Pigeon Pie

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Whether you’ve been out on a hunt all afternoon, trampling through the frosty fields or if you’ve just been to the shops and bought some pigeon, these individual pies are a delight and can be made into a single large pie if you want a relaxed and comforting dinner during the long winter months.


Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 3 hours
Serves: 4


  1. Make the shortcrust pastry.
  2. Peel and roughly chop the onion and carrot, roughly chop the leek and lightly crush the garlic in it’s skin. the braising ingredients
  3. Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a pan over a medium-high heat and then put in the onion and carrots. Fry them for about 5 minutes until slightly browned. browning the carrot and onion
  4. Add the leek to the pan and fry for 1 minute then add the garlic and fry for a further 1 minute. adding the leeks and garlic
  5. Add the bay leaves and parsley stalks to the pan, then pour in the red wine and bring it to the boil. adding the rest of the braising ingredients
  6. Add the pigeons to the pan and add enough boiling water to cover them. Put the lid on the pan and, over a low heat, simmer them for 2 hours. adding the pigeons
  7. Remove the pigeons from the pan and put to one side to cool. Turn up the heat under the pan and reduce the sauce by about half (this may take an hour or two). the braised pigeons
  8. To make the filling, peel and finely slice the onions, cut the mushrooms into quarters and finely chop the parsley. the pie filling ingredients
  9. Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and then add in the onions and the sugar and season with a pinch of salt. Fry for 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until they have turned brown and caramelised. browning the onion
  10. When the onions are cooked, remove them from the pan and put them into a mixing bowl.
  11. Into the same pan, add the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil and then add the mushrooms. Fry them for 3 minutes until just browned and then remove them from the pan and put them into the bowl with the onion. browning the mushroom
  12. When the pigeons are cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the bone and put it, with the chopped parsley, into the bowl with the onions and mushrooms. Mix it all together and allow it to cool. the pie filling
  13. When the sauce has reduced add the tablespoon of brandy and continue to cook it for a further 5 minutes to remove the alcohol before turning off the heat. the pie gravy
  14. Heat the oven to 180°c.
  15. When the gravy is done, remove the shortcrust pastry dough from the fridge and cut off about a third of it. Roll out the larger piece of dough on a floured work-surface to a thickness of about ½cm. the rolled out pastry
  16. Line a large pie dish or smaller, individual pie dishes (as we did) with the rolled out pastry. Then re-roll the remaining pastry to a thickness of about ½cm and cut out disks slightly bigger than the pie dishes to use as the lids to the pies. the lined pie dish
  17. Fill the pastry lined pie dishes with the cooled meat mixture and then pour the gravy over the meat, almost filling the pastry to the brim. the filled pie
  18. Break the egg into a cup and whisk it with a teaspoon of cold milk or water to make an eggwash. Then brush the edge of the pastry lining with the egg wash, put the pastry lids over the pies and crimp or press the edges together so that the pies are sealed. Brush the top of the pies with the remaining eggwash. the pie, ready for the oven
  19. Put the pies into the oven and cook them for 35 minutes.
  20. Remove the pies from the oven and allow them to rest for 10 minutes before serving. We served it with steamed kale and mashed potato. the finished pie
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Useful Information

Can it be frozen? Yes, either uncooked at stage 18 or cooked. (If uncooked, cook them from frozen for 45 minutes)
Can it be prepared in advance? Yes, to stage 13 (i.e. just the filling) up to 3 days in advance.
Will leftovers be nice? Yes, for up to 1 day.

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