Pigeon and Venison Pie

This pie has potato in both the pastry and the filling. The presence of potato in pastry has the effect of lightening it, yet binding it together, thus making handling easier.

Ingredients

For the Pastry

  • 2 oz (50 g) mashed potato
  • oz (65 g) self-raising flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 6 oz (175 g) butter

For the Filling

  • 2 plump pigeons
  • 3 onions, 2 of which are diced
  • 1 carrot
  • Piece of celery
  • Bouquet garni
  • A few cloves
  • 3 tablespoons sunflower oil
  • 12 oz (350 g) venison, cut into bite-size pieces
  • Flour for dusting

Method

Prepare the pastry by mixing the flour, potato and salt and rubbing in the butter. Bind with a few drops of cold water and put in the fridge for at least an hour.

With a sharp knife, cut out the breasts of the pigeon and divide each into 4 pieces. Put the carcasses into a stock pot with the undiced onion, the carrot, piece of celery, bouquet garni and the cloves. Cover with water, bring to the boil and simmer for 45 minutes. Then drain and reserve the liquid – there should be about ¾ of a pint (reduce it if necessary).

Fry the diced onions gently in the sunflower oil until translucent. Remove from the pan. Dust the venison pieces and pigeon breasts with the flour. Put into the pan. Raise the heat and brown the pieces of game. Return the onions to the pan, put in the pigeon stock and stir round until the sauce is smooth. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for half an hour.

Put into a flan dish and allow to cool. Cover with the pastry and cook at gas mark 6/400°F/200°C for 30 minutes or until the pastry is golden.

In her High Spots on the Andes, Josephine Hoeppner Woods speaks of visiting a Potato fair in La Paz where eighty-nine different species of potatoes were exhibited.

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