Hunting season and I returned home to find two Partridge hanging on my front door. Oh what to do with them. So being winter a pie seemed fitting. I left the Partridge to hang another two weeks much to my 3 children embaressment and uneasy feeling of opening and closing the front door. Asking me each day more sternly, 'please mum', move those birds its really embarrassing NOW!
Friends, family, fire, and wine we celebrated and relished the taste. Its flavour and texture not unlike chicken yet with that rich wild game taste. Thank you for the gift both from friend and nature.
Portion size 6
1-1/2 tsp (7 mL) salt
3/4 tsp (4 mL) pepper
4 bay leaves
8 slices of streaky bacon
4 oz (113 g) ceps or chanterels
1 large onions, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
3 sprigs fresh thyme
4 foraged crunched Juniper berries
2 cardamon pods
1½ glass's (125 mL) dry white wine
1-1/2 cups (375 mL) garden chopped leeks.
1/4 cup (60 mL) all-purpose flour
2 egg yolks
Sprinkle partridges inside and out with half of the salt and all of the pepper. Lay bay leaf over breast of each; wrap each with 2 strips bacon. (Use 2 bay leaves and 4 bacon for each pheasant.) Spread onions, carrots and celery in greased roasting pan; place birds, breast side up, on top. Roast in 450°F (230°C) oven until juices run clear when thigh is pierced and leg joints are loose, 30 to 40 minutes for partridges. Let cool enough to handle. Reserving bones, skin and bacon, strip meat off birds; slice and set aside.
Remove stems from mushrooms; slice caps thinly and set aside. In large saucepan, combine mushroom stems, roasted vegetables, thyme, cloves, reserved bones, skin and bacon and 4 cups (1 L) water; set aside. Add wine to roasting pan and bring to boil, scraping up any brown bits; pour into saucepan and bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 1-1/2 hours. Strain into clean saucepan; skim off fat, reserving 2 tbsp (25 mL). Boil over high heat until reduced to 1-1/2 cups (375 mL).
Savoury Pastry: Meanwhile combine all-purpose plain flour, salt, nutmeg and pepper. Cut in butter until in small chunks. Rub between hands until it becomes like breadcrumbs. Add a desert spoon or two of cold water and combine with a knife. Dust your surface with flour, gather the mixture into a ball without over working it fold it into itself 2-4 times and role out
Divide in half; form into balls and role into discs. Wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes or until chilled.
In a saucepan, heat reserved fat over medium heat; fry leeks, stirring often, until softened, 5 to 6 minutes. Sprinkle with flour; fry, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in reduced stock and bring to boil, stirring constantly. Add mushroom caps; boil for 2 minutes. Let cool slightly. Whisk in egg yolks. Stir in partridge meat. On lightly floured surface, roll out 1 of the pastry discs and fit into 10-inch (25 cm) pie plate; pour in filling. Roll out remaining pastry; place over filling. Trim and crimp edge; brush top lightly with milk, for a golden look, cut out shapes from pastry scraps or cook with feet sticking out for a very authentic look!
Cut vent holes in top.
Bake in bottom third of 425°F (220°C) oven for 15 minutes; reduce heat to 375°F (190°C) and bake until golden and filling is bubbling, about 30 minutes.