goodtoknow user Mike Rutland has nominated his mum’s pheasant and pork pie as his Mum’s Best Dish. A meaty, delicious dish that is sure to keep you toasty and warm on those cold winter days. Packed full of tender meats, topped with a crisp and buttery puff pastry, it’s no wonder Mike wanted to share his mum’s recipe with us!
- For the pastry:
- 200ml water
- 170g lard
- 450g plain flour
- 1tsp salt
- 1 free-range egg, beaten
- For the filling:
- 250g pork sausage meat
- 16 rashers of streaky bacon, cut into halves across to make 32 short rashers
- 450-600g left over roasted pheasant (leg meat, breast meat etc)
- 1 medium red onion, finely diced
- 1tbsp butter
- Salt and black pepper
- 4 gelatine leaves
- 250ml home made pheasant/chicken stock (or packet stock if to hand)
For the pastry:
- Place the water in a pan and bring to the boil. Once boiling, add the lard and keep simmering until fully melted into the water. Meanwhile, put the flour and salt into a bowl, mix and make a well in the centre.
- Add the hot water/lard mix in one go (mind out for hot splashes) and mix with a wooden spoon to form a soft ball of dough.
- Leave for 5 minutes until cool enough to handle but still hot. Knead until smooth (but avoid over kneading it) and then roll one third out to line a small loaf tin. Reserve the other third for the lid.
For the filling:
- Saute the onion in butter until translucent. Line the bottom pastry in the loaf tin with the bacon, followed by a layer of the onion mix (about a third of it) .
- Then a layer of pheasant leg meat, then a layer of the sausage meat (about half the sausage meat). Season with the salt and pepper then repeat the layers again, this time using some pheasant breast meat for a contrast in colour.
- Then, for the final layer, lay some bacon, then pheasant leg meat and more bacon if you have it to spare. Press down firmly to pack into the tin. That should have brought you up to the top of the tin. If not, and you have the ingredients to spare, continue up the loaf tin in layers until full.
- Take your egg and beat it. Paint the edges of the pastry with the beaten egg and then place the lid onto the eggy pastry edges to form a seal.
- Cut the excess off and then crimp to seal tightly. Brush the top with the beaten egg, reserving some of the egg mixture for later. Make a hole in the top large enough to fit the end of a small funnel into later.Place into a preheated oven at 175°C/325°F/Gas Mark 3 and bake for for one hour.
- Remove from the oven, and carefully remove the pie from the loaf tin. This is best done by inverting it over a plate to support the top. You may need to allow the pie to cool for a minute or two to relax from the edges of the tin to allow for easier release if its swollen to fill the tin.
- Place the pie on a baking sheet and paint the sides and top over with the remainder of the egg mixture. Be careful as the pastry is soft and can crack at this point. Its not the end of the world as we can fix that later, but annoying.
- Put the pie back in the oven for a further 15-20 minutes to brown off the egg wash to give the pie an even colour all over. remove carefully from the oven and allow to cool completely for around 2 – 3 hours.
- When ready, make up the jelly by soaking the gelatine leaves in some warmish water until soft then add into a pan of stock. Bring to a simmer to dissolve the gelatine. allow to cool, but not cool enough to start to turn into jelly. Just below blood temperature is about right.
- Now using the butter, fill any obvious cracks in the pastry in the same way you would polyfiller a wall before painting. The butter will seal the cracks and as long as the pie is cool and if the jelly is cool it will not melt and pour out of the pie!
- Using your funnel, slowly and carefully pour in the jelly through the hole you made in the lid. Do it in short stages so that you can check for leaks as you go. Nothing worse than filling the pie fully to find out it is leaking!
- Place in the fridge for a further hour or so to set the jelly and now its ready to slice!!
To serve with chips:
- Peel some good quality potatoes – suitable for frying – maris piper or king edwards make a good chip. Heat up the oil in a pan or deep fat fryer to around 130°C/275°F/Gas Mark 1.
- Add the chips into this and effectivly poach them for about ten minutes until just soft when pressed with a fork. Remove from the oil, drain on kitchen paper.
- Bring the oil up to around 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4 and add the chips back in for 2-5 minutes to brown. This will give you chips that are crunchy on the outside, yet soft and fluffy on the inside.
- By poaching them this way, they also dont tend to hold the oil either so are a little bit healthier for you – but only a bit!
Top tip for making Mary Rutland’s pheasant and pork pie
See all the entries for our Mum's Best Dish competition