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Rook Pie
Pies and Pastries

There are several known receipts for rook pies, (Eaton 1822, etc) often including hard-boiled eggs.

'The Rook' from 'What the Blackbird Said', 1881

Original Receipt in 'The Cook and Housekeeper's Dictionary' by Mary Eaton (Eaton 1822);

ROOK PIE. Skin and draw some young rooks, cut out the backbones, and season with pepper and salt. Lay them in a dish with a little water, strew some bits of butter over them, cover the dish with a thick crust, and bake it well.

Original Receipt from 'The Field' June 1, 2016

Rook pie from the Arundell Arms

Organised rook shoots were once a traditional part of the country calendar. Young rooks, known as “branchers” as they hop around on the branches, would be shot in the vicinity of the nest and a rook pie would be made from the breast meat. Older country folk still talk nostalgically of rook pie and it is time to bring this classic recipe back into the modern country kitchen. Try this rook pie recipe from Francis Denford and Chris Heaver at the Arundell Arms.

    4-6 fledgling rook breasts
    100g chopped beef
    1 onion, diced
    2 carrots, chopped
    55ml beef stock
    1 packet puff pastry
    Egg wash
    Salt and pepper

Cut the meat into thumb-sized chunks. Seal both meats for a few minutes then add the onion and carrots.
Introduce the beef stock and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove the meat and reduce the stock to a thick sauce.
When reduced to the required consistency, return the meat and place in a flameproof pie dish. Place the rolled pastry on top. Vent the pastry before egg washing and seasoning.
Cook at 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4 for 30 minutes.

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