to your Favourites...
Whether you’ve been out on a hunt all afternoon, trampling through the frosty fields or if you’ve just been to the shops and bought some pigeon, these individual pies are a delight and can be made into a single large pie if you want a relaxed and comforting dinner during the long winter months.
- For braising the pigeon:
- 1kg pigeon (4)
- 140g onion (1)
- 70g carrot (1)
- 100g leek (½)
- 20g garlic (3 cloves)
- 3 bay leaves
- some parsley stalks
- 300ml red wine
- 3 tablespoons of olive oil
- For the pie:
- 280g onions (2)
- 160g mushrooms
- 10g parsley
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon of brandy
- 1 × shortcrust pastry
- 6 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 egg
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 3 hours
- Make the shortcrust pastry.
- Peel and roughly chop the onion and carrot, roughly chop the leek and lightly crush the garlic in it’s skin.
- Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a pan over a medium-high heat and then put in the onion and carrots. Fry them for about 5 minutes until slightly browned.
- Add the leek to the pan and fry for 1 minute then add the garlic and fry for a further 1 minute.
- Add the bay leaves and parsley stalks to the pan, then pour in the red wine and bring it to the boil.
- Add the pigeons to the pan and add enough boiling water to cover them. Put the lid on the pan and, over a low heat, simmer them for 2 hours.
- Remove the pigeons from the pan and put to one side to cool. Turn up the heat under the pan and reduce the sauce by about half (this may take an hour or two).
- To make the filling, peel and finely slice the onions, cut the mushrooms into quarters and finely chop the parsley.
- Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and then add in the onions and the sugar and season with a pinch of salt. Fry for 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until they have turned brown and caramelised.
- When the onions are cooked, remove them from the pan and put them into a mixing bowl.
- Into the same pan, add the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil and then add the mushrooms. Fry them for 3 minutes until just browned and then remove them from the pan and put them into the bowl with the onion.
- When the pigeons are cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the bone and put it, with the chopped parsley, into the bowl with the onions and mushrooms. Mix it all together and allow it to cool.
- When the sauce has reduced add the tablespoon of brandy and continue to cook it for a further 5 minutes to remove the alcohol before turning off the heat.
- Heat the oven to 180°c.
- When the gravy is done, remove the shortcrust pastry dough from the fridge and cut off about a third of it. Roll out the larger piece of dough on a floured work-surface to a thickness of about ½cm.
- Line a large pie dish or smaller, individual pie dishes (as we did) with the rolled out pastry. Then re-roll the remaining pastry to a thickness of about ½cm and cut out disks slightly bigger than the pie dishes to use as the lids to the pies.
- Fill the pastry lined pie dishes with the cooled meat mixture and then pour the gravy over the meat, almost filling the pastry to the brim.
- Break the egg into a cup and whisk it with a teaspoon of cold milk or water to make an eggwash. Then brush the edge of the pastry lining with the egg wash, put the pastry lids over the pies and crimp or press the edges together so that the pies are sealed. Brush the top of the pies with the remaining eggwash.
- Put the pies into the oven and cook them for 35 minutes.
- Remove the pies from the oven and allow them to rest for 10 minutes before serving. We served it with steamed kale and mashed potato.
Can it be frozen? Yes, either uncooked at stage 18 or cooked. (If uncooked, cook them from frozen for 45 minutes)
Can it be prepared in advance? Yes, to stage 13 (i.e. just the filling) up to 3 days in advance.
Will leftovers be nice? Yes, for up to 1 day.