Members' Recipes Archive

December 2001
Pheasant pie with apricots and Grand Marnier
Mario Wyn-Jones

Pheasant pie with apricots and Grand Marnier

By: Mario Wyn-Jones

Serves: 2

I occasionally find that these birds are too gamey to be appreciated by all my dinner guests. In a casserole or pie the flavour of the flesh is tempered by the accompanying, and for game, usually quite strongly flavoured ingredients, and the meat is deliciously moist to boot.

This is one of those dishes for which I don't have a ready-to-quote recipe as it's one I just made up many years ago. It remains one of my favourite ways of eating this bird. If you're an intuitive cook the processes should all be fairly familiar.


1 pheasant, preferably ready larded
1 medium onion, quartered
1 small stick celery
1 small carrot
Sprig of parsley, thyme and a bay leaf
0.25g butter
5/6 apricot halves (if dried make sure they're well-softened by steeping in hot water first, though for this dish tinned apricots are preferable)
5/6 whole roasted chestnuts (optional, but they do add good textural contrast)
1 large orange, quartered
0.5l chicken stock
1 small to medium glass Grand Marnier
1 pack ready-made flaky pastry (I'm ususally useless at making fancy pastry)
salt & pepper
1 small beaten egg


Part roast the pheasant in a pre-heated moderate oven for about 30 minutes. If necessary baste regularly with a melted butter.

Remove bird from oven and carefully cut away the two whole breasts. Set these aside.

Place the remaining carcass in a heavy saucepan with the stock, vegetables, orange and herbs. Bring to simmering point and cook till reduced to a nice coating consistency (some roux might well speed up the process). Adjust seasoning. Stir in the Grand Marnier.

Take a pie dish just large enough to accommodate the breasts and remaining ingredients. Spoon in the sauce and add the apricots and chestnuts. Cut a circle of pastry and fit over the pie pressing down the edges to seal . Brush with beaten egg and bake in a fairly hot oven for about 50 minutes or until the pastry has that lovely golden 'eat-me' look.

Celeriac and Jerusalem artichoke purée goes wonderfully with this.

© recipe copyright 2001 Mario Wyn-Jones


Author: Mario Wyn-Jones Email:

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