Pheasant and Walnut Pastie

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Preparation info

  • Snack - Makes

    10

    • Difficulty

      Medium

    • Ready in

      1 hr

Appears in

Loose Birds & Game

Loose Birds & Game

By Andrew Pern

Published 2010

  • About

MEATY AND BURSTING WITH FLAVOUR, THE PIECES OF GAMEY PHEASANT WITH DICED ROOT VEGETABLES AND POTATO, THE CRUNCH OF THE WALNUTS, ALL ENCASED IN HERBY SHORTCRUST PASTRY IS GREAT FOR A PICNIC OR SERVED HOT WITH BUTTERY MASH, PEPPERED SAVOY CABBAGE AND A JUG OF ONION GRAVY. IT ALSO MAKES FANTASTIC BAIT FOR THE DISCERNING FISH.

Ingredients

For the Pastry

  • [or use 1 packet of readymade shortcrust or puff pastry, if you wish!]
  • 110 g cold butter
  • 170 g plain flour
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • a little sea salt
  • a splash of cold water
  • 1 pinch mixed dried herbs

    Method

    To make the pastry, first cut the butter into small pieces. Sift the flour into a large bowl and rub in the butter until the texture is similar to small breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolk, herbs, salt and a splash of cold water, and combine together to form a stiff dough. Mix thoroughly, but don’t ‘overwork’ it. Place in the fridge and allow to cool for around 30 minutes.

    To make the filling

    First place a little butter in a thick-bottomed pan, and fry off the pheasant, bacon, root vegetables and onion until golden brown. Add the walnuts, herbs and juniper, and stir thoroughly to colour, then add the port and stock. Bring to the boil, then simmer for approximately 5 minutes. Mix the cornflour with a little cold water and use this to thicken the sauce, check the seasoning, then leave to cool. Preheat the oven at 200°C/gas mark 6.

    Remove the pastry from the fridge and roll out on a floured surface, to a thickness of a 50p piece, then cut into 15-20cm discs with a round cutter (or cut around a side plate). Glaze the rim of each disc with a little egg wash, then place a couple of dessertspoons of the cooled pheasant mix into the centre. Lift up the sides of the pastry discs to make a ‘purse-like’ pastie shape, then crimp the edge with your index finger and thumb to seal the pasty. Egg-wash all over the pasties and sprinkle them with a little more dried herbs and poppy seeds, then place on a lightly-greased baking tray and chill again for approximately 20 minutes to set. Place in the preheated oven for about 12 minutes, until crisp and golden brown. Allow to cool on a rack (for as long as you can resist!), or serve as a hearty lunch with mashed spuds, greens and gravy.