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Pigeon Pie

Pigeon Pie


  • 3 (or 4) pigeons, drawn, cleaned and skinned, or diced. (I prefer to used diced birds as it makes it easier to serve and makes less mess at mealtime with the bones)
  • 1 lb rump steak
  • 3 slices of streaky bacon, smoked or unsmoked, depending on taste, rind removed and diced. (Cooked ham may be used instead)
  • Pepper and salt to taste
  • Herbs to taste (sage and thyme are the most used)
  • Sausage meat for stuffing.
  • Small finely chopped onion, fried till soft. (optional)
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed (optional)
  • 2 oz butter
  • Worcestershire Sauce / Yorskhire Relish to taste. Mushroom ketchup is excellent if you can get it.
  • Bay leaf
  • 4 eggs
  • Rich stock (a little Bisto added will give a darker colour if desired)
  • Puff pastry (or shortcrust if desired)


Dice the steak and line bottom of pie dish with it, season with pepper and salt. Rub pigeons with pepper and salt and cover each with at least ½ oz butter. If using whole pigeons, put most of the butter inside.

Make the forcemeat stuffing by beating the livers with sausagemeat and a pinch of herbs. If using whole pigeons, use this to stuff them. For diced pigeon lay this in balls around the pigeon meat. Place the pigeons on the beef (breast downwards if whole), and lay the bacon over them. Add Worcestershire Sauce or Yorkshire Relish.

Next add the onion, yolks and bay leaf. Season stock with pepper, salt, herbs and garlic as desired and then half fill the dish using the stock, place a border of pastry around the edge of the dish and put on the pastry lid. Glaze crust with egg yolk. Make holes in the centre to let out the steam.

Cook in a moderate (about Gas Mark 5) oven for 1 ¼ hours and serve piping hot with potatoes and vegetables. If using whole birds, don't forget to provide a dish on the table for bones, serves 5-6 people.


  1. A wine sauce can be used as an alternative to the egg yolks and stock. The pigeons may also be marinaded in red wine overnight if desired). Add mushrooms and onion if using wine sauce.
  2. More pigeon meat may be used instead of the steak if desired.
  3. Juniper berries may be added to the stock.
  4. Egg yolks may be omitted for a less rich pie. Butter is always needed as pigeon meat contains little fat.
  5. Mushrooms may be added to the steak. Avoid adding other vegetables though as they don't go well.
  6. The garlic may be added to the butter instead of to the stock.
shadow hunter
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