Pigeon Pie I

A delicious pie with a gamey flavour, Pigeon Pie I may be served either hot or cold. Serve it hot with glazed carrots, Brussels sprouts and French beans or cold with a green salad.2 teaspoons butter

12 ox. plus

1 tablespoon flour

1 teaspoon salt

5 fl. oz. water

4 oz. vegetable fat

1 egg yolk, lightly beaten

1 egg, lightly beaten

8 pigeon breasts, boned and sliced

4 oz. cooked ham, finely chopped

10 oz. pork sausage meat

6 oz. button mushrooms, wiped clean and quartered

1 hard-boiled egg, finely chopped

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon grated lemon rind -½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

4 fl. oz. beef stock

2 fl. oz. dry red wine

Lightly grease the outside of a deep 6-inch pic mould or cake tin with 1 teaspoon of the butter. Lightly dust it with the 1 tablespoon of flour, shaking off any excess. Lightly grease a medium-sized baking sheet with the remaining butter. Set the mould and sheet aside. Sift the remaining flour and the salt

This imposing Pigeon Pie I tastes as good as it looks. Serve it hot with glazed carrots and Brussels sprouts; or cold with a green salad. into a large mixing bowl. In a small saucepan, bring the water and vegetable fat to the boil over high heat, stirring frequently until the fat has melted. Remove the pan from the heat.

Make a well in the centre of the flour and pour in the egg yolk and water and fat mixture. With a wooden spoon, gradually draw the flour mixture into the liquid. Continue mixing until all the flour is incorporated and the dough is smooth.

Turn the dough out on to a floured board and knead it well with your hands until it is shiny. Cut off one-third of the dough and set it aside in a warm place. Roll out the remaining dough into a circle approximately 10-inches in diameter.

Turn the greased pic mould or cake tin upside-down. Lift the dough on the rolling pin and lay it over the mould. Using your fingers, gently case the dough down over the sides of the mould.

Place a large piece of greaseproof or waxed paper over the mould and turn it right side up. Gather together the grease- proof or waxed paper and fold it around the mould so that it completely covers the dough. Tie it securely in place with string or strong thread. Place the mould in the refrigerator to chill for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the dough is firm.

Preheat the oven to fairly hot 400 F (Gas Mark 6, 200 C).

In a large mixing bowl, combine the pigeon breasts, ham, sausage meat, mushrooms, egg, salt, pepper, lemon rind and cayenne. Set aside.

Remove the mould from the refriger-ator. Gently ease the mould out of the dough case and place the dough case on the baking sheet.

Spoon the filling into the dough case.

Roll out the remaining dough on a lightly floured surface, to a circle slightly larger than the top of the dough case.

Lift the dough on the rolling pin and place it over the dough case. Trim the edges of the ‘lid’ to fit, and dampen the edges of the dough case and the ‘lid’ with water. With your fingers, firmly press them together to seal the pie.

With a pastry brush, brush the beaten egg over the top of the pie. With a sharp knife, cut a 2-inch slit in the centre of the pic. Place the baking sheet in the centre of the oven and bake the pie for 1 hour.

Reduce the heat to moderate 350°F (Gas Mark 4, 180 C). Remove the baking sheet from the oven. Remove and discard the greaseproof or waxed paper.

In a small saucepan, bring the beef stock and red wine to the boil over high heat. Remove the pan from the heat and carefully pour the stock and wine mixture through the slit in the pie into the filling.

Return the pie to the oven and bake for a further 1 hour, or until the meat is tender when pierced with the point of a sharp knife.

Remove the pie from the oven and serve at once, if you wish to serve the pic hot.

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