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    Richard Corrigan's Seasonal Wild Birds in a Pie

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    Richard Corrigan's Seasonal Wild Birds in a Pie

    • Christmas
    • Preparation time: 1 hour 15 minutes, plus cooling
    • Cooking time: 50 minutes

    Serves: 8


    • 25g Butter
    • 2 Large carrots, chopped
    • 2 Large parsnips, chopped
    • 1 Large onion, chopped
    • 3 Sprigs of thyme, leaves only
    • 1 Garlic clove, chopped
    • 2 Pheasant thighs, boned and skinned
    • 2 Pheasant breast fillets, skinned
    • 4 Allspice berries, finely crushed
    • 3 Cloves, finely crushed
    • 200g Pork shoulder, finely chopped
    • 100g Rindless streaky bacon, chopped
    • 100g Chicken liver, chopped
    • 1 Egg, beaten
    • 2 Mallard
    • 1 Partridge (about 270g)
    • 2 tbsp Groundnut oil
    • 150ml Red wine
    • 1 litre Chicken stock
    • 3 Large savoy cabbage leaves
    • 700g Puff pastry
    • 1 Egg yolk


    1. Melt the butter in a large pan, add the veg, thyme and garlic. Cover and cook gently for 15–20 minutes, until softened. Set aside. Mince the pheasant legs and thighs finely; add the allspice, cloves, minced pork, bacon and the chicken liver, the cooked veg, the whole egg and season.
    2. Cut the breast fillets from the remaining birds, remove the skin; set aside. Cut the legs from the carcasses and the meat from the bones, discarding the skin. Chop this leg meat finely and add to the pork mixture.
    3. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large pan; brown the leg bones and carcasses. Add the wine and stock. Bring to the boil; simmer for 30 minutes, until reduced by half. Discard the bones. Strain the sauce into a jug. Pour 325ml into a small pan; simmer for 10 minutes. Leave to cool; add to the bowl containing the pork mix; stir. Keep the remaining sauce to reheat and serve.
    4. Season the breasts, heat the remaining oil in a frying pan; sear on both sides until browned but slightly pink in the middle. Set aside. Blanch the cabbage leaves for 2 minutes. Refresh with cool water; drain. Line a board with clingfilm. Lay the leaves in a line on the clingfilm; top with a third of the pork mix, then half the sealed breasts; season; cover with another third of pork. Repeat this layer; bring up the clingfilm to form a tight, parcel.
    5. Preheat the oven to 190C/gas 5. Roll out 250g of the pastry into a 20cm x 25cm rectangle; roll the remaining into a rectangle of 30cm x 35cm. Lay the smaller piece onto a baking sheet; remove the clingfilm from the cabbage parcel and place in the centre. Brush the edges with egg yolk; cover with the large rectangle; seal completely. Cut the excess away. Brush all over with yolk; bake for 45–50 minutes, until puffed and golden. Serve with the sauce and some seasonal veg.

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