The shooting season is well under way at Audley End House, which means the guns will need a tasty lunch on the go. Thankfully, Mrs Crocombe knows how to make a filling pie that is a spectacular way to use up all of those pigeons.
Visit Audley End House:
12 pigeon breasts
A few truffles
12 quails’ eggs
Pepper, cloves and mace
Herbs (try parsley, thyme and sage)
1 glass of port or madeira
1 glass of whiskey
Stock, with some melted gelatine
For the pastry:
225g salted butter
For the forcemeat:
To make the pastry, mix the butter, eggs and flour together with enough cold water to make a paste. Set it aside to chill for around 30 mins.
Once ready, don’t roll the pastry out – instead, make a rough pyramid shape before pressing into the top with your fingers. Then, place the pastry inside your mold and ease out the sides. Any excess can be cut off and put aside for later to decorate the top.
For the filling, mix the veal, ham and breadcrumbs together, before lining the walls of the pie. Layer up the mushrooms, pigeon breasts, herbs, truffles, quails’ eggs and spices as desired. Repeat until the mold is filled, and finish by pouring in the liquids.
Roll out the rest of the pastry to make the lid. Place on top of the mold and cut off the excess. Use a pastry brush to seal the joins with egg yolk, and make an air hole in the top to allow steam to escape when cooking. Use the excess pastry from earlier to decorate the pie.
To cook, place in the oven for around an hour and a half at 180 degrees. Once cooled, pour in stock mixed with gelatine to help solidify the mix. Serve with a garnish, such as a bed of watercress.
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