My elk and ale pie is inspired by the classic British steak and ale pie. In Victorian times, raised game pies made for elaborate feasts for aristocracy, but the invention of the sprung metal pie mold made them available to the middle class.
The inspiration for my three-tiered pie tower comes from the turducken, which is a chicken stuffed inside a duck stuffed inside a turkey. Rather than debone and stuff three kinds of poultry, I made a separate pie for each bird, dubbing my creation “a poultry excuse for a pie tower,” otherwise known as a Fowlty Tower. While the turkey pie is the epitome of comfort-food-in-a-crust, the duck pie is a gourmet feast of flavors. The chicken curry pie offers a nice contrast to the other two — the warmth of the curry offset by the slightly sweet mango chutney.
Hand-raised pies use a hot water crust pastry, which is made with boiling water and lard. As for the fillings, this recipe uses chicken, bacon and dried apricots seasoned with fresh thyme. They are hearty and sturdy, as long as you can get the pastry to cooperate.