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Pigeon Pie

Game and Offal
Pies and Pastries

Usually pigeon joints with sliced beef under a single crust, often with mushrooms and bacon (Acton 1845, Hartley 1954, etc)

Original Receipt from 'Modern Cookery for Private Families' by Eliza Acton (Acton 1845);

Border a large dish with fine puff paste and cover the bottom with a veal cutlet or tender rump steak free from fat and bone, and seasoned with salt, cayenne, and nutmeg, or pounded mace, prepare with great nicety as many freshly killed young pigeons as the dish will contain in one layer, put into each a slice or ball of butter, seasoned with a little cayenne and mace, lay them into the dish with the breasts downwards, and between and over them put the yolks of half a dozen or more of hard boiled eggs, stick plenty of butter on them, season the whole well with salt, and spice, pour in some cold water or veal broth for the gravy, roll out the cover three quarters of an inch thick, secure it well round the edge, ornament it highly and bake it for an hour or more in a well heated oven. It is a great improvement to fill the birds with small mushroom buttons prepared as for partridges, their livers also may be put into them.

Fig. 74. Pigeon Pie baked ready for Table.

Original Receipt from 'Savoury Pastries' by Frederick T Vine (Vine 1900)

No. 100. Pigeon Pie.

These pies are made somewhat different for shop sale, than those usually supplied from the well-appointed kitchens of the wealthy. As a rule, orders for pigeon pies usually come in when pigeons are very high in price, leaving the maker a very small margin of profit, and compelling him to fill the dish with other meat, and make the birds go as far as possible. Select the dish, and have a nice tender beef steak; cut it up into nice collops; season with salt, pepper, and dust a handful of flour over; mix well together; draw the birds; wash out and cut them in halves down the centre of the breast, and then each half into halves again, having a wing on one quarter and a leg on the other; cut off the feet and the tips of the wings; scald -the feet, and lay them on one side; put the cut-up beef into the bottom of the dish, arrange the pigeons on top ; then add a couple of hard-boiled eggs, cut into thin slices, and finish with a few thin rashers of very fine fat bacon or ready-cooked ham ; fill up with water or stock ; then cover with best puff paste No. 1; notch round the edge; decorate with leaves, as previously directed ; place a flower in the centre, made as directed in No. 15, chapter IV., page 47; stick the pigeon's feet and pinions round the rose, as shown in the engraving (Fig. 74), and bake in a moderate oven to a nice colour.

See also:
Epsom Pigeon Pie
Pigeon Pudding

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