This is a delicious pie, with a rich and creamy sauce, but plenty of freshness from the leeks and tarragon. It was published in the Easter Edition of Countryman’s Weekly, and my postbag has been positively bulging with emails from those of you who have enjoyed making this recipe. So, please do enjoy and tell me if you make it!
Pheasant, Leek and Tarragon Pie
This is a delicious pie, with a rich and creamy sauce, but plenty of freshness from the leeks and tarragon.
Serves 4, generously
600g pheasant breasts, trimmed of fat and any shot
4 large leeks, cut into 1cm thick slices
Sea salt and black pepper
200ml chicken stock
200ml double cream
Leaves from 5 sprigs fresh French tarragon
1 x 375g (appx) sheet ready rolled all butter puff pastry
1 egg, beaten
Cut the pheasant breast into large strips or chunks. Melt half of the butter in a large non-stick frying pan, and add the pheasant. Cook for around 4 minutes to lightly brown the meat. Set aside, add the rest of the butter to the pan, and add the leeks. Cook over a moderate heat for around 15 minutes, until the leeks are softened, but not coloured. Add the pheasant back into the pan and season well with salt and pepper.
Next, add the stock and cream, stir well and simmer gently for another 5-10 minutes until slightly thickened. Transfer the pie filling to a pie dish and set aside to cool. The dish I use is 25x12cm.
Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas Mark 5. Roughly chop the tarragon leaves and stir through the pie filling. Top with the pastry sheet and brush that with beaten egg. Cut a cross or make a whole in the middle of the pastry sheet to allow the steam to escape. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the pastry is a rich brown and well risen.
I like to serve this with lots of green vegetables. The sauce is thinner than some pies and therefore coats the vegetables nicely. Potatoes can be served with the pie too, if you like.