Maggie Beer

Pheasant Pie

For more recipes like this, Join Maggie's Food Club

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 220°C.

Step 2: To prepare the pheasant, with a sharp knife, cut the tips off the wings. With the pheasant breast up, make a small cut on each side in between the leg and the breast and dislocate each leg at the socket by bending them back. Then to break the back of the bird, hold the ‘parson’s nose’ end of the bird and apply pressure to snap the backbone. Twist the legs 180 degrees, so the breast of the pheasant and the skin side of the legs are facing up, then cut through to the back bone to remove the legs from the body.

Step 3: Combine all the marinade ingredients into a large flat dish and mix well. Place the pheasants in the marinade for a minimum of 10 minutes.

Step 4: Season well and place the breast on the bone, and the separate legs of the pheasant onto a flat baking tray, skin side up, and put into the oven. Cooking times will vary for the size of the bird and whether the bird is a cock or a hen – hens have plumper breasts and may take a couple of minutes longer. Roast the pheasant for 10 minutes then turn over the legs and the breast. Check the legs, they may need a further 4 to 8 minutes cooking time, depending on size.

Step 5: When done, remove legs from the oven and splash with Verjuice. Leave breasts to cook for a few more minutes. Check by inserting a skewer into the thickest part of the breast to see if any pink juices show, if so a few more minutes cooking is required. To rest, remove from the oven and turn the bird so that the breast and legs are facing down in the roasting pan, and splash the pheasant with remaining Verjuice. Rest for 15 minutes until cool enough to handle.

Step 6: Roll the pastry to the desired thickness and cut into two circles, one x 27 centimetre and one x 21 centimetre for the lid. Line the fluted base with the larger circle and place the smaller circle on a plate and refrigerate.

Step 7: Start to make the pie filling. Place a frying pan over high heat, melt the butter, fry off the garlic and rosemary and then add the sliced mushrooms. Sauté until the mushrooms are soft and half reduce by half their amount. Season with salt with the mushrooms are sautéing. Then add the flour to the pan to make a roux, cook out for 3 minutes, then pour in the chicken stock. Bring the mixture to the boil and stir in the crème fraiche. Reduce to a simmer, cook the mixture for 15 minutes, check the seasoning and allow to cool in the fridge.

Step 8: Once the pheasants have rested and cooled, it is time to de-bone them. Start by removing the drumsticks from the thighs, and then continue cutting to remove the bone from the thigh. To remove the breast meat, cut away by following the carcass down to the wing joint. As the drumstick has so many sharp tendons, slice off the plump pieces of meat from the pie and keep the balance of the bones to make a stock at a later date. Carve the breast and leg into bite sized pieces. Fold the carved up pheasant leg, walnuts, lemon zest, orange zest and fresh herbs into the cooked mushroom mixture.

Step 9: Make the glaze quickly by mixing the egg yolk and milk together with a good pinch of salt.

Step 10: Take the pastry from the fridge and spoon the cooked pheasant mixture into the base and cover with pastry top. Crimp and seal the edges. Brush glaze and make a pattern if you wish. If pastry warms in this process put back into the fridge for 5 minutes. Remove from the fridge and place in a 220°C preheated oven for 20 minutes or until the pastry is golden and is cooked through. In a small saucepan, add the resting juices from the pheasant to the Chicken Stock and Verjuice. Bring to boil and reduce to simmer for 8 – 10 minutes. Remove the pie from the oven, allow to rest for 5 – 10 minutes. Serve on a large platter with radicchio braise and sauce in a gravy boat.


  1. [unknown amount] 1 pheasant
  2. You'll need to make: 1 batch Sour Cream Pastry


  1. 1 orange zested and cut into strips
  2. 1 orange juiced
  3. 8 sprigs thyme
  4. 1 tbspn juniper berry crushed

Pie Filling

  1. 2 tbspn rosemary chopped
  2. 350g portobello mushrooms chopped
  3. 1 tspn salt flakes
  4. 30g flour
  5. 60ml 1/4 cup Verjuice to splash over cooked pheasants
  6. 40g walnut roasted and rubbed
  7. 1 lemon zested
  8. 1 orange zested
  9. 2 tbspn fresh oregano


  1. 1/2 tbspn milk

Pheasant jus

Pheasant Pie appears in

Add to your favourites

Looking for delicious recipe inspiration? Sign up to the Food Club and receive weekly seasonal recipes delivered to your inbox