Partridge and Cabbage Pies

Ingredients

  • 500 g (1 lb) short or puff pastry
  • 500 g (1 lb) partridge fillets, from the breast and legs of 3 or 4 birds
  • 50 g (2 oz) butter
  • 1 onion, peeled and sliced
  • 225 g (½ lb) cabbage, finely shredded and blanched
  • 1 teaspoon each sea salt, juniper berries, allspice and black peppercorns, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley, or chervil
  • 2 hard-boiled free-range eggs, shelled and chopped
  • 4 tablespoons cooked wild or basmati rice
  • milk-and-egg wash to glaze and seal the pastry
  • 100 mls (4 oz) game or partridge stock

Method

Fry the meat in butter for a couple of minutes or so, remove, and put to one side. Fry the onion until soft, and then stir in the cabbage and spices, and cook 2 to 3 minutes more. Remove from the heat, and stir in the herbs.

Roll out the pastry, and cut out 8 circles, four large ones and four smaller ones. Put the smaller ones on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment. Heap the cabbage, partridge, rice and chopped egg on each pastry circle, leaving a 1 cm (½ inch border. Brush this with the egg wash. Lay the larger pastry circle on top, and pinch down to seal it, pressing it all the way round with the tines of a fork.

Make a small hole in the centre of each pie, and keep it open with a roll of greaseproof paper. Brush the pies all over with the glaze, and bake in a preheated oven at 200°C/400°F/ gas mark 6 for 20 minutes. Turn the heat down a couple of notches and carefully pour in the stock, removing the paper, and bake for a further 10 to 15 minutes.

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