Steak and pigeon pie is not made often enough for my liking!
I am pretty poor at following recipes, so I donâ€™t often write them either, but this will give you what you need to make a great steak and pigeon pie.
Basically what we are going to make is something along the lines of a steak and kidney pie, with pigeon substituted for kidney. If you have one, you can just follow your favourite recipe and amend it. But this is the haphazard way I make it, and although it looks a little crazy, it always returns delicious results which are impossible to replicate another time!
Take a roughly equivalent amount of pigeon and stewing beef, perhaps 3 or so pigeons worth of breast to a pound of beef and chop it all up to bite size chunks. Coat these in seasoned flour and put to one side.
Soften a chopped union in a pan, and add a few chopped garlic cloves half way through the process (the more the better for me). Sometimes I use whole shallots a bit like you might in a coq au vin. You can have a go at that. Gently brown the beef and pigeon and then add a cup or so of red wine or stout to deglaze the pan. You could even use some smoked bacon early on for flavour.
Top up with a bit of stock as required to just cover and simmer for a while. Iâ€™m still getting through a barrel of stout I brewed before the summer, which has found its way into all sorts including chocolate cakes and stews. A great thing to have on tap!
If your beef needs a lot of cooking, you might want to add the pigeon a little later in the process. I usually add a few chopped mushrooms and sometimes other chopped vegetables or potatoes. What I never really fancy doing is adding any type of tomato, either stocked or tinned, as Iâ€™m not sure tomatoes are quite made to go with pigeon. But why not have a go, and let me know the results if you do.
Then away you go. Take the pastry you made earlier (it lives in the chilled cabinets in Haywards Heath Sainsburyâ€™s, apparently), put an egg cup in the middle of your pie dish if you donâ€™t trust the pastry to hold up and roll it over the meat. It helps to brush the edges where it will join the pie dish with egg and milk. Then score and brush the top with beaten egg yolk, and whack it in the oven.
Half an hour at 200c should do the job, but keep an eye on the pastry and take it out when it looks good. Eat it with kale cut from game strip, mashed swede and a big baked potato oozing with butter.