, daughter of the late Earl. Alive, whole and now our guest.”
A murmur went through the crowd before a few isolated handclaps turned into an ovation.
Frey bowed her head in acknowledgement before sitting, somewhat embarrassed by the attention.
Sebastian spared her one last glance before turning his attention to assisting his sister with the second course—a pie of beef, rabbit, and pheasant. The hall thundered with the sound of a hundred fists banging their approval of the meal as it was served.
Pies are a wonderful way of showcasing seasonal fruit, vegetables and meat.
And in the case of meat, it is quite an effective (and tasty) way of dealing with left overs.
It also provided the opportunity for the chef to show off their skill in pastry work – And check out the pastry work on this recreation!
Here’s one of the more straightforward recipes, courtesy of the BBC.
- 675g/1½lb mixed game meat such as pheasant, partridge, hare and rabbit, boned
- 225g/8oz venison steak cut into 2.5cm/1in cubes
- 2 tbsp sunflower oil
- 2 red onions, peeled and sliced
- 120g/4oz smoked streaky bacon, derinded and chopped
- 120g/4oz chestnut mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
- 30g/1oz plain flour
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 orange, zest and juice
- 1 tbsp redcurrant jelly
- 300ml/½ pint chicken stock
- 300ml/½ pint red wine
- 340g/12oz puff pastry
- Salt and pepper
- beaten egg, for glazing
- Heat a tablespoon of the oil and brown the game and venison in batches until well browned. Keep on one side.
- Heat the rest of the oil and cook the onions for five minutes until starting to soften. Add the garlic, bacon and mushrooms and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
- Stir in the flour and cook for two minutes. Season well and stir in the bay leaf, orange zest and juice, redcurrant jelly, stock and wine.
- Bring to the boil, add the meat and simmer gently for 40-50 minutes until the meat is tender. Cool.
- Heat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
- Put the meat mixture in a pie dish. Roll out the pastry to make a lid and attach to the dish. Decorate with the pastry trimmings and cut a steam hole in the centre. Glaze with beaten egg.
- Bake for 20 minutes and then reduce the heat to 180C/350F/Gas 4 for 30 minutes until the pastry is golden and risen and the filling is piping hot.