Pheasant pie

Pheasant pie

By
From
Meat
Serves
4
Photographer
Dean Cambray

I am always surprised by pheasant meat, which is much lighter than duck or squab, yet more complex than chicken. I think its delicate flavour goes really well with the richness of suet pastry that bakes to a melting, golden crispness. This pie is a great way of using up pheasant legs after roasting a crown. But if you can’t find pheasant, then by all means use chicken maryland.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
4 pheasant legs
salt
freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/2 stick celery, thinly sliced
1/2 carrot, thinly sliced
1/2 cup red wine
1/4 cup port
2 cups good-quality chicken stock
1 tablespoon thyme, chopped
400g Suet pastry
2 egg yolks, lightly beaten with 4 tablespoons milk

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 160ºC.
  2. Season the pheasant legs generously with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a heavy-based casserole dish and seal the pheasant in batches, until browned all over. Transfer to a warm plate.
  3. Add the onion, garlic, celery and carrot to the casserole and sweat over a low heat until they soften. Add the wine and port and bubble vigorously for 5 minutes so that it reduces slightly. Return the pheasant legs to the pan and add the stock. Bring to the boil, then cover, and bake in the oven for 1 hour. Leave to cool completely, then pick the meat from the bones and break it up into bite-sized pieces. Return the meat to the sauce and discard the skin and bones.
  4. When ready to make the pie, preheat the oven to 200ºC and lightly grease 4 x 8 cm pie tins. Roll the pastry out on a lightly floured work surface. Cut out 4 x 8 cm circles for the lids. Cut larger circles to line the pie tins, leaving an overhang. Divide the filling between the 4 pie tins. Lightly brush the rims of the pies with egg wash and place the lids on top. Press the edges firmly to seal, then roll with a rolling pin to trim off any surplus pastry. Make small cuts in the pastry lids so that the steam can escape as the pies bake. Brush with a little more egg wash and bake for 10–12 minutes, or until the pastry is cooked on the underside and the top is a lovely golden brown.
Tags:
Meat
Adrian
Richardson
La
Luna
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