6 breasts of pheasant and all the thigh meat
100g pine nuts
50g raisins, soaked in jasmine tea
150g smoked bacon lardons
5 shallots, chopped
300g puff pastry, rolled out to 3mm thickness
1 beaten egg
2 whole eggs
200ml vegetable oil
Splash of Armagnac
For the sauce
1 clove of garlic, crushed
4 sprigs of thyme
300ml red wine
500ml good quality chicken or pheasant stock
20ml grapefruit juice
10g unsalted butter
Cabbage and root vegetables
- Remove the pheasant legs and set to one side. Remove the skin from the breasts and trim the narrow ends so that they will eventually cook evenly, retaining the trimmings for the farce.
- Soak the raisins in jasmine tea for 30 minutes.
- Fry the shallots, pine nuts, soaked raisins and tarragon for two minutes in a little vegetable oil and butter, then leave to cool.
- Take two breasts, all the trimmings and the thigh meat and blend with two whole eggs until smooth. Slowly pour in the 200ml of vegetable oil.
- Place the mixture into a bowl and stir in the raisins, pine nuts, tarragon and shallots, then season will salt, pepper and a splash of Armagnac.
- For each pithivier, place lightly oiled cling film inside a mould, allowing enough cling film to hang over the sides.
- Use two tablespoons of the mixture to line the sides of the mould, then place one pheasant breast in the centre and cover with more of the mixture. Press down firmly, wrap the overhanging cling film around and turn out.
- Re-line the mould with the puff pastry, allowing plenty of pastry to hang over the rim of the mould.
- Remove the cling film from the pheasant domes and place inside the pastry. Cover the top with pastry and chill for 30 minutes.
- Turn out onto a baking sheet and wash with the beaten egg. Then, to decorate, hold the pithivier in the palm of your hand and, starting almost at the top of each dome, make curving incisions almost to the base of the pastry, turning the pie after each cut until it is scored all the way round.
- The pithivier will keep uncooked in the fridge for two days and the flavours will improve over time.
- Cook for 20-25 minutes at 200°c or Gas Mark 6 until golden brown.
- Rest for a few minutes and serve on a mound of cabbage with some root vegetables, drizzled with the sauce.
For the sauce
- Fry the pheasant drumsticks and chopped carcases in a hot pan with garlic and thyme until golden.
- Sprinkle over the cornflour and cook for one minute, then add the red wine.
- Boil for two minutes, then add the stock and bring back to the boil.
- Simmer for 45 minutes, then strain and reduce until the sauce coats the back of a spoon.
- Adjust with a little honey, lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.
Recipe kindly supplied by Aaron Patterson, Head Chef at Hambleton Hall.