Saturday, 12 March 2016

Pheasant & broccoli pie with sage, mushrooms and bacon. #recipe

This week was National Pie Week and in celebration I thought I would steal recreate my friend's recipe for pheasant and broccoli pie which includes bacon, sage, mushrooms and a  creamy white sauce.


My friend rears pheasants and we occasionally get a brace after a shoot. I love coming home and finding free food hanging on my car wing mirror or our outside light.

He's an accomplished cook with a penchant for traditional British food - roasts, stews, pies all done with aplomb in his gorgeous Rayburn range. It's country living at its best as his (working) dogs lurk under the table in hope of a dropped roast potato or chunk of meat.

Anyway, we enjoyed this pie at the beginning of the week (leftover from Sunday apparently) and it was so nice I could not wait to have a go at it myself. I love making pies - bunging in whatever ingredients you have means you can have a completely original recipe every time.

My friend gave me a list of what he put in his pie - no quantities, no instructions! I was slightly more organised so I could write it down here for you. However, feel free to throw in whatever you fancy. If you can't get pheasant (it can be expensive to buy) you could substitute with chunks of chicken or even turkey.

I took the breasts from four pheasants - they are a pain to completely pluck and draw so I literally pull a few feathers from in between their legs then use scissors to cut the skin away and a sharp knife to de-breast the birds. If I can be bothered I might remove and pluck the drumsticks - they make a nice confit.

Here's how to make "my" pie.

Ingredients:

I small onion, peeled and sliced thinly.

1 tsp oil

5/6 fresh sage leaves

8 breasts of pheasant

200g bacon lardons or chopped gammon or thick ham.

100g sliced mushrooms

150g broccoli, part cooked. ( I microwaved it in a lidded container with 1 tbsp water for 3 minutes)

3oz white wine (optional)

Pastry - ready made or home made! I used 320g ready rolled puff pastry.

For the  white sauce:
1oz butter,
1oz flour
1 pint milk,
salt and pepper.


Method:

Heat oil in base of large saucepan, fry onion and bacon for 3/4 minutes then add the rest of the ingredients.  Stir well.  I then splashed in some wine  but you could add stock or just some water.

Simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile make your white sauce.

Melt butter then briskly stir in flour until it forms a roux, a kind of shiny ball of flour and butter - cook for two minutes stirring all the while.

Add milk gradually stirring in well to get a smooth sauce - I find using a whisk for this part cuts down on lumps.

Bring to the boil, simmer until sauce thickens then add salt and pepper to taste. For the pie mix I added very little seasoning as the bacon adds salt and I wanted to taste the sage.

Drain most of the liquid from the pie ingredients leaving just about 1oz. Transfer pie filling to your pie dish then drizzle white sauce over making sure it covers as much as possible.

Top pie with your favourite pastry - I cheated and bought a good quality fresh puff pastry, ready rolled sheet!

Bake at 180c (fan) 200c Gas mark 6 for 25-35 minutes until pastry is nicely browned and filling is piping hot.

I served my pie with steamed carrots and sprouts (yep I love them!) and skin-on roast potatoes. I also made a jug of gravy but the pie was actually moist enough to have not needed it.







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