This lovely pie comes from Steven Ellis who is the chef proprietor of Oxford Blue in Old Windsor.
The property has undergone a magnificent transformation marrying the finest elements of tradition with modern practicalities and comfort. This provides the perfect relaxed environment for Steven to present his own unique version of traditional English fayre, with a special focus on Game.
The Oxford Blue’s ethos is to advocate animal welfare, its game-led menu avoids produce from intensive farming and promotes the natural food cycle, which in turn ensures it doesn’t contribute further to environmental damage through mass grazing.
Pheasant & Black Truffle Pie
For the pie –
1 Whole Pheasant (Broken down into breasts and legs )
1 black truffle
1 Chicken breast (cleaned of any sinew)
200 ml double cream
50g finely chopped Parsley
3 Baby Carrots (peeled but keep the tops attached for presentation)
50g Wild mushrooms
1 portion of mash potato
For the pastry–
50g polenta flour
½ tsp Maldon salt
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
75gg beef dripping
80g boiling water
For the sauce-
2 pheasant legs and remaining bones from the carcase (chopped up in to 2 cm pieces)
6 shallots roughly chopped
3 cloves of garlic
4 sprigs of thyme
4 Black peppercorns
1 block of butter diced
500 ml chicken stock
500ml veal stock
Firstly begin by making the chicken mousse that will bind all the truffle together to stuff in the middle of the partridge. Dice up the breast and place in a food blender along with a pinch of salt, blitz for 2 mins and then pass through a drum sieve.
Once passed slowly fold in the cream until you have the desired consistency. Mix in the black truffle, season to taste and put in a piping bag.
Lay out the Pheasant Breast on a sheet cling film facing opposite ways season lightly with salt and then pipe the truffle filling down the middle. Lay the breast ontop of one another and roll up tightly and then poach in simmering water for 20 mins. Once cooked leave to cool down in a bowl of ice water.
For the pastry, place the water and beef dripping in a pan and bring to the boil to melt. Place all the dry ingredients into a mixer and slowly add the water. Once bound, turn it out onto a board and begin to roll out to about 5mm thickness. Using a tall cake ring wrap the pastry around the outside to form your pie case. Using the same cutter, cut out a disk for your lid. If you would like to add a touch of class, cut out a smaller hole in the centre for where you will pour the sauce. Around the outside of the lid I like to use a small leaf cutter to decorate it.
For the sauce, roast off the pheasant legs and bones in a large pan with a little veg oil. Once golden in colour add the butter and let it foam up around the bones, this will colour them further but help create a rich roast pheasant flavour to your sauce. Once caramelised and crispy add the shallots and thyme and cook for a further 5 mins then add the stocks and leave to cook for about 40mins or until you reach the consistency you are happy with.
To assemble, fry off the pheasant ballotine until golden brown and place in the oven for 5 mins before cutting into 4 equal pieces. Blanch off the carrots, sauté the wild mushrooms and fry off the spinach until wilted. To construct your pie, place the spinach in the bottom followed by one piece of the partridge. Egg wash the rim and place the lid on top, place this back in the oven for 1 min to seal.
To dress the plate, place the pie slightly to the left, spoon the mash potato opposite and arrange 3 carrots nicely on top. Scatter the wild mushrooms around the outside and once served to your guest pour the chicken sauce into the middle so it over flows down the sides.