Partridge, myrtle and trotter pie

4
5 hours

Ingredients

Sauce

  • 1 knob of butter
  • 2 onions, peeled and halved
  • 3 sticks of celery, halved
  • 3 carrots, halved
  • 1 head of garlic, unpeeled, cut in half
  • 500ml of white wine, such as white Trebbiano, or something crisp and dry
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 2 pig's trotters
  • 1.5l chicken stock

Pie filling

  • 300g of pancetta, diced and skin reserved
  • 6 sprigs of myrtle, or 2 sprigs of rosemary
  • 4 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 3 partridges, split into legs and crowns (pheasant also works really well – you’d need 2 for this recipe)
  • 1 knob of butter
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 2 celery sticks, diced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 handful of flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Pastry

  • 525g of self-raising flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 250g of suet, Charlie uses Atora Shredded Beef Suet, because it requires very little heavy-handedness
  • 1 egg
  • 300ml of whole milk

Egg wash

  • 1 egg, mixed with a dash of milk and pinch of salt

Method

1
To make the sauce, melt a knob of butter on a medium heat in a large, heavy bottomed pan. Add the onion, celery, carrot and garlic and gently brown. After about 5 minutes, pour in the white wine and peppercorns and allow to simmer for 10 minutes
  • 1 knob of butter
  • 2 onions, peeled and halved
  • 3 sticks of celery, halved
  • 3 carrots, halved
  • 1 head of garlic, unpeeled, cut in half
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 500ml of white wine, such as white Trebbiano, or something crisp and dry
2
Add in the pig's trotters and chicken stock and simmer together for 3 hours, uncovered, so you can gradually skim off the fat
  • 2 pig's trotters
  • 1.5l chicken stock
3
Meanwhile, cook the diced pancetta gently in a frying pan until browned but not crisped to nothingness. Set to one side and brown the partridge legs and crowns all over in the rendered pancetta fat, then set aside with the pancetta
  • 300g of pancetta, diced and skin reserved
  • 3 partridges, split into legs and crowns (pheasant also works really well – you’d need 2 for this recipe)
4
Towards the end of the cooking time for the sauce, take the reserved pancetta skin and wrap it around the herbs, tying it with butcher’s string. Set to one side
  • 4 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 6 sprigs of myrtle, or 2 sprigs of rosemary
5
When the 3 hours is up, remove the trotters from the pan and separate the skin and flesh from bone and chop it thoroughly, discarding the bones
6
Preheat the oven to 150°C/130°C fan/gas mark 2
7
Strain the stock into a bowl. Put the partridge legs and crowns, trotter meat, pancetta skin with herbs and pancetta into a deep roasting tray, then pour the strained stock over, cover with foil and cook in the oven for an hour
8
Allow the partridge to cool in the liquor before straining off the liquor into a pan, keeping the meat in the roasting tray
9
Gently boil the liquor, reducing it by two-thirds until it’s darker and thicker. Meanwhile, lift the partridge out of the roasting tray carefully, then pick the meat from the bones and roughly chop. Discard the bones, then return the chopped meat back to the roasting tray
10
Melt a knob of butter in a frying pan on a medium heat and sweat the diced vegetables for 10 minutes, or until they’re cooked through and the onion is translucent. Add them to the roasting tray, along with the chopped parsley. The pie will benefit from being assembled and cooked once the pie mixture is completely cooled, so allow it to chill completely, even overnight if necessary
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 1 knob of butter
  • 2 celery sticks, diced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 handful of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
11
To make the pastry, put the salt, flour and suet into a bowl and rapidly mix with a knife. Whisk the egg into the milk in another bowl and add to the flour mixture. Mix into a ball (the less you handle it, the better), then wrap in baking paper and put into the fridge for an hour before you need it. Any leftover pastry can be frozen
  • 525g of self-raising flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 300ml of whole milk
  • 250g of suet, Charlie uses Atora Shredded Beef Suet, because it requires very little heavy-handedness
12
Preheat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan/gas mark 7
13
You can either make individual pies if you have enough ovenproof dishes of the same size, or you could do one big pie. For a single large pie, the dish should be roughly 30cm in diameter. Fill your chosen pie dish(es) with your now chilled partridge filling (discarding the pancetta-wrapped herbs) and roll out your pastry to about 5mm thickness (if you’re doing multiple pies, then divide the pastry equally), ensuring that you roll it bigger than the dish(es) so that it can slide over the edge
14
Brush the rim of the pie dish with egg wash and fix the lid to the dish. Using a fork, press the pastry to the dish before painting the whole pastry lid with the remainder of the egg wash. Put a couple of knife cuts into the middle of your pie(s)
  • 1 egg, mixed with a dash of milk and pinch of salt
15
Bake for 25 minutes or until the pastry is golden and crisp and the filling hot and steaming