William Powell Country

Pigeon Pasty

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Article written by 30 May 2013

Pasties are one of my favourite things to make with game. The following recipe can be used with partridge or pheasant for equally excellent results. It is really a very basic recipe, not calling for any fancy techniques or ingredients, but is beautifully effective. They are a superb lunchbox filler, and I love to take them out cold with me when I’m shooting or fishing, preferably with a bottle of homemade beer.

I’ve no idea what type of pastry should be used for pasties, I guess it’s shortcrust, which I tend to use with good results. So I start with shop bought pastry, because I’m lazy and prefer to be fishing than making pastry, and roll this out fairly thin, and use a side plate to cut a circle out.

Now take some thinly sliced swede, potato and onion, and make a layer across the middle of the pastry. Do not be tempted to overfill, less is definitely more in this instance. Season with salt and pepper, and add whatever fresh herbs you fancy (thyme, marjoram etc). Then lay very thinly sliced game on top of the vegetables, and fold your circle to create a pasty.

At this stage I usually brush the edges with milk before I crimp them. I have no idea if this is the right thing to do, but it works. Crimping takes a little practice, but essentially you start at one side, fold a corner over about half an inch, then keep folding the next piece into itself. By the time you have done the last pasty, you’ll have the hang of it.

Line the pasties up on greaseproof paper on a baking tray, and brush them with beaten egg yolk to give a golden colour when cooked. I don’t pierce them, in an attempt to keep the moisture in. These take surprisingly little time to cook, and often 20 minutes at 180c or 200c will do. When the outside of the pastry looks done, the pasty inside is done too!

Wolf them down hot with mustard and red currant jelly, washed down with hedgerow wine or a good bitter, or save them for your next outdoor adventure.

William Church

Born and raised in the Essex countryside, will has been fishing since the age of 7. He has a particular love of fly fishing in rivers, however is not averse to using just about any method for any fish in any water where there’s.. Read more.

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