Medieval pigeon pie

Tony Tobin takes a basic pigeon pie from medieval times and transforms it into a modern must-make, mouth-watering dish
By Tony Tobin
Medieval pigeon pie
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Effort: medium

Ingredients

main

  • 10 pigeon breasts
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 stick celery
  • 1 small leek
  • 1 carrot
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 120 g chicken livers
  • 200 g pancetta lardons
  • 200 g button mushrooms
  • 200 g small shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 600 ml game or chicken stock
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 1 sprig of rosemary
  • 10 sage leaves
  • a pinch of thyme
  • 500 g shortcrust pastry

Method

1. Cut the pigeon breasts into small pieces. Finely dice the onion, celery, leek and carrot.

2. Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan over a moderate heat and fry the pigeon, chicken livers and pancetta in olive oil until lightly browned. Put into a pie dish.

3. Add a further tablespoon of the oil to the frying pan and fry the onion, celery, leek and carrot until golden, and then add this to the pie dish. Fry the button mushrooms and shallots in the remaining oil and add to the pie dish.

4. Spoon tomato paste into the pan and cook for 1 minute. Deglaze the pan with the stock. Add the peppercorns, rosemary, sage and thyme to the stock, and bring to the boil.

5. Set the oven to 180°C/gas 4. Pour the stock over the meat in the pie dish.

6. Roll the pastry out to cover the pie and bake for 45 minutes. Serve immediately.

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